I was done with men! My engagement to a guy who was tied firmly to his mother’s apron strings broke up, and I was ready to play, party, and have some fun. So it was ironic that, 18 months later, I was waiting for a proposal from Mr. Right…a proposal that took forever to come!
Oh, there was no question that he was Mr. Right and to him I was The One. When we met a few short months after my engagement to Mr. Wrong ended, we hit it off immediately. He was funny, smart, and tall (I’m such a sucker for tall guys). He was a grad student with a great future ahead. Our relationship started out gangbusters even though he lived six hours away. We talked, we spent lovely long weekends together, we wrote love letters. We finished one another’s sentences. We wanted the same things out of life. I met his mother. He met my big crazy family.
Because I was young and not firmly settled into any particular job, I moved to his city to spend the summer with him. I got a job, a good full-time job with room for advancement, and the summer turned into the fall. Sometime around then I proposed to him for the first time. He turned me down kindly. “I want to marry you and to have a family together,” he said, “But the timing’s not right.”
Decision time: should I wait for him or cut my losses? It was a tough decision, but I couldn’t get past the chemistry we shared, whether we were having one of our adventures together or just hanging around the house. Ultimately, I stayed because during our time together I’d learned that my Mr. Right is scrupulously honest, deeply loyal, and utterly without game-playing guile. His reason for waiting (he wanted to finish his degree before marrying me) made sense, although I wasn’t crazy about waiting. But wait I did.
Time went by. He finished his research and starting writing his dissertation. I worked hard and got a promotion. We made more memories together and our love and trust grew, but no proposal was forthcoming. I waited, sometimes patiently, sometimes with frustration.
After I’d waited for what felt like forever, some friends got engaged. I broached the subject again: “Um…have you given any more thought about, you know, getting married?” He somberly said, “Well, we can’t get married right now.” I took a deep breath, prepared to be understanding but poised on the edge of hurt. “I mean,” he went on, “We should at least let Glen and Karla have their wedding before we have ours.” We were married four months later. Eleven months after that, I watched him graduate with his Ph.D. and our life together was well and truly launched. We celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary this summer.
Here’s what I say about waiting for Mr. Right to propose: know him very, very well. I knew my Mr. Right was not one to play games. I knew he loved me. I knew he was honest and loyal and I could trust him. I knew we were a good team and we wanted the same things from life. His reason for waiting was valid and in keeping with his values. If you find yourself doubting your man but you say, “I’ve invested so much in this relationship…I would hate to start over,” but you know in your heart that your man doesn’t want marriage, you have some hard choices to make.
I’m all for marriage. I’m so glad that I waited for Mr. Right to become Mr. Ready!