My boyfriend (now fiancé) Chris and I are engaged! [insert all the heart eye emojis]
Actually, we’ve been engaged since April, but we’ve slowly told family and friends in person and over the phone and enjoyed keeping it on the down low for a little while. We’ve loved this past couple months of slowly sharing the news and finally thought it was time to tell my internet homies the good news!
Real talk – if you told me 3 years ago that I’d be engaged by 25, I’d have thought you had me confused with someone else. I’ve never been much of a romantic. I’ve always been way more focused on my career and personal growth. I’ve also known for a while that I’m not interested in having kids, which means I wasn’t in any rush to get hitched.
I guess the universe has a funny way of surprising you when you really do least expect it. When I moved back to Nantucket I met Chris and my life changed in the best way.
How We Met
I first remember seeing Chris on the slow boat going from Nantucket to Cape Cod in December of 2015. He teaches at the school so my mom, who’s also a teacher at the middle school started chatting with him. It was late so I stayed in my little bench and watched as this cute guy was chatting with my mom about school vacation.
Our paths crossed again at Handlebar Cafe. Chris always came in during my closing shift on Monday before he had hockey. I was always excited yet slightly annoyed because this cute guy came in, was really easy to talk to, yet totally got in the way of my closing routine.
This went on for a couple months, until finally one of our mutual friends was having a going away party one night. He came with his best friend visiting from Boston. The whole night we chatted and just clicked. He asked me out and that weekend we went for a walk with my family’s dog. We’ve been pretty inseparable since.
How I Knew Chris Was My Person
In the past I’d always have my guard up, but with Chris everything felt different. There were zero games. He was someone I craved spending time with, who didn’t drain my batteries (extremely rare). We just had so much fun together. I truly felt like my goofy, flawed, soulful self around him. My guard was down. I fell for him hard.
Chris is extremely intuitive and can read people really well. It’s one of the (many many many) things I really love about him. I think we both knew quickly (like scary quickly) we could build a life together.
I made some stupid mistakes in the beginning, the kind that in the past might have me throw in the towel. This relationship was just different in a way I can’t explain. Even on tough days, I know we’re always on the same team. I stopped caring about being right all the time. I don’t need the last word anymore. After every bump in the road I know we’re just getting stronger together.
I used to be afraid of relationships. I was so afraid of being co-dependent that I thought I had to be aggressively independent (i.e. trust no one, let no one in). Being with Chris has taught me I can still be 100% me and at the same time grow with and alongside someone else. I know I’ve changed so much for the better. I’m becoming a more honest, direct, caring, thoughtful, loving, forgiving, open, compassionate version of myself through this relationship.
So as you know, in January I left for England for three months. Obviously this was really tough for both of us in different ways. I definitely don’t think every couple needs to experience long distance, I definitely don’t want to have to do it again. However, I always believe you can learn something from every difficult situation. I learned so much about communication, about trust and patience. Most of all I learned that finding a home is more of a feeling than anything else. Being with Chris feels like home.
The day after I arrived back in the states we driving through the cemetery (which happened to be where Chris first told me he loved me.) He stops the car and pulls something from the back seat. It’s a ring.
I was shocked and excited and nervous and overjoyed and surprised yet not surprised all at the same time. Fuck yes.
The ring is this beautiful aquamarine. I love it. When Chris had hypothetically asked what I would want in a ring I had told him that I wanted to be surprised. I wanted it to be something he chose. I have zero judgment for anyone who has a vision for their engagement ring. For me, I wanted it to be something that represented what made my partner think of me. Also Chris has nailed it in the jewelry department quite a few times so I had total trust.
My Thoughts on Being Engaged
Being engaged feels a lot like the rest of our relationship: Wonderful, growth filled, hard work, extremely rewarding and filled with lots of hugs, laughs, inside jokes and weird noises.
It’s strange because so few of my friends around my age are engaged or married. We didn’t have any hoopla. We didn’t want to follow any rules or rituals because we’re both stubborn that way.
Part of the many things that perplex me about weddings are all the rules and rituals. In general I hate rules, so I liked keeping our engagement a secret for a little while. It felt fun and special. When it came time to tell people I was a little nervous. I had no idea how people would react. Low and behold people love hearing about engagements so the whole telling people thing has been a blast. My family loves Chris almost as much as I do. I mean for obvious reasons. He’s fun and personable and just gets most people without being in your face. One of my favorite moments was my step dad’s reaction. I could see how genuinely happy he was for us and how happy he was to have Chris in our family.
Our (low key) Plans for a Wedding
For a long time we were planning on eloping. We’re both super apathetic about weddings. I’ve been to a handful and they’re really lovely, just not my thing. I’m not particularly religious nor did I ever dream of having any kind of fancy wedding. In fact, I never really thought about marriage until I met Chris.
When I think about weddings (for me) all I can imagine is stress and event planning. Two things I hate. All for an event that just you know, isn’t something I’m super excited about. I’m over the moon excited about being Chris’s wife, having a ballin’ wedding? Not so much. The whole thing sounds super complicated, expensive, stress inducing, when let’s be honest, we’re all just there for the dancing.
Anywhoo when I told my sister about my idea for getting eloped she was kindly not having it. Which got me thinking, maybe we can do something real small (like less than 15 people small) just to make sure our immediate family is involved. Then after have a big dance party in someone’s yard that all our friends can join.
We decided we’re gonna get hitched in the back of Handlebar Cafe, the coffee shop where we met. There’s this super cute secret garden. It’s also tiny which is perfect for our ‘lil wedding crowd.
That’s about as much detail as I’ve thought about. For now we’re just enjoying building our life together. I think Chris is the fucking best. When I think about our future I can feel it’s going to be full of love, growth, support, hugs, laughs and adventures.
My friend who’s a super talented photographer on island took our photos. She’s amazing, you can check out more of her work here: https://emilymentes.myportfolio.com/about
She also happens to be the only other engaged 25 year old I know right now.