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6 Millennial Men On What It’s Like To Marry Their First Girlfriend

Ready the tissue
by Cheekie Albay | Sep 22, 2018
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Modern dating, with its undefined stages, confusing gray areas, and social-media-muddled exchanges, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence for anyone who’s in it for the long haul. That’s why it’s so easy to envy happily coupled-up men who no longer have to go through the cycle of boy meets girl, boy dates girl, boy and girl feel no spark, and boy and girl do the eventual slow fade while hoping they never run into each other again.

Now, imagine what it’s like for men who got it right the first time and are now basking in wedded bliss with the very same girl they’ve been with for years. Yes, these men exist—and we got six of them to share what it’s like.

Read on for six stories that will, at the very least, soften your hardened heart—enough to make you get back on that wretched boy-meets-girl thing again.

Angelo and Hazel Lyn

 Beyond The Frame 
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Angelo: She first caught my eye during Foundation Day rehearsal when we were both freshmen in high school. She was dancing on stage in front of everyone as part of the cheering squad. That was the first and last time I noticed her until we became classmates in our third year. I decided to court her before the school year ended and we became a couple by the middle of our senior year. We were inseparable from then on.

We tied the knot on our 11th anniversary as a couple, then six years later, we were blessed with a daughter. Now, we are expecting another bundle of joy.

My journey as a husband became easier than I thought it would be because I have a partner who knows me well. I am not a guy who can easily express or say what I feel, but since we’ve been together for almost two decades, I don’t have to because she knows when I am sad or when I have a problem, she knows what I don’t like and what makes me angry, and she knows my Facebook and Messenger password (hahaha).

Some of my friends ask me why I didn’t try dating other girls before I settled down, and I say I don’t have to because I already found what I want. I think it would be foolish to throw away a pearl just for a chance at finding another pearl. I know finding a relationship is a matter of trial and error, and I am so glad I got it right on the first try.

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When people ask me what the secret to our long-lasting relationship is, I honestly don’t know what to answer. I guess we just really love each other.

Blizzard and Camille

 Camzar Photography 

Blizzard: We met when we were both in our first jobs at a BPO company; if I remember correctly, I was 19 and she was 20. After just a few weeks of hanging out after work, we became a couple—there was no formal courting involved.

We enjoyed each other’s company and we had the same interests, and I really just loved seeing her every day. After more than a year working for the same company in Makati, she moved to Cubao, I moved to Cavite, and I ended up only seeing her on weekends. After working in Cavite for almost two years, I decided to join her at her workplace in Cubao, even if it meant traveling for more than two hours every night for work. Now that we run our own photography business, we’re still working side by side—just the way we want it.

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We have now been together for 12 years in total, seven of those as husband and wife. We are raising two beautiful kids together, besides running a business together. I can say that it’s not possible to achieve the things I enjoy right now without her as my wife.

I don’t really feel I missed out not dating other women. I don’t even see myself dating other women aside from her. She helped me a lot in becoming a better person: from the way I look to the way I view things. We’ve become so close now that it feels weird and incomplete being without her.

For me, the best part of having your first girlfriend as your wife is that you will be more inspired to reach your dreams and goals for each other. Because you know that at the end of the day, you’re building your family around the one who’s been there from the start.

Mike and Ella

 Mike and Ella 
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Mike: I met Ella when I transferred to her high school 20 years ago. We were classmates for three years. She did not know it at that time, but I had been sort of manipulating quarterly seating rearrangements with our homeroom advisers to make sure that I got to sit beside her.

After graduation, we went to the same university; however, I later moved to another university and ended up seeing her only once in a while. I did not ask her out until I was a year out of school, and she was in her final year. I got “basted” since her mindset at that time was that a relationship would distract her from school, board exams, and her providing for her family.

While it was initially awkward, we stayed friends for the next six years, during which we got better at communicating with each other. I invited her for a climb up Mt. Pulag with no intentions, but I guess the cold weather sort of forces you to stay close together. We started dating after that.

We have known each other for 20 years now, been together for seven, and married for four. We have a three-year-old boy. We have recently moved to another country. Life has not always been a smooth ride, but we continue to get by.

