Guys like flowers, too

Dan Weitner, church pastor, met his wife at a wedding when she blindly chose him to be her partner

By: Dan J. Weitner
For The Sun

My wife and I met in the parking lot of the church where her cousin, my college roommate and his fiancé were to be wed. She was a bridesmaid and I was a groomsman. Some family members said that they had engineered our being paired up during the service and at the reception, but, the truth is, beforehand my sweetie had been given a choice of a groomsman, and before actually seeing the men among whom she was to choose, selected the guy who was described as six feet tall, with dark brown hair and a beard, which turned out to be me.

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Our first date was at a firefighters’ fundraising fair in her hometown. In the months that followed, our relationship blossomed and deepened. About a year later, I asked my sweetheart to marry me; a year and a half afterward, on a bitterly-cold night in mid-January, we were wed at our church, with a standing-room-only congregation witnessing our vows.

We believe the most romantic thing we have done, and continue to do, is to present one another with flowers (yes, guys like flowers, too) for no reason. In other words, not just when it is St. Valentine’s Day, or a birthday, or our anniversary, but also in the in-between times.

It is rather easy for us to characterize what makes us not unique, but different than most of our friends who were married during the early 1970s: we are still married after 44 years. Sadly, a majority of our contemporaries we knew in high school and college became ex-couples after five years, 10 years or 15 years of marriage.

Both of us would offer simple advice to help forestall a broken relationship: before your wedding day, preferably a long time before then, come to grips with the fact that you will have differences, perhaps even strong differences, of opinion, viewpoint and preference, but arguing over them does not mean that your relationship is faulty and should be ended. A good, lasting marriage requires long-term work, perhaps many tears and much compromise, but the long-term results are peace, joy and shared support.

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