Ok, so I left off when I moved to Philadelphia and Matt and I were finally able to be a "real" couple. Yippee! I had rented an apartment just about a mile from his apartment. It made things extremely convenient. It also meant that not long into our relationship, we were spending so much time together that having 2 apartments (and paying double rent) seemed downright silly. So when it came time to renewing my lease, Matt (ever the practical money-saver) suggested that I move in with him. I had sort of hoped that he would, but I certainly didn't want to push the issue. But when he suggested it first, I acted like I hadn't already considered it/hoped for it/awaited it, and agreed that it was a good idea. And we moved in together. A few months after that, as we discovered that living together was actually pretty easy and comfortable and fun, we started talking about buying a house together! WHOA!!!
So, about 6 months after I moved into his little one-bedroom apartment, we bought our house! We were so. happy. Seriously, life could not get any better than it was. Then we started talking about getting married. I was so ready to marry this man. I had never loved anyone more, believed in anything more, wanted anything more than to be his wife.
And then. The Summer of Weddings. The summer of 2008, we were invited to 11 weddings. Including my little sister's. I was her maid of honor. I helped with lots of the planning. I treated (some of) it like it was my own wedding. And I was so. excited. So combined with the other 6 weddings we attended (we had to decline some due to scheduling conflicts and travel issues), it felt like it was all wedding, all the time. We talked about weddings constantly. And despite the fact that he had told me that he was planning to propose by the end of the year (but not until after my sister's wedding, so as not to steal her thunder), I think it got to him. He panicked.
Needless to say, things happened, and we broke up. I moved out of our house. I'm absolutely convinced that the day that I packed up my 1/2 of our house and put it into a moving van and moved it into a pathetic 1-bedroom apartment with my parents' help....hands-down the worst day of my life. No contest. It was absolutely awful. But we kept talking - we had to because of the house. And also, I think neither of us were ready to let go. To give up on what we both knew was the best thing we'd ever had. Finally, after a few months of painful, horrible, awful, awkward conversations, Matt finally realized that his life without me in it totally sucked (um, DUH!), and we got back together. I stayed in my apartment for the full lease, even though Matt offered to buy me out of it so I could move back into the house. But I thought it would be better if I stayed. It forced us to appreciate our relationship, to enjoy our time together, and to remember why we had fallen in love and decided to live together.
Finally, my lease was up. There was absolutely no question that I would move back into our house and start rebuilding our home. 3 months after I moved back in, Matt dropped to a knee and asked me to marry him.
As painful as our breakup was, it was really quite good for us. Our relationship is stronger and we appreciate each other and our relationship so much more than we had before. Our communication is better than ever. I have never been so certain of anything in my life. I love this man, and I cannot wait to marry him.