I have not watched the Bachelor since high school- at which time it seemed like an absolutely fantastic option for finding a future husband- but after seeing post after post pop up in our Facebook feed about this season I started tuning in. And I quickly realized something funny…
Dating the Captain was just like being on The Bachelor. Seriously, though! As I mentioned in this post, our relationship and wedding was nothing short of movie-theatre romance, but after watching the first four episodes of The Bachelor this week I just couldn’t get over the similarities. While I’d like to think that the biggest dissimilarity is how absolutely NUTS the eligible ladies chasing after Chris Soules are, I have to point out some of the glaringly obvious comparisons that I was able to make:
Every date was perfectly planned and romantic.
Because I was flying across the country from Maine to Washington every few weeks, the Captain had tons of time to plan elaborate weekend events for us. I still remember on my first trip when I found his “cheat sheet” that he had created on an index card, complete with times the monorail would depart in Seattle, when the underground tour began, and different landmarks along the way to point out. I still have that index card saved in a box of memories I keep from my time with the Captain. *Swoon*. Other amazing trips included a getaway to Boston for the Nutcracker at Christmas time, my first-ever trip to a Tiffany & Co, showing me how to shoot a gun, and teaching me how to snowboard with endless patience and kisses.
We had to wait ages between one-on-one time.
So I may not have been competing for one guy with 24 other girls living in one house for a few months, but I did have to wait forever to get that coveted one on one time with the Captain while we were dating. His first wife, the Army, kept him incredibly busy, and the distance between us didn’t help either. We were in different time zones, both working way more than 40 hours a week, and so love emails multiple times a day were the norm while we were apart. Then, finally, I would get to spend 18 hours or more on planes and in airports just to spend 36-48 hours with him each month. Every minute apart was worth it for those few hours together.
We had the high-stakes meet the family visits.
Very much like the Bachelor, during Christmas time after only dating a few months, the Captain came to Maine and we had our high-stakes meet the family moment with both my parents and his. This was the first, and the only, time that we would meet each others’ families before getting engaged two months later, which is not at all what I ever pictured it would be like when I was growing up and had my fantasy of dating my future husband’s family as much as I dated him. I mean, they’re becoming your family too- you should know them pretty well before you commit! Not so much in our case- and not so much in the case of the Bachelor either. At least I didn’t have a couple other options going home to meet his parents as well!
It was like speed-dating our way to marriage.
I used to think that the idea of the Bachelor dating girls for a few months and then making this ultimate, final decision of proposing at the end of it seemed a little crazy and idealistic. I did, at least, until I was suddenly the girl being proposed to at the bottom of an airport escalator on Valentine’s Day after only 6 months of dating the Captain. When you’re living across the country from someone that you love, the question inevitably comes up: Am I willing to give up the life I’ve built here to be with you over there?”. I think a lot of the girls on the Bachelor face this same decision, and the excitement of being near their guy for so many months during filming makes them forget about the reality of a future long distance relationship and the moves they will need to make to keep it alive. I feel lucky on this one because I really do believe that the time apart made our hearts grow fonder, and made a quick marriage the best decision for both of us at the end of the day.
Obviously dating, and marrying, an Officer in the Army comes with a whole additional set of challenges and questions to consider, but there was just something incredibly romantic about it at the same time. They know how to dress, they’re always well kept, and *some* of them can use the romance of the traditions of the Army to their advantage as they court their future wife. They also tend to take things a little more seriously and consider all aspects of the decisions and commitments they make before they make them just by nature. To say this love has been a whirlwind doesn’t even begin to describe it.
I think I’ll keep watching the Bachelor this season, but not because I’m jealous of the romance and excitement of it all. I’ll be watching because it makes me remember all of the beautiful parts of dating my Captain.