What’s a traditional relationship to you? One where you met in a crowded room, locked eyes and that was the beginning of something wonderful. Or is it where there’s the stereotypical gender roles – the husband goes off to work as the breadwinner and the wife is the stay at home mum looking after the kids and house? What about the proposal – does he ask your parents’ permission before getting down on one knee and requesting your hand in marriage? There are so many expectations of a relationship – most of which is Hollywood hype as to what a ‘perfect’ relationship is.
Well, I can tell you, we have broken just about every traditional ‘rule’ and I couldn't imagine a more perfect relationship.
Steve and I met at work – admittedly I did see him from about 30 meters away and my breath did catch. I couldn't believe someone so gorgeous existed. Wow. I was a student paramedic at the time so I was a little worried that everything that came out of my mouth made me sound either awkward or unintelligent. I saw his wedding ring and I knew that was it – this would just be someone I would admire from afar. We worked together for four years, I had been married in that time and had a baby of my own. We became close as friends, as you tend to do when you see someone at all hours of the night and day, as well as work within high stress and highly emotional situations. Through this friendship we helped each other through our respective marriage breakdowns and separations. From that, our relationship grew. It wasn't the traditional ‘courting’, our friendship just gradually became more.
Tradition says that couples date for a few years, then they get married, buy a house and then have a baby. Well, Steve and I already had children of our own so we knew that was never going to be a traditional part of our relationship. Buying a house is off the cards – the town we live in is not the place we want to buy a house at the moment – not because we don’t like the town, we do, but because the market is falling, and is likely to continue to fall. Then there’s the marriage.
We have both been married before but had spoken about getting married ourselves. My first wedding was rushed (planned in just 5 weeks), was an absolute disaster with us and all of the guests getting flooded in for 4 days, and really didn't have much personality to it. Steve’s first wedding wasn't even his idea – it was his bride’s family’s decision for them to get married, he didn't have any say in any of the arrangements and didn't represent him as a person at all. We both wanted to have a positive wedding experience. We wanted a wedding about us.
I was watching the news one day and there was a segment on about women proposing to their partners. At the time I kind of scoffed at the idea thinking it was a woman’s desperate plea to keep her man. Then I actually thought about it – why is it when a man proposes it’s romantic but when a woman proposes it’s desperate? I loved Steve, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, I wanted to ask him to marry me. I started planning it straight away. We had a weekend away planned for a few months from then, I knew it would be the perfect time. We went shopping not long after that and I decided to do some sneaky research, we went into jewellery stores (I’m a sucker for diamonds, I’m always looking in jewelry stores) and I asked Steve to try on some rings to see what he liked – I told him that finding the right one can take a long time so we might as well start looking now. He didn't question it and tried on a few rings. Surprisingly he found one he liked within a few minutes and just to be sure I asked if they could get the size of Steve’s finger too – just so we could come back in the future and not have to go through the process again – of course. The next day I called the jewellery store and ordered the ring for him. Perfect.
A few weeks later Steve’s parents came to visit. I knew there was a whole lot of tradition going out the window by me proposing to him, so I wanted to keep some fundamental elements of tradition. I felt it to be a respectful thing to ask his parents’ permission, well more of me letting them know my plans. I was terrified. No wonder guys put this off for so long. It’s scary asking for permission to marry. I didn't know if they would think the idea was ridiculous or not. Steve and I had only been together for about 6 months. I managed to stammer the words out and they were over the moon. Phew!! From then on I had a new found confidence for what I was planning to do. Prior to that I was questioning whether or not I should go ahead with it or if I should just wait and let him propose. Now there was no question in my mind – I was doing the right thing.
Our weekend away came around quickly and before I knew it we were in our hotel room sipping on Moet and looking out at the gorgeous views of the Gold Coast. I told Steve that I wanted to go down to the beach and watch the sunset, he had no objections. I managed to hide the ring in a small pocket in my jeans, I was so scared of losing it. The weather was perfect, the beach was gorgeous, I couldn’t have wished for a better evening. We sat in the sand for a while, talking about our future. I kept an eye on the time, the official time of sunset was 5:11pm, that’s when I wanted to propose. At 5:10pm I said that we had better head back to the hotel and get ready for our dinner out. Steve stood up to go and I fumbled in the sand for a little while. Steve was looking off to the surfers getting their last waves in before the sun disappeared, I stood up, managed to get the ring from out of my pocked, and knelt on one knee. He looked back to me and with a massive smile on my face I asked if he would please marry me. It took a few seconds for Steve to register what was going on, I could tell the second it clicked because a smiled his gorgeous smile and knelt down to cuddle me. He still hadn’t answered me! ‘So, will you?’ I asked. ‘Oh, yes, yes of course’ he replied. Steve’s smile radiated to his amazing blue eyes. This was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was.
Steve told me the proposal was perfect, I thought so too. It’s unique for us to our relationship. It’s our kind of perfect. There are so many traditions in relationships and so many other people telling you what is considered to be the ‘perfect’ relationship. It’s up to you to find your kind of perfect. Do what you feel is right, do what makes you happy and most of all, do what suits you both. Be happy, have fun and smile.