Today, Ben and I have been married for 29 years.
We met back in December of 1973 at the home of mutual friends. We were both 23 years old. It was a few days before Christmas. I was going to dinner with the couple who were married at the time. Since they are now divorced, I will not use their names, just "pronouns". I worked with "Her" and had known "Her" for about a year. While I as at their house, "His" friend (Ben) arrived. Ben had just bought a new car and was there to show it to "Him". They had gone to school together for many years. "He" introduced us and then Ben was on his way in his new car and I was off to dinner with "Him" and "Her".
In May of 1974, "She" came to me at work and said that "She" and "He"were going to Catalina Island that weekend and that they had promised Ben that he could go with them, but "She" said "She" wanted me to go too because "She" and I could hang out and go shopping while the guys did whatever guys do. Instead of going off in pairs (girls shopping and guys being guys), the four of us ended up exploring the island together, then headed back home for dinner at a nice restaurant. Now remember, the trip to Catalina had NOT been intended as a "date" for me and Ben.
The next weekend, I was at "He" and "She's" home again and Ben showed up. Ben asked me to go play miniature golf with him, which we did as a foursome.
After that, Ben was calling me and asking me out every weekend. According to "Her", Ben was totally smitten by the time we had left Catalina Island. I, on the other hand, was not really interested in a relationship as I was still very young, was making good money at my job and I was enjoying things as they were.
Well, the four of us continued to go out as a "group". On the third "date" out with Ben (I think we went to a movie), when he took me home, he told me he loved me and asked me to marry him! I just started to laugh. I guess I thought he was joking and like I said, at the time, I had no intentions of getting married, not then and maybe never. I told him that I liked him and enjoyed his company, but in no way was I in love and getting married.
We continued seeing each other and about once a month, he would ask me to marry him again. He was very persistent. I was starting to feel "trapped" and told "Her" that Ben was being too "clingy". "She" felt bad and said "She" had never thought when "She" asked me to go to Catalina that this would happen.
I sat down and talked to Ben about my feelings. I told him that if he kept "pushing", I would stop seeing him. He had tears in his eyes, but I stood my ground. He promised he would quit asking me to marry him, but that he still wanted to see me.
We dated for six years before I finally decided I was ready to get married. I'm surprised he hung around all that time, and now, 29 years later, we are still together.