My wife and I were pronounced husband and wife 54 days after we met online, and I had to fly to the Philippines to meet her, and if things had been a certain way, it could have been quicker. Had being single for so many years made me lose my mind? But how fast is quickly? Does it take six months to fall in love?
The cynics, skeptics, and romantically agnostic are all likely to have their own reservations about our story. In this post I discuss seven common questions people are likely to ask about my whirlwind engagement.
Is it possible to fall in love too quickly?
No, I don’t believe it is possible to fall in love quickly. We got married quickly, am I saying that I didn’t love her? I say this because of the way I define love. Very often love is seen as an intense feeling of deep affection.
Very often, we say things like “I love the Philippines”, which means I have an affection for that country since I met my wife there and it is a beautiful country. We might even say we love this particular athlete or actor until they get traded or say something that we don’t agree with politically.
Believe it or not, some people think that they can beat and abuse another person, yet maintain they love them.
Feelings come and go, they depend on our circumstances. We might say “I’d love to go there someday” but never make the effort to take a vacation to that destination.
The kind of love I want in my marriage is forged over time, through good times and bad. It involves giving, sacrificing, meeting needs, putting another’s needs above your own. It isn’t concerned primarily with what it receives but with what it gives. In my opinion, this doesn’t happen quickly. I’m going to answer the seven questions I mentioned earlier.
1) Are you sure you love her?
If asked this question before I married her my answer would be that I will love her. Anyone, and I mean, anyone, can say or feel or believe they love a woman that they haven’t married yet. It is easy to love when there is no commitment necessary.
It gets tougher after marriage, even to a beautiful Filipina. In any relationship there will be conflict. A husband and wife need to handle that conflict in a way that can bring restoration to the marriage.
Until the wedding day, I believe a woman is fair game even while being engaged. If someone comes around that pursues her aggressively, she doesn’t absolutely have to marry the one she has been engaged to. It is up to him to commit to her and marry her before someone else does. Once married, that’s it, there can be no other competition or options for either.
2) How do you know it’s love?
Since there will be emotions and sexual attraction when you’re involved with someone, that shouldn’t be misconstrued as love. Getting married as quickly as we did, (with me proposing on day 18 from thousands of miles away) how was I going to be able to actually love her? I could only do that if I married her and we were together which we have been since January of 2016. The love comes after marriage.
3) How do you know she loves you?
If asking this question before our marriage the answer would be that I can’t know until after we are married. It would be better to rephrase the question as “How do you know if she is going to love you?” All I could say at that point (and likewise for her) is that I believe she will based on what she has told me and my general impressions.
Under eight weeks and we were already husband and wife. I know my motives better than she does at that point, so I believed I would be committed to her. My wife had to trust that I was sincere.
All I wanted from marriage was companionship, touch and sex and my wife gives me that and a lot more. When we were in the Philippines recently I hurt my back. This is what she did for me:
She fed me in bed with a spoon! She showered me. She bought me a muscle relaxant from the pharmacy, and she paid for a full body massage the next day. All without complaint.
She was loving me, she was meeting a need I had. She was being a good wife. Later when I got the worst sore throat in my life, she went to about five pharmacies to look for something the doctor prescribed. She was loving me, not just saying she did.
In sickness and in health -Filipina commitment
4) Would it have made a difference to wait longer, like another three to six months?
I felt I knew about her what I really needed to know about her the most (she was a Christian) and believed I would be totally committed to her, so I simply asked her sooner rather than later. I had already spent the last 30 years alone and had ample time to learn about marriage. I was eager to actually start being married. There was also going to be a sizable delay of being together as we processed the visa, which ended up being eight months.
If I had put it off for awhile longer, I am not sure what that would have accomplished. We chatted at least four hours a day before we married so I had my chance to get to know her. My pastor even chatted with her (check out the video with pastor Scott). Sure, it was quick, but I had to ask myself if there was a good reason not to marry her quickly.
Whether you're religious or not, it's a good idea to have someone you respect and are close to chime in on your international relationship.
