Our Love Story: Be My Valentine. Forever

Part One | Part Two |Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six

By Christmas of our first year of college, John had moved back home and I had moved out of the dorms and found an apartment with a friend.  We were both working, both going to school, and we now lived 45 minutes apart. By February the crazy schedule was really getting old.  We’d been together more than a year now, and basically we wanted to spend all our free time together.

My roomie was getting used to John hanging out with us til rather late most evenings.  But no matter how late he hung out to chat, it was always painful to say goodbye.  Finally on Valentine’s Day John asked me to marry him.  We weren’t entirely sure about the date.  (Maybe August?) But it felt right to be planning a future than would put an end to the goodbyes at the end of every day.

A few days later we went to tell our folks.   Mine were delighted.  Their congratulations couldn’t have  been more sincere, despite the fact that we were only 18 and 19 years old.

But John’s folks….

They welcomed us in with smiles, but when they heard our news, there came a gravity across their faces that drained the ebullience right out of me.

I remember sitting at their kitchen table, seeing the concern on their faces. Their words were kind and careful.  They reassured us that they liked me, and I believed them.  But they just didn’t see how we would be able to get through school if we got married so soon.

We told them we were thinking of August.  They thought we were making it unnecessarily hard on ourselves by rushing into this.   Why not wait until the following June?   Or if we were really anxious to get married, even Christmas?

Ten months til Christmas felt like an eternity.  But we agreed to think about it.


  1. Oh man. What a hard place to have been in! When I announced our engagement to my mom and our plans to marry 8 months later (right after I graduated college) my mom tried hard to convince us to wait a year after graduation to marry. I think she just didn’t want to give up her youngest to marriage. We didn’t wait. She has gotten over it. 🙂

  2. I am really curious to hear how this story turns out! I mean beyond the obvious of you two getting together. My husband and I were the same ages at engagement- and we had just done an entire school year of long distance (4 hours across 2 mountain passess). Luckily, our parents were supportive (though I’m not quite sure that would have changed anything ;)) and we got married 6 months later.

  3. Oh, the cliffhangers!!
    Love this story!

  4. what a great story! i’ve really enjoyed reading it.

  5. Our situation was similar, except that Ben’s parents were happy and my mother was FURIOUS. Not fun. :o(

  6. Wow, Mary, I get a lump in my throat when I read this. I’m SO happy to know how it turned out! [:-)
    Love, Rachel

  7. Parents are funny. Even though I was 25 and my intended was 29, his parents STILL wanted us to wait longer than we did from engagement to wedding.

  8. Were either of you getting financial support from your parents? Somehow I’ve always taken for granted that the reason people shouldn’t/can’t afford to get married in college is that they’re not self-supporting yet. And I guess on one level it makes sense to link marriage to the ability to support oneself and a family. But on the other hand it seems absurd for parents to say, “I’ll pay your tuition and put some money towards your residence costs, but only on the condition that you remain unmarried…”

  9. Bea, John was living at home, but paying for his own college and vehicle expenses. I was paying all my own bills. The ironic thing was that after we got married John was eligible for all sorts of financial aid that he couldn’t get living while at home, even though his parents had not been paying for his schooling!


  10. How did he propose? I love hearing about proposals.

  11. Mary,

    I haven’t told you enough that I really love hearing your story. I’m a sucker for happy endings…