37 Reasons it’s a Miracle I’m Married at age 37

I know I didn’t have to write this.

And this year is different after all.

For the newbies, this all started when I turned 30 and was still single and was tired of answering the oft-repeated, “I just don’t understand why you’re still single.”

Because I knew why. Even though there was no reason why. Because there is no “reason” but also there certainly were “reasons.” So I wrote 30 reasons I was single. And subsequently from 31 to 32 then 33, 34, 35, and 36, I continued.

There are no “reasons” I was single just like there are no “reasons” I’m married. I’m still (mostly) the same awkward, #notbitter (but sometimes bitter), silly gal who somehow conned someone into marrying me.

And I do believe it’s a miracle when two people find each other and choose to make a life together. Presenting, 37 reasons why it’s a straight-up miracle I’m married at age 37:

  1. Let’s start at the very beginning: A quick recap of some of my previous blogposts reveal things that I thought were true but that obviously are not true
  2. Age 30 blog:
    • “I’m far too practical for love.” It is indeed true that I am way too practical. For the first few months of dating, I had to stop myself from constantly just checking in about #logistics of when and where we’d meet up and what we’d do and instead try and say nice things like, “I think that will be so fun” and “I am excited to see you” and “Hope you have a good night.” I would also constantly ask, “What even is love?” I got betta.
    • The link to “add husband” actually does work on FamilySearch. All you have to type in is a name. It worked and now we’re married.
    • Refer to my First Date Anxiety and Second Date Anxiety posts. Real things. But it turns out the actual relationship anxiety was what really got me this time. More on that later.
    • I wrote that I had a reputation for being a girl who doesn’t like to be hugged. Fun fact: turns out I DO like to be hugged and I actually really appreciate closeness. It makes a huge difference when the hug is wanted and it’s someone you fancy. #consent
    • And it turns out flowers do impress me. I have come to love cut flowers in a different and special way so much so that one time this year I bought them for myself just because the house felt like it needed them.
  3. Age 31 blog:
    • I mentioned that I could never get married because men never put the toilet seat down
      1. Dang it all, Steve puts the seat down. So I had to marry him.
    • I like to keep the house warm. Luckily, Steve’s office is in the basement and I have caught him wearing a JACKET. In the SUMMER. In my hot house. We are temperature compatible. Sort of. Ok, this only happened once.
    • Blog Quote: “A few people have gone so far as to say that I’m not married because if guys know I blog about dating, they won’t ask me out.” Steve and I had been dating for about a week when my birthday was coming up.
      • Liz: I have something I need to tell you
      • Steve: Okay….
      • Liz: You probably won’t want to date me after you find this out
      • Steve: I’m open to talking through things…talk to me
      • Liz: Really, though.
      • Steve: I like you and we can get through this
      • Liz: I blog about dating and it’s my birthday and I always blog about why I’m single and I have a huge list and all the reasons are true and they’re very legitimate reasons I’m single and also every guy I’ve dated has somehow ended up in the blog and there’s a huge chance if this doesn’t work out you’ll end up in the blog as well and I just need you to know because I can’t stop writing the blog.
      • Steve: I’m sure it will be fine. I wouldn’t break up with you over a blog.
      • Steve a few days later when I published my blog: *wide eye emoji*
  4. Age 32 Blog:
    • Quote: “One of my friends once recommended that it helps you mentally open up to someone in your life if you physically make space for someone (aka future husband), such as having open time in your schedule or even something as small as having extra room in your closet–just leave space for someone else to be in your life.”
      • I wish it weren’t the case, but COVID seriously opened up my schedule. Previously I was booked nearly every day of the week with different activities. But the COVID life (as much as I hated it) left lots of room for us to date and get to know each other in so many different activities. Heck, I even took a random afternoon off work right after we started dating just so we could go on a fall hike together. I added MORE dating time into my schedule? Sheesh.
Random afternoon off work for a fall hike
  • A few months before marrying Steve, I opened up 1/4 of my closet space—just to see if I could. It was kind and it was generous and it is all he still has.
  • As a joke some co-workers gave me a Table for One cookbook a few years back. I finally cracked it open during the pandemic and did really well on like two recipes. So it was time to upgrade to Table for Two. Lucky for me, Steve and I struck a deal to share the responsibility of cooking because I don’t really enjoy it. He doesn’t either, but it’s working out well so far.

