The Ben to My Leslie

Billy and I just celebrated our third anniversary, which is like 50 years in millennial.

Our first dance at our second wedding (I’ll explain later)

I love rom-coms. “Hitch,” “Crazy Stupid Love,” “The Wedding Planner,” and “Sleepless in Seattle” are just a few of my favorites. You can never go wrong in my house if you turn on a good rom-com. I like to think that my own love life is rom-com-like.

Billy and I met in 2010 while we were both working at Whole Foods Market in Memphis, Tennessee. Per the romantic comedy formula, I did not like him at first. I thought he came off as kind of douchey. It wasn’t until he became roommates with my friend, Aubrie, that we actually started talking to one another and formed a friendship. By the way, Aubrie takes full credit for jumpstarting our relationship, and I let her, because it’s kind of true.

Our nerdy interests created a lasting bond. I also liked having full access to his t-shirts.

It wasn’t until mid-2014 that I even considered a romantic relationship with Billy. I was getting ready for law school, and we spent the summer hanging out together as usual. But I realized that I liked spending time with him more than almost anyone else. We meshed so well with our interests, politics, and beliefs about life in general. He had become one of my best friends, and it finally clicked for me why people say the best relationship starts with a friendship.

It’s pretty funny how we transitioned from being just friends to being in a relationship. It was kind of seamless. One day, I went to his house, and I very confidently told him, “I’ve been thinking that we should date.” Yes, I realize that I fit the exact description of the career-driven, logical woman-who-has-no-time-for-romance trope. Meanwhile, Billy fit his archetype of guy-friend-who-secretly-loves-the-girl, and he just stared at me in silence. After a moment of awkward quiet, I said, “Or not?” That seemed to jump him out of his stupor, and he responded with something along the lines of, “No, that sounds great!”

I knew he was a keeper when he survived my 1L year

Billy later told me that he was so quiet at first because he had been wanting to date me for a long time. But he didn’t want to overstep our friendship, especially since I never seemed interested. He kind of had a moment of disbelief, and I think that’s the sweetest thing (“The Sweetest Thing,” another good rom-com).

From that day onward, we were a couple. It became “official” fairly quickly, and by July 2015, we were moving in together. By February 2016, we were engaged, and on May 7, 2016, we got married in Chicago, Illinois in my grandparents’ backyard aka Wedding Number 1. The first wedding was small and intimate with just my parents, Billy’s parents, my grandparents, and my best friend, Kathryn. Wedding Number 2 was on our anniversary in Memphis one year later and was a much bigger shindig with about 150 guests.

A photo from Wedding Number 1, taken in my grandparents’ living room

It has been three pretty badass years, and now we are two dorks working for the government and just taking life day by day. We try to take as many adventures together as we can, both small and big. We even spent our anniversary this year in Paris (post soon to come in my travel category). And every year, we make our pilgrimage to Chicago, the place where we bound ourselves in a legal contract, or if you prefer the more romantic wording, affirmed our love for one another.

I don’t think love or marriage is always easy, but I do know one thing: I never get tired of Billy’s company. I am just as excited to spend time with him now as I was almost five years ago when we started dating. It scares me sometimes how much I love him. I can only hope that feeling is still there 100 years from now when we are walking on Mars in our new robot bodies.

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