When you know

by mssinglemama on July 8, 2009

My aunt and I were talking on the phone about my French-Canadian fiance.

We would be getting married in her back yard in just a few days. I was frantically planning the wedding so we could beat an INS deadline to kick him out of the country.

“So, do you have that feeling?” she asked. “You know how people say ‘when you know, you know.’ Do you have it?”

“No, I don’t. It’s not there. Is that bad?”

“Oh, I’m sure it’s fine. You know you want to be with him, right?”

“Yeah. And that’s crazy anyway? It’s all a risk, a leap of faith, how can you just know?”

I was 25-years-old and I was really good at talking myself into things.

After we took our vows we were standing in a dark corner of my aunt’s gorgeous yard, the laughter of my friends and family echoing, me in my wedding dress and him wearing one of my father’s old suits.

It had been a last minute adjustment. My mom had hated his rental tux so she found one of dad’s suits for him to wear. I clung to that for the two years we were together, thinking that it was a sign from my father that we should be together.

But here in the darkness I looked at my new husband and suddenly felt like I’d just jumped off of a cliff with him.

“Well, this is it. We’re in this together now.”

I expected him to hold me tight and tell me how wonderful it would be, something to that effect but we both stood there shuffling our feet not quite sure what to say or do. And it was then that I knew something was off, very off.

Given the struggles I’ve overcome since that day, I can’t help but lay the cards of my past next to those of my future and try to compare then and now. But this time when I see the two side by side there is nothing to compare.

This time I know. I am not looking for signs because I don’t need them.

“Have you ever loved anyone as much as you love him,” my little sister asked. My touchstone for just about everything, Anna and I are only one year apart but she’s way ahead of me in the love department, having met her husband years ago.

“No, not like this before,” I answered.

“Woah.” She paused and then, “Now, don’t all of those old relationships seem like a huge waste of time?”

“Yeah but I’m still glad I had them. I knew that if he ever came the rest would have just been entertaining me along the way.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. You never really liked any of those guys anyway.”

Nope. I didn’t. Not like this one. Not even close.


Your comments to my Dark Side post have been so insightful and humbling.

Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart. Seriously. I couldn’t have asked for better advice. I’m taking it all in and your words will always be echoing in my mind, helping me see how wonderful this relationship thing can be, especially if you’ve found the right person.

[Photos: See pictures from last night’s Clippers baseball game in Huntington Park, aka this week’s date night.]

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Alyssa July 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm

you guys just seem right for eachother, you deserve it.


Danielle B July 8, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I am very happy for you. I bet the feeling is amazing and scarey all at the same time. How wonderful.


SingleParentDad July 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Clarity and comfort are wonderful things. Glad you've found them.


Lauren July 8, 2009 at 1:56 pm

That's right — when you know, you know… and so does everyone else. My best friend has always been able to sense when I'm with a guy who isn't worth it, and the same goes for me being able to feel out her relationships. It's amazing how obvious it is when two people are meant to be together 🙂


Cassie July 8, 2009 at 2:01 pm

I am so glad you have found that person that makes you happy. You deserve it!


Kristen July 8, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Followed you from Twitter – that post made my heart melt. 🙂 I have a special place in my heart for Canadians. My hubby is from Toronto and I feel so blessed to have married my best friend.


Andrea July 8, 2009 at 3:05 pm

oh, this is so inspiring, it is possible to find that. To be relaxed in a cozy relationship, when most of the time is effortless. I never had that, only very short periods of it. But from here I can feel it, I can even smell this love. Congratulations Alaina. Soon I will try to get out of my tiny closet, maybe there is someone to me too.


arscuore July 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm



TsQuest July 8, 2009 at 4:41 pm


Enjoy it Alaina.


Sheila July 8, 2009 at 4:43 pm

awwwww. Love it. 🙂 LOVE it!