5. Age 33 Blog:

  • The year of using Mutual (the dating app) after trying many different dating sites and apps
    • I apologize for all the implications that Mutual was the reason I was single and the source of my dating problems because Steve and I met on Mutual.
  • I still think Mutual is kind of a meanie-head at times but does do some nice things like introduce people who had actually crossed paths one time before but maybe wouldn’t have had the chance to really connect otherwise
    • I mentioned that many guys don’t even get a last name when I go on a date with them—just the last name Mutual or Set-up or whatever. I still need to clean those out of my phone. Steve got a last name because I had stalked researched it out and asked him the proper way to pronounce his last name because I NEEDED TO KNOW. (MILE-struhp).
    • I had said I hadn’t yet found anyone who appreciated my Christmas sweaters, but Steve does. Also, appreciate may be a strong word.

6. Age 34 blog:

  • Implied over the years was that if I just did my hair a little more, dressed a little nicer, or wore make-up more often, I would find someone.
    • I am not a huge make-up wearer in the first place, I barely wear any when I do, but during COVID, I pretty much completely gave up. We were masked most of the time anyway so it didn’t make sense and then it just got all over the mask when I did. I loved the freedom of not even having to try.
    • For our first date, I did intend to look a little bit nicer, but I was running late and I certainly hadn’t put on makeup earlier in the day and I just didn’t have time. Steve was fine with me anyway. And still is as make-up is generally only a church or work or every-time-I-met-one-of-his-family-members-or-friends thing. Or when we got married.
  • Oh this one is good. Blog quote: “I read a beautiful article earlier this year (“Something to Lose” on Boundless.org) that expressed many of the feelings I have about dating in my 30s. So, so good. At the end, the article counsels to make room for God to surprise me. So I decided to be real about that and give more guys a chance on the online dating apps. I have nothing against well-trimmed beards in and of themselves, but I’ve never been a real fan of them in potential guys to date because, are you going to make me say it? #scratchyface. But that’s like 98% of the guys on Mutual, so I started being way more open to the bearded men. I mean, I definitely swiped up (“yes”) on guys with beards before, it’s just that I stopped being so selective. And I upped my age limit to 40…. It’s still a hard pass if they don’t like Harry Potter, though. I have standards.”
    • Steve has a beard. #scratchyfacecentral
    • Steve turned 40 this year.
    • BUT, on our first or second date Steve told me he had re-listened to Harry Potter as he traveled across the country earlier that year and I thought, “This could be the one.”
  • Blog Quote: “Every year I think of just one more thing that I could use on a potential future wedding registry that would give me a reason to get married. This year, I thought a nice set of silverware would be delightful instead of my mismatched multiple sets. And then a friend gave me one as a gift for helping her. Crisis averted. No wedding registry necessary. Again.”
    • But I DID want more silverware because family parties are for more than 8 people. And I wanted a nicer set of knives because steak knives are actually helpful. And even though I had a Kitchen-Aid mixer, it was really nice to get a scraper attachment.
    • And we needed a toaster. Imagine being almost 37 and needing a toaster. I did have one at one point but over the years gave it away in favor of roommates’ nicer toasters and thus…a toaster on the registry.
    • And a whole bunch of other things. I didn’t initially want a registry because it made me feel selfish, but I was told to suck it up because people want to celebrate. And I am so grateful for the generosity we received because it has helped us have a fresh start instead of my mom’s cookware from when we were growing up or the countless things I’d garage saled (it’s a verb) or the lack of a dog swimming pool (totally unnecessary; she totally loves it).
Ginny’s kiddie pool