Was she going to reveal something unsavory or disturbing about her past to me after marriage? That didn’t matter to me because I told her I was committed to her until I died. She should feel safe with me. She should know that my love for her isn’t based on her being perfect. Filipinas are beautiful for sure, but no one is perfect.
Our marriage should be an environment where she doesn’t have to be ashamed to tell me anything. Doing this builds trust and intimacy. We all want a safe place to be and a safe person to be with. Marriage should be that place. I am much more open and transparent than my wife, so it is only natural that I would be more revealing than she would be early on. I didn’t interrogate her while we were dating.
5) Was she going to be different after marriage?
Will she show her “true colors” as in, was she was deceiving me before marriage? I have wanted to title a video “Don’t gamble on love, a Filipina is a safe bet”, but I realize that there are times it doesn’t work out. My purpose for my channel is to help foreigners and Filipinas have a successful relationship.
We will just have to take it one day at a time because being in different situations will cause stress we haven’t been under before.
How will she respond to being so very far from home?
How will I respond to actually having a relationship?
How would I respond if I became a father? If she became a mother, would that change her?
How will our intimate life be?
How will she react to having money?
How will she respond to the culture of America? To working in America? To being married to an older man?
As a Christian I prayed for a wife for a long time and my church was praying for a wife for me. Now that I have one, I trust God to be able to learn how to live with her and her with me. There always needs to be concessions and sacrifices. I never wanted to know everything about her. There is only so much you can discover and that is limited to your questions and what she thinks is important for you to know.
Who to marry is a major decision in anyone’s life but that doesn’t mean that there is a one size fits all method to going about it. I should mention this, that for me, since sex (as a christian) before marriage wasn’t an option, delaying this even more by protracting the dating process was not appealing to me.
Even though we had seen each other on Skype, I told myself that even if she showed up in a wheelchair at the airport in Manila that I was going to marry her. Before the actual wedding, I believe plans can still change because until marriage, God has not joined the two together. In our case, I wanted so badly to commit to someone to make their life better that I decided this was the one.
6) Isn’t this too soon to say you love her?
Yes, in a sense. As long as our love isn’t based on feelings but is based on a commitment to meet each other’s needs for the rest of our lives, no matter what. We tried to avoid saying I love you until we met in person on April 25 of 2015. Some people avoid saying I love you until they are engaged.
The reason for this is to not cheapen the love. It is just too easy to say you love someone when you are not progressing towards marriage. When I told her I loved her, what that was really expressing was “I am committed to loving you the rest of your life and I will prove it by marrying you.”
Even arranged marriages have worked because the two focus on expressing love now that they are married. In the Bible Adam, the first man, had never even known what a woman was when God gave him Eve as his wife and he was expected to love her.
7) Are you in love with the idea of being in love?
Considering how long I had been without a girlfriend, this would be a good question. I had been in love before but was rejected by a woman who preferred getting taken advantage of by a man who refused to marry her. I’d have to honestly say that I was not in love with the idea of being in love.
That is because I was in love with the idea of loving someone, of being responsible to love someone, of committing to them. I knew it would be challenging. I also had unmet needs as a single man that only marriage could meet and that required getting married, not living in some daze of feeling in love.
I sometimes wonder what is happening when a foreigner and a Filipina have known each other for years and he has not proposed marriage. I do believe some men have been wounded through divorce and are going to be cautious, some other men might be hesitant to “pull the trigger” and yes, other men might want to stay in the dreamland of a dating relationship with a beautiful Filipina because they are in the safe zone still.
In marriage, the bloom is coming off the rose sooner or later, then you have to deal with each other’s sin weaknesses. If you are willing to accept that as part of a relationship that will be good for you, then I would want to get married as soon as possible.
I hope this helps you understand me a little better. There was a method to my madness. To be honest with you, it did escape me that I proposed to her as soon as I did, it seemed like we had known each other longer, but maybe that’s because we communicated so much early on.
Somehow, we make a good couple despite the cultural and age differences. It seems like she has been in my life for decades, like I have known her for a long time. She was the one I’d been praying for.
I believe that true love starts after you marry your love beyond the sea, whether she’s beyond the sea in the Philippines or abroad in some other country.