I knew she was the one when I realized that anything I played would be better with her involved. This was easily extended so that I knew anything (game or not) I did would be better with her involved. I've been proven correct so far :)
Aside: it's fun to tell people I met my wife in a dungeon, with a pause before I say "in a video game".
Edit to expand: We had our 7th anniversary in October and we were together a while before getting hitched. To answer your question, relationships take a combination of effort and initial chemistry. My wife and I had shared interests from the start which helped build a foundation to handle life's trials as we grew up together.
After that day I kept thinking about her, but the thought of her being interested in me seemed too far-fetched. Then out of the blue her friend says that, my now wife, asked her to pass her number to me. The rest is history. We've been married two years now and have a daughter together.
The hard work of the relationship is in being your natural selves, in maintaining open communication with your partner and yourself. You have to know what you want and communicate it to your partner and you should encourage your partner to do the same. It's very easy to build resentment and bottle those feelings up. That said, remember that beyond being the best partner you can be, you are not responsible for your partner's happiness.
Some pessimistic advice for the other readers who maybe aren't that far down the path of commitment:
- Don't get married if you are the type who always needs something better. I hope this is self-explanatory.
- The same if you can't find contentment/happiness in yourself. Another person can't give you that.
- Don't have children to save a marriage.
How did I know? Because everyone else I dated, I'd be talking to, and suddenly I'd realize that I had no idea what planet her brain was on. I just couldn't understand where she was coming from, at all. With my wife, sometimes she'd have to explain, but the explanation always showed that she was coming from somewhere I could understand.
Also, as we got closer to each other, I never hit a wall. There was never a line inside her mind or heart that I wasn't allowed to cross, to see what was behind it. She never kept a private version of her that I was excluded from. (I'm not talking physically here, I'm talking about her mind and her heart.)
> Half of me thinks that you have to work hard and be diligent to make it work, and the other half thinks it's just a matter of good interaction between your natural selves.
It's kind of both.
It better be "good interaction between your natural selves". Do you want it to be hard work? For the next 50 years? It has to be OK for you to be your natural self. You can't maintain anything else for the long term.
And yet, you do have to work at it. If you put zero effort into it, well... if you pay for nothing, nothing is what you're going to get. I found in my own marriage that, every year to year and a half, we realized that we weren't as close as we used to be, and we made a deliberate effort to rebuild. But feeling like we're still in the honeymoon phase after 20 years was worth it, definitely.
I was living on Tonsai for the winter rock climbing season. She came out to do the same about a month after me, arriving on New Years day. I struck up a conversation and we sat on a log and watched the sunset.
A couple months later, I abandoned my idea of working North through China and instead followed her to Australia where we bought a cheap van and spent another month or so surfing. Eventually I followed her home and we've been together ever since.
Every New Years, we make a point of ending up on a West-facing beach to watch the sunset together.
On the 10th anniversary of meeting, we flew ourselves, our kids, and as many of our friends as we could convince back to that same beach and got married as the sun set.
A bit sappy, I know. But feel free to appropriate it if you and your spouse ever need a better story.
What works? I guess it's different for everyone. If I was giving advice I'd say look above all for genuine loving kindness and compassion - that will take things a long way. Way above looks, money, and it pretty much trumps everything else. Look for someone who is not quick to anger and forgives easily. Looks for common interests - even if they sound a bit silly: bird-watching, love of nature, love of diving, a nice walk together, the same TV shows.
Traits to avoid: neurotic, OCD, control freak, passive-agressive, sulker, fails to compromise or meet you half way on anything, lazy.
Pro tip: live together before you get married. People are good at hiding who they really are. Live together and the facade falls pretty quickly.
p.s. there is always some compromise.
p.p.s. Your belief that if you just "do the right thing" it will work out come what may will probably lead to disappointment - it always takes two to tango.
I was an f/a-18 flight instructor at the time out of Miramar, and coincidentally, the scheduling officer. I found a student who needed a cross country training mission, and requisitioned a jet for the weekend to complete the students training...and also meet this girl.