7. Age 35 Blog: Covid-19

  • Covid dating was the worst.
  • Getting shingles was the worst
  • Isolation was the worst
  • Tumbling head over my bike handles and bruising/breaking a few ribs was the worst
  • Getting a dog was the best. She majorly disrupted my life and made it MUCH harder for me to know how I was going to find a guy who loved my dog like I did.
    • But I did. He even allowed us to take family pictures.
  • Never give up. Never surrender. “It took Arwen 2778 years to get married. But she did. Never give up.” Steve is a huge LOTR fan. I love him for it.
  • I didn’t really want a COVID wedding anyway. Hahahahahahhah. While things are definitely different at this stage in the game, Covid affected everything from timing of our wedding to certain plans for the wedding to creating backup plans (luckily one of the vendors who got COVID during our wedding week already had a backup plan in place) to uncertainty on what the temple experience would be to lots of stress about our event being a spreader to where we chose to honeymoon to how we tried not to get sick right before the wedding or on the honeymoon so we wouldn’t miss our open house to… just all of it. I know we were so much luckier than many pandemic weddings but I won’t say it was enjoyable to have that in the mix.

8. Age 36 Blog

  • I put this in my Mutual profile last year: Fully vaccinated and looking for the same. Never thought I’d put that in a profile tbh.
    • Steve and I surprisingly shared very similar views on the pandemic situation and it was a huge boost to our relationship because as I mentioned, dating during COVID was hard!
    • Within the first few dates, I wanted to go to the symphony because it was reopening but the rules were changing every day and I was SO nervous and I almost had a breakdown about being with so many people again, but Steve was kind and patient and supportive and we ended up going.
  • The blog in which I implicated pickleball for being the cause of me being single because ALL the boys in the house love it and I had only played two times
    • Steve was an avid player when I met him and talked about it a lot
    • Initially, Tuesdays were off-limits for dates because it was pickleball night (OK I also had an obligation that night so that played into it too)
    • We got new pickleball stuff for our wedding and tried to find time to go
    • We still have not played pickleball together yet
    • Wedding Planning and settling into marriage: 1 Pickleball: 0
    • But we DO intend to play; I promise
  • The blog in which I implicated my lack of knowledge about tacos and how wild Mutual boys were about tacos
    • Steve likes tacos
    • We got tacos on our 6th date
    • I thought this was a bad omen and I’d gotten myself a taco boy
    • We have only bought tacos like once since then
  • The blog in which I stated that the kind of man I’m looking for is “someone who will run with me.” And I meant taking life by storm and enjoying every moment with life and purpose and in which what I got is a man who is seriously obsessed with Spartan races and I found myself at a 5 hour race at Snowbasin this past summer where I did not run with him because I am not bananas.
  • The proper use of *you’re. I cringe when men on dating apps use your/you’re improperly. Steve did once. I called him out on it. He swore up and down it was autocorrect. I told him I would give him another chance. It happened again but before I could do anything he corrected *you’re. So I married him.
  • Unbeknownst to nearly everyone because I was so subtle about it, I did introduce that I was dating Steve in my blog last year: “One thing that’s been interesting about the pandemic is that there have been massive numbers of men on the Mutual app. Because it is so hard to meet people IRL, it feels like way more people have flocked to the app to try and find love. And I’m all about it because it increases the dating pool. Also, an interesting byproduct of the pandemic is that there are a fair number of people who have relocated to Utah during the pandemic because they are “work from home” status and coming for a new scene, to be with family, or for the theoretically better dating pool. I will just say that this is currently working in my favor.”
  • Steve is the “work from home” relocator whose situation at that moment was working in my favor and who continued to be in my favor. #romantic #foreshadowing
  • Want more foreshadowing? “But dearest darlingest friends, I hate to say it, I think this will be the last year [I write the reasons I’m single blog]”

9. That concludes some of the reasons why I was wrong in my previous blog posts.

10. Fun facts

  • Dating statistics for 2021
  • How many dates I went on with different guys: 3
  • Dates in Jan-July: 0
  • Dates in July: 3
  • Dates in August: 1st date with Steve and then 300 more after

11. Another fun fact. Steve is an accountant so when we started wedding planning and I pulled up a spreadsheet to start documenting stuff, I think that was the moment he knew this was right.

