Wow, it seems like shidduch-related bloggers are dropping like flies from navigating the airspace of dating woes and landing on the road to the chuppah in the bliss of newly-engaged-ness. First was Solely in Black and White, followed by Musing Maidel, though it seems she was unofficially engaged for some time before that.
SternGrad wrote a post no so long ago regarding her belief that she will recognize the person who is THE ONE when she goes out with him. She remarked, “Maybe I'm crazy, but I have this idea stuck in my head that when I meet the right person, I'm just going to *know.*”
Well, I can say from experience, that I didn’t *know* right away.
Yes, dear readers, you read that correctly. I did not *know* right away.
In other words, I am “off the market” and am engaged to the most wonderful, lovely, beautiful, young lady.
Please insert “Mazal Tov” here à_________
Caveat: This is going to ramble a bit, meandering here and there, but I hope it’ll keep the readers’ interest all the same. I figure some people caught on with the title of the last story – and yes, that was the first title that popped into my head when I wrote it the week after I got engaged, though the actual events don’t resemble the story one iota (except that I also have glasses).
Words cannot do justice to the feelings of what it means to be engaged and know you’ve found the right person. Everyone wants to you to tell them: how did you know, when did you know, how can I know? I don’t think I can simply write on behalf of all engaged folks out there, because the experience is largely individualistic.
For the record, the future Mrs. Grey (who happens to be quite fond of the color as well, coincidentally) knew long before I even suspected she might be the one. Chalk up another point that women (or at least one person in the relationship) know sooner than men where the relationship will finally end up.
We dated for several months, and discussed the possibility of getting engaged about midway in a very relaxed fashion. I will admit that I was initially in favor of delaying engagement until much later, trying to fit into a generic year-long process of dating plus engagement before marriage – I eventually came around to her point of view J So, while I am still very much in favor of dating longer before seriously considering getting engaged, I firmly believe that the time frame can vary from person to person.
A good friend of ours got engaged before we did, and then broke the engagement, primarily because they dated for too short of a time (a few weeks), got too excited about the idea of being engaged, and then spent the next several months trying to make something work that was never meant to be, with all the doubts, bouts of anxiety, and conflict that goes along with trying to patch up leaks on a sinking ship.
After having seen that engagement ended, as long as a few others involving people I know, my best piece of unqualified advice regarding knowing when to get engaged is: date long enough until you both are sure you could live with this person for the rest of your life. There is no reason to rush, no matter who, or what, is putting pressure on you, be it your mother, rebbe, shadchan, or biological clock. No one has the right to make this ultimate and hopefully permanent, lifelong decision for you, so assert your independence and make a decision with a clear mind after much consideration. Better to end a relationship or break an engagement than get divorced, especially if you’re the type of person that wants to have kids right away, because then you’ll be creating lasting damage for your offspring.
I apologize in advance, but I’m not going to elaborate on the proposal itself, other than to say it was well thought out, planned, and executed – and she had no clue it was coming when I popped the question. She knew a proposal might be inevitable at some point in the near future, but she had zero expectation that it would happen when it did. Yes, it was romantic, and she still gushes about all the effort I went through to make sure the plan came together as successfully as it did.
The reason I don’t want to talk about proposal details is to continue to preserve my anonymity. As soon as I start discussing all the insider’s info, people are going to start searching Only Simchas to find us (if we even happen to be there in the first place) or will have heard about the proposal story from either myself, my lovely fiancée, or one of our friends, and thus the cat will be out of the bag, out the window, down the street, and on the bus to Albuquerque with my lucky, lucky autographed glow-in-the-dark snorkel, never to be seen again.
If anyone got that last reference without Google, you get triple bonus points.
How long have we been engaged, well, that’s also a secret. I know some people suspect they know who I might be, so I’m not giving them any clues to figuring it out. You may notice a slacking off a posting in July and August, but that’s primarily because I ran out of pre-written posts that I had set on auto-upload, in addition to finishing up some remaining school work.
For those who are curious, the future Mrs. Grey has known about this blog for some time, well before we got engaged. She became quite the avid reader, and has spent a lot of her bored-in-class-time perusing all the archived posts. It’s been harder for her not to tell her friend(s) who have noticed her reading the blog and began reading on their own, that she knows who I am. Also, she doesn’t write comments, so no use thinking that that might be a clue as to who she might be. Yes, it was a little nerve-wracking telling her about the blog’s existence, especially since she knows one or two of my previous dates who inspired posts, and she has inspired a post or two herself. None of them were in any sort of negative light, but I was a little afraid (for no reason) to reveal this other side about me. I actually shared several of my stories with her before I told her about the blog. She really enjoyed them, so I figured it was time and she might get a kick out of the regular posts as well (which she did).
The wedding isn’t tomorrow, but it isn’t too far off into the future either. Plans have been coming along, and we’ve basically covered all the major areas, such as booking a hall, caterer, band, florist, photographer/videographer, had invitations printed, and found a hotel for the out of town guests. Some relatives/family friends have even already started booking their plane tickets. I’m surprised at how fast the process has gone along, even with the little bumps here and there. We have her dress, my suit, and even our fully furnished apartment on the YU side of The Heights (there will be a post about that process, trust me), which I will occupy by my lonesome until after the wedding.
As a side point, I don't know why, but the idea of being called a chosson at this point irks me. Simply because I'm not really a chosson yet, by any technical understanding, and certainly not by any halachic understanding. I firmly hold by the titles fiancé (for a man) and fiancée (for a woman) - bet you didn't know there were two different spellings, did ya? The future Mrs. Grey and I are engaged to be wed, but not actually married, so I won't refer to her as my kallah intentionally. I know, this sounds horribly nitpicky, but that's just how my mind works...Anyway… I’ve hesitated in “announcing” the good news for a number of reasons. Primarily, I’m a little worried, perhaps unnecessarily, that people won’t find the blog interesting once I’ve run out of dating/shidduchim topics to write about. True, I still have several in-progress posts that have been aging for a bit, but at some point there just won’t be any inspiration for more dating-related posts. Sure, I can write about being engaged and all the zany things that has brought into my life (and I will write those posts), but that will segue into being married posts… and then I lose the vast majority of my readers. What still-struggling single person, guy or girl, wants to hear a married person’s insights into their daily routine?
Maybe I’m just full of myself and/or overly anxious and think that people only read this thing for my quirky insights into dating.
So where does that leave me, and this blog? I’m still here, not planning on going anywhere. The future Mrs. Grey loves reading my writing, so I have no intention of stopping. I personally enjoy this creative outlet a lot. Regardless of what happens with how the regular posts end up, I know I’ll still keep writing stories – especially those about dating – and I have a good handful of them still in various draft stages. I really like a few of them, so I look forward to posting each one in due time.
So… yup, I’m engaged. Who’da thunk that after less than a year of writing posts and stories about dating (and a few other topics) I’d have reached the end of one journey and find myself on the cusp of another? I certainly didn’t. Not that I have ever believed I’d reach the level of fame of Bad4 (and I know I never will), or even be linked on her blog (thanks again, by the way), but I had no real hopes for even achieving the level of interest that I’ve generated.
I hope to continue to keep y’all entertained and thinking with my future posts and stories. I know I always learn something when I start putting my thoughts into writing, so at least I can continue to compose thought-provoking posts, even if just for myself. If the readers aim to continue onward,
I’ll we’ll be glad to have everyone on board.
I truly hope that everyone reading this who is still single will soon know the immense menuchas hanefesh of finding the right person, each in his/her proper time. Amen, ken yehi ratzon!