It happened at 3 months. Yes, you read that correctly. 3 months. What you are about to read is actually pretty indicative of our engagement, so store it away in your memory for a later time.
Everything was going great. Jon and I made a better couple than was imaginable. We spent our days pretending that we were friends and roommates in the office and then we spent the evenings together, cuddled up on the couch with a good movie. We loved nothing more than being with one another. Between work, home, and going out, we were spending almost every minute of every day together. You can see how this sped things up in our relationship a bit. We said "I love you" almost a month into the relationship (if not sooner - it's hard to remember now, it all happened so fast).
At this point of my career I was also traveling a lot. The trips were usually a plane trip away, and I often returned home in the middle of the night.
One of these trips was to Chicago on our 3 months anniversary. I was due home around midnight and Jon promised to wait up for me. When I got home, the lights were out and the candles lit. I walked in excited and approached my bedroom. He had laid out a gift for me on the bed and when I saw it, I almost bolted for the door. It was a ring box.
My heart sped up and my thoughts were all over the place. I started counting the months we'd been together in case I was missing a good 10 of them or something. I must have looked like I was having a panic attack because Jon immediately put his hands up in protest.
"It's not what you think!"
Ok, now I was a little confused. He laughed and told me to just open it.
Inside was the most beautiful ring I've seen with a small little square diamond in the middle. I couldn't decide what I thought about this; I mean, he did say it's not what I think but at the same time I was holding a small, but nevertheless, diamond ring. I stared at him, trying hard not to look like I had no idea what he was trying to do to me.
Jon explained that it was a promise ring because he knew that our relationship was more than just a passing moment in our lives. He and I both knew it was too soon to get engaged (we were 22 and had been together for 3 months!) but he wanted to show me that he thought this was the real thing. This was his way of taking the relationship to the next level without any rush decisions on marriage. I understood. And for the first time in my life, I agreed. I knew this guy was "it". But, like Jon, I agreed that it was too soon. I happily accepted and put on my new promise ring.
This was a very big deal for me. I was, prior to Jon, a huge commitment phobe (self-diagnosed). I mentioned before that my relationships never lasted more than a year. It was like a sub-concious game - I would get the guy to commit and then I would start thinking of reasons that I should get out of the relationship. As soon as I knew that he was into me, I would lose interest. One time a guy told me that it would be cool if we moved in together the following semester. He was one roommate short in his house and we would have separate bedrooms so it wasn't that big of a deal. I laughed it off and pretended that I would consider it, but ended up having nightmares for 2 weeks. Thankfully, he ended up finding different living arrangements and I didn't have to find a way out of the commitment by chewing my arm off or something drastic, but you get the point. Jon's promise ring should have made me panic and break out in sweat. But it didn't. Hey, we were already living together - how bad could it be? There were no major steps taken here - it was just a way to commit to one another beyond the teenage boyfriend/girlfriend status.
Come to think of it, it was a rather smart decision on his part - taking things one very small step at a time. I was like a doe, easily scared off with any quick movement. Sure, I talked the talk, but I would never walk the walk. I would spend hours discussing the future, kids, a house; but it was MY future, MY kids, and MY house. By the time Jon and I decided to become exclusive, we were already living together and spending all of our time together, so it wasn't a leap. And when we decided to move in to the one-bedroom apartment, we were already using one of the bedrooms as a closet rather than a bedroom. And when he gave me a promise ring; it wasn't an engagement ring - so it was no big deal. So with these small steps and no-big-deal promise rings, we were another step closer to our "forever".
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