When my North Carolinian mom was single way back in the 80s, she had three deal-breakers: she wouldn’t date someone who was previously married, had children, or was from the North. My father? He’s divorced, the father of my half-brother and from New Jersey. I know this story like the back of my hand because when I claim that someone just ‘isn’t my type’ after a bad date, she reminds me that my dad wasn’t anything like she expected. And even though they’ve definitely had their ups and downs, like any other marriage, they’ve been together for 30 years.
My deal-breakers are different from my mom’s, and though I feel like for the right person, I might budge on a few qualities, it’s tough for me to truly believe that I’d ultimately choose someone totally different….who knows? I might. In fact, if you ask any of these now happily-coupled up twosomes, they’d probably say the same thing as my mom: you truly never know how it’ll all turn out.
Here, people the thing that surprised them most about the people they decided to share their life with:
1. That He Bought Tequila Shots On Our First Date
I'm surprised I ended up with a guy I met on Tinder five years ago, who bought me tequila shots and barely spoke on our first date. I genuinely walked away from that date thinking he hated me. He hung around in the background for three whole years and then swooped in. Had you told 21-year-old me that Mike was my future husband I would have laughed out loud. -Gigi
2. That I Was Mean To Him Before I Fell For Him
When I first met my now-hubby, we were in high school and I was somewhat of a bully. I made fun of his clothes, I made fun of his smell (he would work double shifts at the Waffle before coming to school and would smell like grease), and most ironically I made fun of his last name, which is now my last name. Then one day he had injured his leg in wrestling and couldn't carry his lunch tray with his book bag and crutches, so he waited for me to help him because he felt like I was actually a friend.
After that, things changed and I started to actually be a friend. Being around him made me a nicer person. We never dated. We were just really close for all of high school, then he joined the military and through a chain of events, we ended up getting married while he was on a PCS move, barely a year after graduation. Family even placed bets at our wedding that we wouldn't even last a year. This month will we celebrate our nine-year anniversary and we have two beautiful children together. -Melissa
3. That I Married A Man Who Couldn’t Pronounce ‘Decaffeinated’
That I married the only blonde man I had ever dated. He mispronounced words, like "decapitated coffee", instead of decaffeinated He didn't brush his teeth regularly, but also didn't have bad breath, oddly enough. -Kim
4. That I Married A Man I Pursued
My husband and I have been together almost 10 years. We met on my first day of college, which is crazy enough by itself. However, the surprising thing is I pursued him, and he's only a few inches taller than me. I had such a thing for huge guys when I was younger, but there was just something about my husband. I just had to have him, so I went after him! -Catherine
5. That He Was A Really Incredible Person
I was surprised by how good of a person I ended up with. With no intent to inflate his ego, Dan is literally the most amazing human being I've ever met. His generosity, kindness, concern for others, and willingness to go above and beyond for even people he just met shakes me to the core. I am so moved by the man I will soon call my husband and can honestly say that I could never have imagined I would end up with someone as good of a person as he is. -Jenn
6. That We Have Such Different Political Views
My boyfriend and I have very different political views. I never thought I'd be with someone as conservative as he is, but we benefit immensely from being able to have friendly "debates" and learn why the other person thinks the way they do. I find I'm way less judgmental of others because I can actually understand the "other side" better now. -Amy
7. That He Doesn’t Read Or Dance
He doesn't read books. I always imagined I'd spend my life casually chatting with my husband about the books we're reading. Hasn't happened once. Also, he can't dance, won't dance, and has some awfully basic tastes in music. Heart of gold and a great father, though! -Jess
8. That She Was A Recovering Addict
The first time we went on a date in 2010. I took her to a movie. Little did I know, she was shooting up heroin and a full-blown junkie. She was in and out of consciousness during the movie she was so high. I took her home and swore I would never speak to her again.
About a year later, I broke that promise to myself and went out with her again. She was off the junk, but still partying a lot. The second round didn't last long either. She traveled the country for a while and moved to sunny California. She dated a guy out there that was a total jerk to her towards the end. We texted each other for a while, and I could tell she had grown up.
One day she had a dream that she was washing dishes in Cali at her home, and I came up behind her and put my arms around her. A week or so later she left her man and California to come back and be with me. The night she got off that Grey Hound, she came home with me. And almost four years later, she's still here. And now we have a beautiful baby girl and a house of our own and she is almost six years clean of opiates.
So after those first couple dates we had, I thought I'd never speak to her again. This is why Im surprised we still ended up together. But I'm glad we are. -Olin
9. That I Ended Up Not Wanting A Bad Boy
Late in life, after a failed marriage, I met the man of my dreams. He's kind, sexy, loves travel and taking pictures as much as I do. He met my kid at the same time we met, knew the package and has loving grown kids. He's playful, hardworking and a great cook. I wouldn't have fallen for him when I was younger — much too attracted to bad boys!! The most surprising thing is that he's turned me into an avid scuba diver and underwater photographer. We dive several times a year in tropical waters. I usually hate high tech sports so this was surprising but I've become obsessed with the underwater world. -Elaine
10. That He Wasn’t As Ambitious As Me
I always thought I needed someone as ambitious as me. Instead I married someone laid back and mild. But surprisingly it worked out better than I imagined. Two people can only go full-speed ahead toward two different goals and dreams for so long. Instead, he 100 percent supports my dreams and does whatever he can to make it happen. If I need writing time, he'll watch the baby and let me spend eight hours at Panera.
He doesn't read much but he'll listen to my books read out loud to give me an opinion. He'll spend hours fixing my author website. He'll talk up my books and career to strangers. That's not to say he doesn't have hobbies and interests and personal goals, but they are on a smaller scale and he values mine to the point that he wants to put them first. I have no idea how I got this lucky and I think back to what I thought my perfect guy was and laugh -Nikki
11. That He Eats Meat
I met my husband when I was pretty much vegan. He's a butter-obsessed carnivore! -Miranda
12. That We Have Different Religious Backgrounds
I never envisioned myself with someone with a different religion or someone of the same race as me. -Taylor
13. That He Totally Opposite Of What I Thought I’d Marry
My husband is 18 years older than I am, has a daughter, and a somewhat sketchy past due to his addictions. He overcame those and was sober when I met him. I had always dated "age appropriate" guys and they were all pretty much your typical college student. When I first met him, I thought he was the biggest asshole you had ever met. But after learning more about him and spending time as friends, I started to develop a crush on him which I never thought would be reciprocated.
Long story short, we have been through seven moves (from NC to Maine to Alabama to Minnesota to Wisconsin and now we are in Missouri), six different jobs, and lots of heartbreak because my family doesn't approve. It's been a long road, but we have been together for four and half years and married for a little over one year. It has been a crazy ride and I couldn't imagine being with anyone else. -Megan
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