12. You know how height is a factor in dating and it really shouldn’t be? Steve’s profile said he was 5’7″. Mine said I was 5’6″. Turns out we are basically the same height but we rounded up or down respectively. Luckily this ensured we made it through the filters for each other. And luckily I have never liked wearing heels so we don’t even have to worry about that.

  • This is also very nice because when I borrow his sweatshirts, they fit quite nicely. This has worked in his favor, too, hahahah.

13. When we started dating, I jokingly asked one of my mission presidents if it was OK since Steve doesn’t speak the Celestial language of Portuguese. This was approved as long as he learned.

  • It was amazing how quickly that comment caused Steve to learn a few phrases in Portuguese. Te amo is his fave.

14. Steve and I are both pretty thrifty so that was a big help to see things similarly in a financial vein

  • However, Steve has since learned that I act like I was raised in the Great Depression and maybe I don’t need to be quite as thrifty or re-usable-y. “Put the box in the recycling bin, Liz.” “But it’s a very nice box!”
  • And I have since learned that Steve never buys anything. I recently made him go “back-to-school” shopping with me to get new clothes. But not more than will fit in his 1/4 of the closet.

15. Ok, but can we go back again to how we actually met? That during COVID, Steve had temporarily moved to Utah intending only to stay a few months. Months that kept getting extended and that during that extension, and at a time we were both on Mutual AND open to a relationship, we matched and we messaged each other and we gave each other a chance and he actually asked me out and we went out? That’s a miracle.

16. And that even though I was late (I was LATE! For a very important date!) and not wearing make-up and we’d had to change our plans because of a rainstorm, he still thought I was nice enough to want to take out again?

17. Or can we talk about how on the walk from the dessert place to our cars, the path narrowed through a gate and we were close and our hands almost touched and I was like, “OK… I could be cool with that.” On a first date?

18. And how on the second date, when I let Steve pick me up (I had confirmed he was indeed a real, legit human), he didn’t open my car door for me and while some may see that as an affront, I was like, “FINALLY! A man who knows that I can open my door and who can let me live my life for myself.” He will be embarrassed I put this, but I am dead serious that I liked it a lot.

19. And what about on that 2nd date when we went mini golfing and we talked a lot about sports because Steve loves sports and I was like, “Uh oh, I could never marry a guy who’s into sports” but then he could talk just as easily about books and the gospel or any number of things and I was like #swoon.

20. Or what about that we had a mutual friend who I was sure he had dated (he had not) so I’d delayed asking her about him to get the real scoop. But because Steve was just such a wonderful and seemingly normal and put-together guy and was just so kind and seemed so experienced in dating and knew all the right things to say, I was worried he was a player. My friend couldn’t be more surprised at the question because she informed he is one of the the most genuine people she knows and that what you see is what you get. He’s just wonderful, loving Steve. Who had just been hiding from me in DC all this time. And who I later learned wasn’t so suave because planning dates is actually not a talent of his. And I’m the silence filler and the crucial-conversation-bringer-upper. Even so, not a player.

21. Or what about when he wanted to hold my hand on the 4th date and I was fine with it and would have been fine on the 3rd date? And kiss on the 5th? And be dating by the 6th?

22. Or when he met half my family on my birthday a month after we had met and my nieces all fell wildly in love with him? Like silly in love?

23. And how one niece said, “He’s perfect, but he’s a little quiet.” (Both true statements)

24. Or how very early on we discussed some serious things about how I saw the future as a woman in the Church, in a work environment, and in the home and that Steve and I actually had compatible, discussible views? That our deep discussions helped me feel like this was someone I wanted to partner through life with?

25. How I really really don’t like football, but I watched a BYU football game and a half with him? Is this really the Liz we all know?