TorontoMama July 8, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Beautiful words to describe what sounds like a wonderful feeling. 🙂


Star July 8, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Just a question…how do you blog about your ex and not worry that he will read it and get angry?


mssinglemama July 9, 2009 at 11:30 am

My ex doesn't read this blog or even know about it – although I'm sure eventually he will find it. But as Dawn said, I can't be responsible for his reaction to this blog. He will likely just skim over it and say it's "nice" and then move right along. If not, I hope he can appreciate the story I'm telling here because this is his story too. We've both grown a lot since the day we were married.


Dawn July 8, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Star, she knows she is not responsible for other people's issues.


taylor July 8, 2009 at 10:34 pm



Jenny July 8, 2009 at 11:20 pm

I can completely relate to your experience on your wedding day (I was also 25, and great at sticking to my decisions). My conversation was similar to the one with your aunt – except it was in my head between me and myself. We eloped with no family there… hence my shot of gin before walking down the aisle….

Your relationship with your new man is the real thing, and you're working with your intuition this time. (She's never wrong.)


Canadian Bald Guy July 8, 2009 at 11:48 pm

I totally get where you're coming from. I feel the exact same way about Sunshine.

And no…all those previous relationships were NOT a waste of time. I mean, if you didn't experience any of that (including your wedding), then you wouldn't be ready for where you are right now.

VERY happy to see YOU so happy. 🙂


Martini Mom July 9, 2009 at 2:14 am

I always thought that "when you know, you know" thing was a fairytale. Especially for someone like me, who's a bit on the cynical side. But I knew when I met The Man. I knew instantly. And isn't is it the most spectacular miracle? All sorts of magic seems possible to me now.

Congratulations to you!


Amy in Sedona July 9, 2009 at 2:15 am

Wow! Thats all I can say, you're just so happy!


Barry July 9, 2009 at 3:37 am

I agree with CBG. The old relationships prepared you for now. That;s why you just know now! No need to analyze,because you feel it everywhere. Cool huh.


wyliekat July 9, 2009 at 8:38 pm

This is better. This is you relying on your gut. The gut ain't always right, but the gut learns from past experience, and it gets smarter as life goes on.

Good on ya, sister.


Jenn-Dragonfly July 10, 2009 at 2:56 am

I am very happy for you and very envious. I hope someday to meet a great man and "KNOW" he is right for me and my son. I really hope it can happen for me too. ____Congrats 🙂


Meg July 9, 2009 at 8:32 pm

I didn’t know. The first time I met my husband, he was moving into an apartment with his girlfriend, my best friend, and her husband! It took me 3 years to know!


Isle Dance July 10, 2009 at 7:20 am

What a blessing, this relationship you've found…


Jenn July 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm

I'm not sure I 'knew', but here I am 16 years later and our love is even better/stronger now and with each passing day (don't barf). Sure we had our bumps along the way, but with a strong, genuine love, there is respect for each other and a desire to please, so you swallow your pride, own up to your mistakes, talk it out with each other in a respectful mature manner, and then have sex.


Jenn July 10, 2009 at 5:38 pm

The baseball date night cracked me up in that it brought me back to my husband and my early years. I couldn't have given a crap about baseball–but what we do for love 🙂 If you are completely bored ask Bear to teach you how to 'keep score' and cherish the look he gives you back! It helped me learn the game which was a great thing, because now my 2 boys are little league all stars and I am the rockin' mom in the stands that knows what is going on! So you just never know what the future will bring. The most important aspect of you post though in my mind that has keep my marriage really strong is the fact that you were on a 'date night'. I cannot stress this enough to keep having regular date nights and alone time to strengthen your relationship. Even when super busy, they are essential.


famejane July 11, 2009 at 5:13 pm

You and John Bear look like you're so in love. It's absolutely wonderful to see and I am soooo happy for you. You deserve it. I knew it wouldn't be long before you met the love of your life. Everything is falling in place for you. It's so wonderful to see. It gives me such inspiration that the same will happen to me. John Bear is a lucky man!


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