I never thought much would change. Getting engaged. Married. Because we've always been a team, always will be. What possibly could alter the status of our relationship by taking the next step?
Yet with those words, "Will you marry me?" everything shifted.
For the last four years we've been separates fitting our lives together to make a whole. Your insurance, my insurance, my income, your income, my parents, your parents, my last name, your last name. I believed in our forever, never doubting its validity, yet it lacked substance.
"What's the name on the account?"
"And you are?"
"…. And your relationship to Adam?"
"He's my boyfriend? Partner? Person I share my life with? Almost husband?"
"Can we please speak to Adam to verify your ability to make changes on the account?"
With a single question suddenly I can see our lives meeting, merging, forming into this one all encompassing mass. I always liked his parents, but now they're my future in-laws. MY family. Mine to love and interact with, and sometimes deal with for the rest of my life. For our life.
Suddenly there are conversations about joint insurance plans, children, new family members, retirement, a lifetime that stretches before us that always existed, yet is no longer hazy. Now it's clear. Crystal clear. Us. Side-by-side. A team.
The countdown on my phone tells me I have 375 days until it's real. Until I stand before my closest friends and family and make it official. Before I celebrate in a dress I'll wear once, before I toast and laugh and dance until I can't stand. Before I sit at a table next to a man who I'm promising to stand beside forever.