Thing was, our jets were always broken, so they rarely let us take them more than one leg away from home base. Austin was two legs.
I went into my executive officer and told him my plan...then mentioned I’d be meeting a former Miss Texas. He instantly signed off.
So, in many ways, I have all of you fine tax paying citizens to thank for meeting my future wife.
When I arrived in Austin, we had a (normal) oil leak which got all over my flight suit, so I smelled terrible. Fortunately it didn’t phase my future wife as she met us on the tarmac.
We dated for 4 months, then we’re married 4 months after that. We’ve been together 5+ years and have 2 kids now.
We were in college and she posted on USENET making a reference to the Foundation series. It was obvious.
I got a 3 hour IM chat out of that. Which led to a date. Which led to more dates. Which led to me seeing a For Rent sign across the street from her place, and me fleeing the house I had occupied with my ex. Which led to a lot of impromptu interaction. Making dinner together and sharing plans helped us see what living together could be like. Which led to asking her to go to The Star Trek Experience in Vegas. Which led to the conception of our daughter. When our daughter was 3, I felt our relationship would stand the test of time, and asked her to marry me.
She said I was the only guy to contact her twice.
The ways I knew: she is brilliant, funny, agrees with me just enough to make things smooth, disagrees with me just enough to make things challenging and interesting (and inducing growth for both of us), ahem, great sex. But now after 9 years, it’s just every few days to a week, something happens between us that affirms our match is a great one, and we are lucky to have found each other.
Edit: prior to meeting her, the dozens of women I dated helped me see what I wanted, what I didn’t want, what I could put up with. And most importantly, what I was bringing to the table.
If you're serious, an Engagement Encounter weekend could be a huge help. These are intense retreats formatted for 1:1 conversations, couples are coached/counseled to discuss and explore a ton of life topics. The retreat my fiancé (now wife of 14 years) and I attended was sponsored by the Catholic Church. (By the way, they welcomed individuals of all faith traditions and weren't overly preachy.) It's rare anymore that people have the time & space to really talk and share deeply. Can't recommend enough, especially if you have doubts. Many couples I know shared similar experience. > http://www.engagedencounter.org/
for all the single guys out there, looking for a GF, here's the strategy. Write a script to copy and paste an intro paragraph and message (make sure to customize it to the profile) every girl you can possibly find, that meets your requirements. It's just a numbers game, the more you play the lottery, the greater the chance of winning. And you only need to win once, for it all to work out. Of course, these days, I expect, there's a lot more captcha's and robo detection mitigation to overcome - I mean it's preferable to bar hopping. But, I bet with some machine learning, you could optimize your response rate.
I know that sounds hopelessly low, but, as Paul graham says, in beginning, you gotta do things that don't scale.
First, there needs to be a system where all single people who are looking for a real relationship (not a hookup) are on it. The system needs to know the top 5 traits a potential partner should have, as well as when you're likely to be free. Then the system automates the rest and sends you, via text, out for a coffee/drink. The rest is up to how you jive together and it may or may not lead to something more.
There'd have to be some ML involved to capture the physical attributes you would prefer in a partner so that you never meet someone you're likely to be unattracted to (depending on how much looks matter to you), but the general idea is to have a enormous localized userbase, and pretty much automate the rest. No more slogging.
Honestly, he took my breath away at first sight. And then we hit it off by talking about how to make an incredibly harsh encounter for our mutual friend. Eventually, I invited him out for a group happy hour, then to the after party at my place, then dragged him into my bedroom (to which he replied with "Yes, ma'am").
A lot of hard work went into the relationship. We've been through job loss, a disability diagnosis, moving cross-country, and money problems. But through it, there's no one else I would rather have with me. He's the kindest person I've ever met.
The biggest thing is we both had a good handle on ourselves emotionally first. We both take a lot of time to figure ourselves out, then we're honest and we trust each other. We trust that when we say something awful, it was miscommunication, and we need to talk more not less.
Going on five years, and we're consistently complimented on the strength of our relationship by friends and relatives. It's awesome. 10/10, worth the time investment
How did I know? I have a farting problem at times, and I crop dusted a store we were in, then she did the same thing. We laughed and laughed.
