I Married My High School Sweetheart
Absolutely everyone asks the same question when they hear that we are high school sweethearts. It is termed in different ways but it is really the same question: Did you stay together the whole time? Did you ever break up? The more bold just come out and ask: “Have you ever been with anyone else?”
And let me just say (on behalf of all high school sweethearts everywhere), it’s none of your business. But rest assured that I am at peace with my past, and therefore, you should be too.
I have other friends who married their high school boyfriends and we often joke around about people’s reactions. First off, they are concerned with our sexual health, then they might think it’s a religious thing, and usually people have this treacly, white picket fence fantasy about our relationship. Truth is, those of us who stayed together through the teen years and young adulthood did so for many different reasons. My friend Rosemary and I can list off many things that kept us with our respective partners, but she sums it up by saying “we are just more neurotic than the rest of you.”
I don’t think anybody who has been in a long-term relationship sees it as a static thing. Just like most marriages, our relationship has ebbed and flowed and changed as we have changed; it hasn't always been easy and sometimes it still feels new.
The boy I started dating is part of the man I am now married to but he is also much more than that. I must have sensed the qualities in him then that make him such a wonderful partner. His stability (he was always the designated driver), intelligence, mischievousness and his incredible ability to make everything around him make sense.
This weekend we celebrated our 25th year together (celebrated might be overstating it, given that we have three kids and I was sick in bed all weekend). We always note November 7 as a special day as it was on November 7, 1984 when I said to him “Aren’t you going to ask me out?”. I believe second base was at stake, so the answer was a hurried: “Umm ok, do you want to go out?” And that was that, we were boyfriend and girlfriend. We made out at the lockers and in the student council room and we generally made everyone sick to their stomachs.
We went to dances together and Time After Time was "our song", and yes, quell your nausea, it was the first dance at our wedding, but it was a cool Jazz version, really it was.
My biggest fear isn't for us, but for our kids. In no way do I think that how we did it, is normal or nescessarily advisable. And I don't want them to feel pressure to meet their life partner in high school. Grad school, maybe.