33 Years and Still Growing in Love

Karen and Jonathan

Karen and Jonathan met on a blind date on July 9th, 1986. How do I know this? Because Karen has a very detailed record of all important dates relating to their relationship. Jonathan needed a little help with a speeding ticket and Karen worked in a law firm so their mutual friend contacted her and decided that he would set the two of them up. Their paths had crossed a few years earlier but the meeting wasn’t to be. This time a date was set up despite Karen’s reluctance. She had given notice on her apartment and was going to move to Florida so was not interested in meeting anyone. Karen had never been on a blind date but thought if her friend, Brian recommended this guy, how bad could it be and she was leaving town anyway. Their mutual friend chaperoned the date which involved dinner, drinks at a bar, followed by coffee at Jonathan’s apartment while still being chaperoned. As soon as they each had the private ear of their chaperone, they requested the other’s number. At the end of the evening, Brian, the “supervisor”–much to their embarrassment, announced that they both had admitted to really liking one another and they should just share their phone numbers. Jonathan called the very next day and asked Karen to lunch.

After their first encounter in July, by Canadian Thanksgiving in October, Karen was in love and told Jonathan. It wasn’t til New Years that Jonathan was ready to return “I love you.” In terms of marriage, again Karen knew right away she wanted to marry Jonathan. However, Jonathan knew he loved Karen but wasn’t sure he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. After dating for a couple of years, he had been studying abroad for three months and it hit him. “There I was somewhere in a city with a bunch of classmates that were all travelling together and whom I knew pretty well and got along with and I just realized, I’d rather be with Karen back in Canada. I want to share the rest of my life with this person.”

Turns out Karen jumped the gun a bit with the proposal–assuming he would be on bended knee at the airport when he returned from studying abroad–so much so that she asked his parents for their guest list for the wedding! Jonathan didn’t know that she had asked his parents for the list. She had the list from her parents as well and had been planning the seating arrangement. This resulted in a little disappointment at the airport. Not to be deterred, Karen thought for sure it would happen at her parents’ home over dinner once he had asked them for permission. Jonathan had a different plan. He didn’t propose at New Years, or Valentine’s, or her birthday in March so she gave up. Meanwhile, Jonathan was trying to find a way he could surprise her with a proposal. On the long weekend in May, he had his dad drop them off at a restaurant–Karen thinking they were having dinner with his family. Jonathan made up a story that his dad was going to pick up some other family members and return so they waited at a table that was set for eight people and no one arrived. We ordered some wine and were holding hands under the table when he put the box in her hand. He said, “In the absence of my parents–or my family–would you marry me?” Karen replied, “A thousand times over.” Five months later they were married.

So sweet and in love

Jonathan says they are fortunate because they have quite a few things in common in terms of liking to socialize and who they like to be with. Even the friends we choose seem to be almost always of equal interest to both of us.

They both like art and travel. Even though Karen and Jonathan did not know each other growing up, they had similar backgrounds which resulted in similar expectations about how to raise kids and how to celebrate and create family traditions around holidays like Christmas. Having similar interests goes a long way because you end up wanting to do things together so you don’t grow apart.

Karen is a big believer in PDA with lots of hugs and tells Jonathan several times daily that she loves him. She’s particularly tickled when he says it first.

Karen believes their marriage keeps getting better and she continues to learn new and different aspects about Jonathan as they grow and learn together. This is why it’s important to be listening. “Lots of listening. I’m very good at listening. Some people are better at listening, some are better at talking,” teased Jonathan.

Still Growing in Love

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