Today’s Our Engagement Anniversary (It’s Also my Birthday)

One year ago today… we decided to get married.

And today is also my birthday!

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Look at them. Training next to each other, oblivious of the other, oblivious of how closely entwined their futures soon would be… (Peaceful Warrior Camp, 2014)

Though we first met in 2012 during the Peaceful Warrior Camp, our relationship only began in the online universe, somewhere in June 2014; with no definite day or time we could point to and say, From here on we were a couple. Within 2 or 3 months, without having spent any physical time as a couple together, we were already talking about spending the rest of our lives together. We knew we had found our soulmates in each other.

The topic of marriage only popped up while thinking about how I, a Singaporean, could stay in Europe for a long period of time. We knew we would be in several countries across Europe, for much longer than my passport allowed a tourist, but the available types of longer-term permits weren’t applicable in my case.

At this point, we had a total history of:

  • 10 months of online dating
  • 5 weeks of in-person contact (while in a relationship)

That’s it!

Then… 26 April, 2015. It was probably the most unromantic setting one can think of. We had a Skype call because it was my birthday, each sitting in our own bedrooms.

During the call, we said: Okay, let’s just do it. (Somehow, the planets must have aligned. Somehow it was just right.) There was no “he proposed” or “she proposed”. Just an agreement in harmony.

And we grinned like maniacs. Like we had joined together in flight, gaining power to soar even higher, fly even farther; like we were even more free!

We can’t personally identify with why so many people (however jokingly; there’s always a grain of their own truth in there) describe marriage as shackles, as being ‘tied down’, as ‘losing your freedom’. We heard tons of these jokes as newly-weds!

Well we haven’t felt that at all. Being together is having so much more freedom than ever we had while solitary. Since we want the same things, there is so much more that is possible now that we are together. It’s freaking awesome.

19434433701_8de413f81a_oAbout 2 months later, when I had flown over to Switzerland, we exchanged rings. Hiked up through the forest of his childhood, sat on a hill facing the sunset. Held the rings up to one another, said “one, two, three”, then simultaneously: “Will you marry me?”