I met my partner on my second ever night in town with a group of friends. My friends and I had all agreed that this was a night out as friends and that none of us were planning to meet anyone. That was the aim anyway.
The first place we went to was Yates's, the first place everyone always goes to in my local town. We were all dancing and having a laugh on the little stage next to the dance floor, when a guy comes over and says, "We need to find you ladies someone to dance with", so he matched one of my friends up with one of his, and they started dancing. My friend didn't look awfully comfortable, so I got off the stage to check she was okay and before I knew it, the same guy who matched my friend up decided to match me up too.
Usually I would walk off and reject this kind of response, but for some unknown reason, this time, I thought it would be rude to walk away. So, I started dancing opposite this guy, next to my friend dancing with 'her guy'. As I was dancing, I kept glancing at him - I didn't know his name - we had both been introduced as "you're both 19, now dance" and all I really knew was that he was quite dishy. He invited me for a drink at bar, and another thing I would usually turn down, I agreed to, knowing my friends were close by.
We didn't talk about much really, he asked if I was a student, I said yes. With him assuming I was a student at the university nearby, even though I had recently turned 18 and was actually a Sixth Form student.
Not long after, we were moving onto a proper club over the road and whilst a few of us girlies and a few guys we had met waited outside for the rest of my friends, we all got chatting properly to get to know each other. This is when I found out they were all from the British Army. My first thought was "Oh dear, what am I letting myself in for".
On my way home in a taxi, I received a text from him. This very quick response made me speechless. We ended up texting all night until I fell asleep and we resumed texting from the moment we woke up the next day. After telling my parents about meeting him, they met him not long after and a few dates later, we made our relationship official.
He was actually one of the kindest, most genuine and thoughtful people I had ever met. He made me laugh, smile and feel good about myself. We were both very open with each other from the start and we are thankful for that to this day, as it means that we have built up a good relationship based on trust and happiness. However, our biggest battle from day 1, was his job role. Being a soldier isn't just a job, it's a lifestyle. When we met, he was actually due to go to Afghanistan, something he had dreamt about his whole life. Unfortunately for him, he was injured and a lot of issues got in the way, preventing him from going - but we were lucky in a way, because if he had gone to Afghanistan, we wouldn't be together now.
Leaving the army meant that he had to move back home, to Scotland. Therefore, we decided to see how our relationship went long-distance, when I lived in the south of England, the completely other side of the UK. At the time he moved, we had known each other for about 3 months. He came back to England to see me a bit over summer and so he could have his operation after-care, and I went up to Scotland to see him and meet his family.
Meeting new people has always made me go shy and quiet, ever since I was young. As I have got older and more mature, I have become less shy and in some situations (usually when noone knows each other), I am perfectly fine. But, who doesn't get nervous when you're meeting your partner's parents and family for the first time?
I am very grateful for how welcoming and accepting his family have been with me, to the extent where I class them as my own family now. Coming up to a year of being together, I went to Scotland to see him to celebrate our 'anniversary'. We initially were just going out for a meal at an Indian restaurant, but when we arrived, we were too early for the booking - this is when I starting thinking that being early was planned. We ended up going for a walk round the area, along the beach and down the harbour. This was at a time when the sun would normally be setting, but instead it was raining, heavily.
We stood on the harbour by the beach, looking out across the sea, with me complaining about the cold and rain. After a couple of minutes, I stood there wondering what on earth my boyfriend was doing on the floor so close behind me, so I turned round and said "What are you doing!?", and there he was, down on one knee proposing to me! Of course, I said yes - after all I loved him and he made me the most content I have ever been. Not long after, we went for a cocktail together at a posh cocktail bar, and moved on to the Indian restaurant (which we ended up being a little bit late for in the end) and had a lovely meal together.
After the meal, I called both my parents to tell them the good news - even though I was actually dreading their response! They were elated for me and it turns out my new fiancée had asked both sides of my family if it was okay before he went through with proposing anyway.
The next day, we posted our news on Facebook to let the rest of our families' and friends know. This is when more mixed feelings came through. The majority of people said congratulations to us and even though they were all surprised, everyone was delighted to find out. Others weren't so happy that they found out through social media or that someone else had found out before them because I had posted it on social media. But from my perspective, my fiancée had only met my parents and it meant that everyone else would have found out the same way - but unfortunately it didn't work like that and at the end of the day, you can't make everyone happy when you are unsure of how others will react.
On nights out now with my friends, we often all get talking to groups of guys and they accept straight away that some of us are taken. It makes me happy and relieved that those who we don't even know, accept us for who we are straight away. It amuses me some of the questions they ask like: When are you having a baby? Are you pregnant yet? and, Can we come to your wedding? All questions which I just laugh at, knowing perfectly well, nothing like that will happen for a few more years. And it also goes to show, there are decent people in this world, who aren't out to get one thing from a girl (we all know what that is).
2 months on from our engagement and we are both still a very happy couple. We make each other laugh, tease each other (often about each other's accents) and have banter. We have become best friends as well as a couple and even play-fight like siblings would. He is rejoining the army in a month's time and we plan on getting married and moving in together in 2017 when I have finished university. I am ecstatic that I did get engaged at 19. It was definitely the right choice for me.
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