26. Yes, of course it was and is. Because as mentioned in our Love Story blog, this threw me into a total tail spin. I started feeling some major anxiety about dating and about the relationship. I had a hard time sleeping, I couldn’t eat and was losing weight, and I felt physically sick a lot of the time.

27. In fact, there was one day in the beginning that I was so anxious that I had to take a half day off work because I could not focus and I curled up in a ball and cried and shook and tried to calm my anxious fears down because I felt like this was either so wrong or so right and I didn’t know which. This had never happened to me before.

28. It’s a miracle that I have two loving parents who listened to me all throughout this process and provided strength and support.

29. And that I found a relationship counselor right away who had openings and who could take me as a virtual client, which made it so much easier for me to have some regular counseling.

30. This therapist helped me work through so many of my personal hang-ups and attachment issues and concerns and fears about dating and relationships and serious relationships. I say “work through” but many things are ongoing. But I learned some good mindfulness tools and ways to combat my negative thinking and cognitive distortions. Therapy also helped me remember the most important attributes in relationships–attributes that Steve most definitely had.

31. Steve’s patience with me is unfathomable. I was a tough one to date at times–uncertain if I would really be able to hold it together and move forward, uncertain what love was and what it meant, uncertain about so many things. And Steve calmly and kindly took it all on and loved me through all of it.

32. And I mean all of it

33. Times I cried:

  • All the time, but also:
  • Through grief. Lots of grief during our courting relationship that I had to work through.
  • On the way back from our road trip in December, we tried to miss a snowstorm by leaving early and ended up driving right into it. For about 5 hours, we drove in silence so Steve could concentrate on the road and keep us safe. I just KNEW we were going to get into a wreck and his nice car would be ruined and it would be all my fault for planning poorly and everything was going to be awful and Steve would break up with me as a result.
    • We ended up having to stop for the night when we realized there was no way to continue safely. I cried HARD into my pillow that night
    • Steve did not break up with me
    • Side note: at the hotel we stayed at, there was serendipitously a (very faded) Van Gogh print of the very same Van Gogh print Steve had just given me for Christmas to remember our Beyond Van Gogh date. Serendipitous indeed.
    • Other side note: on that road trip, we had some REALLY serious discussions and it scared the heck out of both of us, so for a whole month after we didn’t talk about anything serious and it was really nice to just date.
Road trip 80s engagement picture at Antelope Canyon
  • Back to times I cried: When we started talking about moving things forward, we were really scared about what that would all mean and didn’t have answers for what our life would look like and so much was still uncertain
  • When I went on my own to look at rings because I knew it was coming and I knew I’d flip out the first time going and I was right because I cried right after because I was so overwhelmed by what it all meant
  • When we went together to look at rings and finally chose one and then I started getting anxious and tears welled up in my eyes and the jewelry store people quickly got Steve’s number and whooshed us out the door (I think to avoid a scene; Steve thinks because they cared about me–difference of opinion)
  • When we tried to schedule a date at the temple and we couldn’t find days and times that worked and that could fit enough people and and and
  • On our engagement-moon (when we were both in DC right after we got engaged and got to tour around a bit together). It was all a little overwhelming.
  • When I took my mom’s wedding dress to two alterations places to see if I could use her dress and they told me it would pretty much destroy it
  • When I went to look at new wedding dresses with my mom and sister because I have issues with not feeling pretty and not knowing how to dress and just wanting to be very simple
  • When we had to cut down the wedding invite list because I have way too many people I love and there just wasn’t a realistic or affordable way to include them all
  • When the #bridalhairsituationof2022 happened and my sister had to save my hair a mere 2 hours before our bridal photo shoot
  • Seriously, a zillion more times but Steve swears he doesn’t remember very many specifics just that “there were a lot of times, I just didn’t necessarily keep track of it.”
  • And that is likely because a lot of those times were just me being freaked out with my by myself where no one could see the tears.
  • But also on our wedding day. Right before we got married when I felt like I was going to pass out. But then as we walked into the sealing ceremony room and I was overwhelmed with peace and love (SO MUCH LOVE) and rightness. I didn’t mind crying then. Happy tears. We’ll take those.

