The We in Us

I know I’ve written my engagement story. And it was a private moment, surprising and sweet and beautiful. And it was important, but not as important as what happened after. I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while, well more like thinking about these ideas for a while, but couldn’t write them down just yet because I needed a little more distance. And now it’s been a full two months since I said yes.

The thing is, I got engaged on a Thursday (“got engaged” that sounds so gauche), and if I had any advice for anyone it would be that no matter how anxious you are, do not pop the question on a weekday, when you both have to trudge off to work the day after.

When I was dating Kamel, we did the majority of our relationship in different cities, in different states, and though the distance sucked, it wasn’t horrible. I like my independence. In fact, when Kamel filled out a survey about me and compared it to my own filled out survey about me, we both put that my #1 priority in life was independence. His was feeling safe. I like to do my own thing. I like to sit alone and write or read or go out with my own friends. And I like when he does his own thing, when he goes to movies with his people or does nerdy boy things without me. But the morning after he asked me to marry him, I went to work reluctantly. This really isn’t earth shattering, I often go to work reluctantly. We could say the majority of the time I am dragging myself out of bed to go to work in a reluctant manner. But it wasn’t work I was reluctant for, it was being away from him. The entire day, after our engagement my thoughts were solely on Kamel, and when I could see him again, be with him, and have no one else around. Being engaged, for me, flipped a switch. It wasn’t just about me anymore, it was about us and I felt an incredible desire to protect it, to nurture it.

I’m still independent me. I still run off to Chicago and leave Kamel at home, I still plan winter time snowboarding adventures with college folk and without Kamel. I still like to lay in bed and read and go for walks by myself. But I also hate coming home to an empty house. I hate when we’re both so busy during the week that I only see him when he’s crawling into bed next to me, waking me up. I want us to come home, I want us to make dinner, eat together, watch movies together, sit side by side on our computers together. And I want us to not be in the world all the time, around people. I have an immense craving to hide up in our new apartment, away from everyone and just be us.

Being engaged, surprisingly, is not just about a fab ring and planning a kick ass wedding. Being engaged is not about the build up to the wedding, it’s about the build up to the marriage. And that’s what I’ve been thinking about, that’s what I’ve been wanting to share because no one tells you that when you’re a kid and you’re running around with a sheet on your head playing bride. Engagement is so much more meaningful than I ever thought it would be.

6 thoughts on “The We in Us”

  1. Not to be antagonistic, but that sounds more like living with someone and less like it has to do with an engagement or getting married… just saying.

  2. Anonymous:
    I don't respect anonymous posts (why not state your name?)–
    You have missed the point of what Lauren is saying: it has nothing to do with "living" with someone, but rather SHARING your life (L-I-F-E, not "daily living")with the person you love. Being engaged, if you consider marriage a serious matter, may have made Lauren feel trapped, "claustrophobic"—her independence endangered. But it has actually been such a sweet surprise for her to realize that, having decided to spend the rest of her life with the man she loves, she has suddenly felt a domestic, albeit romantic, pull to be WITH him a lot more. And it has nothing to do with being roommates, and all to do with realizing that their relationship has reached a new high and expansive plateau…that makes their love occupy their days and nights in a whole and magical way.
    Lauren, dear, may you and Kamel feel this way until you reach your 80s and more.
    Rebeca (tia)

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