The key thing that we have going for us is that since we’ve known each other for so long, we have nothing else to hide—and it doesn’t hurt that we share a bunch of common friends who cheer us on at every step of our journey. It may sound weird, but being with her feels like being part of an old couple—it is relaxed, comfortable, full of understanding.

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Also, the dating scene these days sounds exhausting for us both. When asked whether I feel like I missed out on dating other women, I quote my grandfather: “I’ve gone through it once. I don’t plan on doing it all over again.’”

Pope and Happy

 Pope and Happy 

Pope: Happy and I met and became a couple in our first year of college. We had an instant connection as friends, and our friendship developed into something deeper since we were spending so much time together—having the same classes, talking on the phone for hours, and going out on dates. Eventually, we felt it was time to take it to the next level and make it official. Our relationship lasted for almost four years until we broke up right after graduating.

We were broken up for seven years, during which we were totally cut off from each other, having completely moved on and begun casually dating other people. It was only after a college barkada reunion that we reconnected. Since that reunion, we found ourselves going out, talking about where we had been since we broke up, and just getting to know each other like that first year in college.

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Since then, we’ve been together for seven years, the last two of which as a married couple. Our journey together this time around has been so much better, and even if life throws us a lot of challenges, being with her makes it so much easier because we see each other as a team, as equals in building the life we want.

I always say to her, “Being with you and marrying you was the best decision I’ve ever made,” because it really is true. I would be lost without her. She gave me the drive to be better, and I feel that I am a better man because of her. It doesn’t feel like I settled with her because for me, if you find the person you love, who complements you and loves you back, being with that person is the best thing in the world.

Randy and Cel

 Jam Mercado 
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Randy: I met Cel when we were both baristas at Starbucks back in 2005. I remember that day because it was the first time I met a true-blue Atenean; meanwhile, I had gone to La Salle since high school. She was a petite, nerdy-looking girl, and when we met, I was not immediately attracted to her—I was casually dating other girls at that time and she had a boyfriend then.

Right before things developed with Cel, I even asked her to buy flowers for me to give to the girl I was dating then! Fortunately, it did not work out for that girl and me. And almost at the same time, Cel’s then-relationship ended.

That is when everything changed. I caught myself liking her, but asking myself why. By mid-October 2005, we started going out on unofficial dates: “random” food stops after work, talking on the phone longer than usual, sending texts every day—you know the drill! I remember thinking, “Baka rebound lang ako nito.” But I also thought, “What the hell, why not give it a try?” On the evening of November 4, 2005, we officially became a couple.

We have been inseparable ever since—from working together in Manila, to moving to a different country for work, to getting engaged at Starbucks where it all started, to getting hitched in Paris, to getting pregnant and having a baby in Singapore, and eventually going back home to the Philippines. I am proud to call my wife my first and only girlfriend. I am secure in the belief that I did not settle just to have a girlfriend. I took my time and found my person.

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I always say that we are the same and different at the same time—different heights, different schools, and different views on a myriad of other things. But what’s amazing is that the love we have for one another really conquers all.

Victor and Shiriel

 Victor and Shiriel 

Victor: Shiriel and I met at a cosplay event in 2010 where a friend of mine had brought me along and where she was the host. We clicked right away, began to talk about anything under the sun, and became best friends.

While I liked her, I didn’t formally attempt a relationship with her until 2015 because I wanted to be a better man first. I knew back then that I wouldn’t be able to handle a relationship yet. I saw relationships as something that I had to heavily invest in; if I started one, I wanted to give it my all and see it through to marriage and even further.

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I built myself up to be capable of handling not just a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship, but a marriage. I saw her through her extremely emotional moments, in which I had to learn how to handle her and bring her back up. I had to learn how to understand her creativity and affirm it. I also had to learn how to lead her emotionally and spiritually. Now that we’re married, I’m pleased that I took that road of learning all these things first because now I know how to properly take care of her and make her happy.

The struggles will always be there. The only difference we’ve made is that we didn’t give up on overcoming these struggles and we continued on with our relationship no matter how hard it has gotten.

Not all relationships end up like ours, and it’s not too likely that your first relationship becomes your last as well. But whatever story you may have, learn how to love and never give up on your relationship, and that’ll give you one that can last a lifetime.


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