>how did you know?
I genuinely enjoyed being around her and when I wasn't with her I would think about her and smile. After 3 months of dating we ended up going on a 5 day cruise together and things went smashing. We enjoyed each other's company and had a blast together. There wasn't one second that I wished that I wasn't there with her. After that, I knew for sure that she was the person I was going to marry.
>Half of me thinks that you have to work hard and be diligent to make it work, and the other half thinks it's just a matter of good interaction between your natural selves.
There is work involved. It gets too easy to start taking your spouse for granted. Just small things like planning a spontaneous date night or some other surprise can go a long way but that takes effort.
She took the obligatory programming classes in college but ended up with a degree in Phycology. Didn't do much with it, ended up being an office manager for a decade or so. Went back to school to be a Dental Hygienist and has been doing that for about 2 years now. Top of her class both times.
We bicker all the time; you couldn't find 2 more different people but I'm not sure I could ever be with someone else :)
My best friend (and co-worker) and his wife did a regular event every Friday night at their favorite sushi place. I was invited one time and decided I needed a break from work, and so I agreed.
At the event, the woman who would ultimately become my wife was at the other end of the table, and I over heard her talking about an upcoming trip she was going to be taking with some friends to see the famous Frank Lloyd Wright “Fallingwater” house. FLW has always been my favorite architect, so that caught my attention and we talked quite a while. I later discovered that she was the only woman I have ever met who had also read “The Silmarillion”, by Tolkien.
Many things have happened since, but it wasn’t long before I realized that everything was better when we were together.
Almost twenty years now. Wow! I can hardly believe it!
I filtered it down to girls who come from my state, doing an engineering degree, who were the cheapest to SMS.
I planned to send multiple "Happy Holidays!" SMSes to those girls. But the Telco lines locked up because apparently everyone else sends SMSes during the eve of a holiday too.
So I only got one SMS out. It was to a girl whose name started with A, in the civil engineering faculty (which was course A).
I like the tough girls. She was practically an orphan, never backs down on her opinion, a sweet girl who could handle all the cursing and swearing of a 95% male construction site.
We have a mutual friend who announced he was leaving his company via IG. Saw her profile thanks to his post, but it was private. Did a follow request and went to tennis. After, I had a private message from her which led to back and forth conversation. She is a beautiful entrepreneur. Knowing this was a limited window where A) she was single and B) I have her interest I suggested we go on a walk that night. We did and within 24 hours knew we were dating and that this is it.
I knew because it just felt obvious. Can't really say it any other way.
Married 7 years next spring. I'd say through everything, the most important thing is, no matter how unpleasant it gets, keep communicating. Like someone else said, don't bottle things up and let resentment grow. Talk it out. Text it out, whatever it takes.
And yes, you have to put energy into making it work. You were after all two completely separate people for decades, whose lives have now merged in the most intimate way.
We started talking in 2007 and we've been married for seven great years, with a one and a half year old daughter who keeps us on our toes.
Six years later, two years married, we're still happily giving each other shit.
We were developers together at a previous job.
As fate would have it, I got her pizza by mistake from the waitress, so I brought it over, sat down and we started talking. I was two hours late getting back to work. 16 years later, we’re still jabbering.
We've been together for almost eight years now, and still play WoW almost every day. The biggest "mind blow" to me is how different our lives would have been if her group hadn't been looking for a healer at that exact moment.
Edir: as for how I "knew", I guess it just sort of became obvious. Whenever I wasn't playing WoW with her I would be thinking "I can't wait to log in and tell Laura about my day", or "I wonder why Laura isn't online right now, things aren't as fun without her". I couldn't stop thinking about her, first as a friend and then as something more.
(The following year, they changed the name to keyboarding. My pet dinosaur attended the elopement.)
* Ex spouse, technically.
Some people tell us we're "lucky" to have met offline, but I really think that's a pretty antiquated view and wouldn't have cared one photon if we'd met on a dating app.
Been together about 5 years. Only thing that enhances the quality of our relationship is measured honesty.