34. Wedding planning is stressful. I’m amazed we survived it. Even more, wedding planning is expensive. We are lucky to both have really great jobs and be comfortable because right as we were planning things:

  • Half the power in my house went out and I had a breaker that was arcing. Turns out the first issue was a Rocky Mountain Power issue that took several days to fix, but in the meantime, the electrician told me it really was time to replace the breaker box I’d been told 5 years earlier when I bought the house that I needed to replace. $$$$
  • My car started making a funny sound. I said, “Steve, that sound sounds like $1000.” It wasn’t quite that, but close.
  • Steve’s windshield had to be replaced
  • On the way from dropping my dress off to be steamed, a truck kicked up three rocks into my windshield (I still haven’t fixed this; where would I find time?)
  • My Internet started really acting up and dropped me on video calls, which was not acceptable for my work from home stuff and certainly wouldn’t be when Steve moved in, so I updated my whole system and hardwired into several rooms
  • And then the week of our wedding, Steve’s tooth broke and he learned he had to get a crown

35. It is a miracle that I already had a home in this last year’s market. We decided to have Steve move in here because it was too much for me to consider selling/renting a home and buying a new one in the wedding mix. Steve was pretty excited about having a garage, though, so that’s about all he needed. And his own home office. And 1/4 of a closet.

36. Some would say it’s a miracle that we made it. Some friends asked us right after we got engaged to tell us the time and date of the reception because they wanted to adjust their vacation schedule to ensure they were at the reception just so they could see if we would actually go through with it.

37. And, yes, it’s a miracle we made it. Unfortunately I had my very rough and dark and “off” days through it all, and sadly that hasn’t changed with marriage because life is just life. Sometimes you just have dark days. But every time I had a really rough day while we were dating, Steve sent me “Love Emails”. One time I mentioned to him that it was sad we lived in this day and age where we probably have like 3 million texts to each other but no sweet little love letters to keep like in the old days. And then he started sending me love emails of encouragement on the days I needed it most. What a man. What a man indeed.

In the past few years, I wasn’t really sure I wanted or needed to get married. I had found my way and become really comfortable as a single woman who knew what she was doing and had goals and who was conquering life on her own and loving being an aunt and all the things. My life was good and beautiful and sweet.

This has certainly shaken things up. I had to work through a lot to understand how I would or could move forward into a marriage. How I could be a partner and not just my independent self. And while I don’t feel I particularly received a heavenly answer of “You should marry this guy” I received so many reassurances and impressions that God was with me. That Steve was and is an amazing man–a good and Godly man. That Steve and I would be amazing partners and could do so much good together. That this was a good thing, a right thing, and a beautiful thing. That I got to choose and that in choosing that would be how I’d make this right even when it’s hard. And that for me, if I really wanted to move forward in my life and grow in the ways I still needed to grow, this was the next step. It may not be the same for everyone, but it is what I felt was what was needed for me. There have been and will continue to be growing pains.

But there is also someone who has not given up on me when I’ve given him cause to. Who I feel so comfortable around. Who gets me in all my weird idiosyncrasies and complexities. Who likes that I am weird and silly (I always wanted to find someone who liked that I was ridiculous). Who is indignant when I’m indignant. Who feels like he wants to defend me. Who loves me.

And I love him. Sappy sap sap.

The end.

Sunset in Kauai

PC: @CarysHaslamPhotography

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4 Replies to “37 Reasons it’s a Miracle I’m Married at age 37”

  1. Cheryl Johnson says:

    YEAH you love him! AND he loves you and it’s one of my favorite things. Heppy birthday, my child!

  2. Karlie Guymon says:

    Aw, love you Liz, and we love Steve too!!

  3. Such a fantastic post <3 You're the best.

  4. This is so great. Diane and I read this and so much here resonates with our story. I made it as difficult as possible for Diane, but here we are 6 years later, having a wonderful time together 🙂 Incredible how we can change when the right people come along and love us through it all.

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