5 years ago today, I made the most momentous decisions of my young life by choosing to get married to Gibran Garcia. On June 15th, 2007, Gibran and I had known each other a mere 16 months and had been together officially for less than a year. I had been 20 years old for 6 weeks, and Gibran was (a young) 25. Marriage had come up for us so quickly because while we knew we wanted to be together and give our relationship a true go, yet being from separate countries/being at different stages in life meant that any type of relationship that wasn’t long distance would be difficult without a government-sanctioned commitment. So, after weighing the pros and cons of such a huge step, we decided to give it a shot.
For many years I didn’t want to tell anyone about it. I was young and still cared enough about what other people thought of me. Also, I didn’t want our marriage to be discredited by the things that people might say or think. Naturally, there were many that did say and think that we were making an extremely foolish and hasty decision. Even ones who didn’t say so outright have told me in the years since that they were extremely surprised and expected a swift demise of our marriage. In essence, most people were guardedly supportive and privately pessimistic. My mom was a good old sport through the entire process, telling me maybe getting one young and holding on to him was actually a good idea, and she turned out to be right.
With 5 years of marriage under my belt, (more than the most celebrity marriages, I might add), I do see how crazy and misguided it must have seemed to others. Especially when I encounter 20-year-olds. I think, dear lord, how did I, at such a tender age, make such a humungous decision? But you see, at the time it seemed like the logical step. I knew it would happen eventually, because I was that confident that we were completely right for one another. How was I that confident? I have no idea, but my opinion on the matter hasn’t changed since.
Making “Unromantic” The New “Romantic” Since 2006
Sometimes when we tell people our story, I realize from the looks on their faces that ours was a very unconventional and perhaps unromantic beginning. Gibran and I have our own brand of romance that isn’t the Western version of “normal” with flowers and jewelry and such, (we gift the other surfboards and heavy duty backpacks). We don’t really do “fancy dinner and movie” nights… instead we pack up the truck and drive down to Central America, etc. But that’s what works for us. In the end, isn’t that what it’s all about? Finding someone who values the same things that you do, someone who is same brand of weird. It brings to mind that quote by Dr. Seuss about love.
How We Are Making It Work
I have no flipping idea how we have made it this long (1/5 of my lifetime so far), or how it still appears like we are in for the long haul. Being two very stubborn individuals, we do butt heads frequently, and I would be lying if I said that things are perfect between us. We can be that *odious* couple that argues and bickers through a meal with friends. Sometimes he angers me to the point where I want to smack him, (and truthfully, sometimes I do). However, we are a very good match and we are still committed to being together. We help one another out in so many more ways than we hinder one another.
“Useful Tips” From A Pair Of (Apparent) Pros
I definitely don’t have the secrets to a successful marriage, however, here are some things that seem to worked for us:
- We both make compromises, even though we’re both stubborn, strong-willed, and always wanting to be right/win
- We give one another space to grow as individuals (this is important, especially for younger couples)
- We forgive each other’s faults, of which we both have many (and I mean many)
- We have a more dynamic than just husband-and-wife relationship; we are best friends
I’ve Coined A New Term For What Gibran Is To Me: “The One”
I always thought that it was super corny when people said that when they found their “The One” they just knew. And I’m sure it doesn’t work like that for everyone, but the trick is to be open to life if it does indeed come knocking in such a way.
I realize how lucky Gibran and I are to have found each other. We would both survive and perhaps even thrive in this crazy world if we weren’t together, but it makes the ride so much more enjoyable because we are.