We have been married 20 years and we have three awesome kids. Best prank ever.
We married in 2015 and we have a kid on the way :)
We went out as a part of a group to the pub. She insulted me a lot then put her foot through a wall. What’s not to love?
Still together 30 years on.
Wouldn’t say it’s hard work. Thinking about it, there’s an old English expression “the other ‘alf” Pretty much sums it up to be honest.
I had just got back from volunteering (teaching English to Ethiopians) in Israel. I moved home to live with my mom temporarily. I was jobless, no money, and with a bachelors in Psychology.
I applied across the boards of Craigslist. No one really replied. I figured, I taught myself programming when I was younger, why not try for a programming job? A hit! I went in for my interview and I got hired to fix autobody collision software in Visual Basic 6.0. I did not have a car at the time, so I had asked the secretary if I could use her phone to call my brother.
Little did I know.. that woman fell in love with me as soon as I asked that question. Days later, getting to know everything, I would come see her because I thought she was nice and she had a laugh that always got to me. Loved that laugh. Once, I touched her hand, as I did when I was flirting, asking, "my hands are cold, can you warm them up?" She put them in her lap and said, "Delighted to warm your hands up." I really didn't even intend for anything more other than flirting, because you know, staring at a computer screen for 8 hours a day is not the most exciting thing in the world.. so flirting with a girl for a few minutes seemed like a fun alternative and a break from coding.
Anyways time went on... 3 months and a small raise, during all this time, she would come over and see how I was, ask me questions like what I was doing after work, and my thick head never even picked up the hints. Of course, she was a bit older than me, smoked, had kids, tattoos, and was not really on my radar or what I would have considered my type.
So my birthday comes.. she asks me, "What are you doing tonight?" I said to her, "Going to hang out with all the friends I don't have.. would you like to come?" She said she would love to. So sure enough, I went to the bar, none of my friends showed up (because I didn't have any), but she was there. I bought her a drink, she bought me a drink. We ended up having things in common. She admitted to me that she has had a crush on me ever since I walked in that first day and asked if I could use her phone. We kissed and the rest is history.
She later admitted two things to me: Had I not put my hand on hers "to warm up", she had taken those as hints that I was into her, though for me, I was just flirting. And the kiss on our first date... solidified her feelings for me.
And other than a small breakup for about 3 months, we got back together and have been together ever since, going on 7 years and to date - married on November 11, 2017 -- today is November 30, 2017.
As for her smoking.. while I told her to not quit for me, I explained to her that if she continued smoking, that it probably wasn't going to work out between us because it wasn't something I wanted to live with, so she ended up quitting smoking. Yeah.. some may call me an asshole for that, because I wasn't "letting her be herself", but she didn't have to quit, either, and we would have just gone our separate ways.
As for what happened about getting our second job together -- long story short -- first job: boss was harassing her, and putting me down. He had absolutely no knowledge we were dating. I applied to help her get another job and I applied for myself.. and we both got two separate jobs. I really wanted her job and she really wanted mine. Her job was looking for two people to hire (her being one). She mentioned to her new boss who I was and my skillset... after several weeks of searching, they couldn't find anyone willing to work those hours or with the skillset I had acquired from my former job, so they hired me, and I worked two jobs (16 hour days -- 8 AM to 2 AM) for almost 2 years, before the job I had originally gotten failed and laid me off.... so we've been working together pretty much nonstop since we met.
I mean, if you asked me a decade ago.. I literally had given up on love and no longer paid attention to it, hence why it took her 3 or 4 months to get my full attention. I was devastated when the girl of my dreams didn't reciprocate so I had truly given up and was preparing a life of solitude, and surely, I didn't mind myself: I'm my best friend. But I was just used to the games most girls played with me... and I assumed she was no different. Once I had given up on love is when love found me, I suppose. Workplace romance and love is not easy -- what if it didn't work out? What if.... you never know, really. But the opportunity for the spark to happen can happen anywhere. Sure, I may have not gotten the girl of my dreams, but I do feel as if I am now married to the woman of my dreams.