Relationships, personal growth and marriage

puppy, dog, bunny groom, dog bride

One of my recent posts talked about my engagement and I’ve been thinking about what that means for the past couple of days. Those thoughts have centered around the impact a good relationship can have on your life.

It was only a few years ago that I was in my late 20s, discouraged from the dating rut I was in and expecting to be stuck in that loop of mediocre relationships for a while. There’s something to be said about feeling trapped and the stickiness it brings into the other aspects of your life. Often times when one thing isn’t going well, other things follow suit. In short, one thing failing can make your outlook on other parts of your life change as well. I wasn’t happy in my social/personal life, wasn’t happy with my career and wasn’t even happy with my living situation. I felt like I was failing in my relationships and by default I felt the same way in all other aspects of my life.

Then I met her and everything changed. People often say that their significant other makes them a better person and I never understood what they meant by that until I met and spent time with my now fiancee. She has a lot of great qualities and I immediately knew that there was something different about her when compared to other girls I’ve dated. Most of my prior relationships barely lasted a few months and I honestly expected this one to be the same but things progressed, they moved along and I realized that this was working; it was working pretty damn well.

That internal belief of being stuck in all aspects of my life made no sense to me anymore. I was in my late 20s and living a life I didn’t want to live because I told myself that was the norm. I was depressed, anxious, bored and unhappy.

It took one great person, one good relationship to make me realize that didn’t have to be the case and get my life moving again. If I could succeed in a relationship, I could succeed in other areas of my life as well. That was a pretty key realization in my life that drove me forward in search of bigger and better things. I was no longer stuck in my default loop of mediocre relationships so why should I be stuck in other parts of my life?

I moved to a nicer place; closer to work and amenities which led to a higher quality of life. I never hated my job but found it rather unfulfilling so I took a closer look at my career and pushed myself forward into a different career path; one that I enjoy and one that offers more potential for earnings, personal growth and impact. I began this blog as a way to track my financial progress and push myself forward on my personal projects and through all that I became a better boyfriend to my girlfriend as well. She was the one that brought forth this whole cathartic realization me. Meeting her was the start of a whole new part of my life and now here we are ready to start yet another journey.

Marriage! That’s our dog and bunny up there announcing our upcoming nuptials. I’m excited to continue growing as a person and seeing where the journey takes me from here. 

I know I was lucky in finding my life partner even if it took me a while to get there. She has a great head on her shoulders, values the same things as I do and is a great caring person who pushes me forward in all my endeavors. Since, this is a financial blog, it’s important to mention that we’re both on the same page when it comes to money as well; something that’s very important to me. If one partner is a saver and the other is a spender, it can certainly create some friction in the relationship.

She has a lot of positive traits and I’ve seen her grow as a person as well in these years but it’s  more amazing to me how much I’ve changed over the last three years.

The reality of that transformation makes me come back to that saying, the one about your significant other making you a better person and I totally understand what that means right now. I’ve spoken about the great qualities of my future wife already although I’ve spared mentioning all of them for the sake of brevity and I have no doubt that she’s had a big impact on the positive changes in my life but I do believe there’s something else at work as well. I firmly believe that personal growth has to come from within but the truth is that often times it has to be sparked by something.

For me, it was getting rid of the idea that I was stuck in a loop of mediocrity in all parts of my life and my fiancee was the impetus for that. I can now say that my fiancee makes me a better person not simply by being herself but by giving life to the idea that I can succeed in a part of my life which led me to the conclusion that I can also succeed in others. I know that others who say the same thing about their wives probably feel the same way but I’m also know that a great relationship isn’t the only way to achieve that.

The birthplace of that change can likely be anything and depends on the person.

I could have just as easily made a change in other parts of my life and gotten similar results in personal growth. In fact, I was in the process of making some of those changes when I met my fiancee and she just drove that point home. I was not only tired of my dating rut but also the friends I was spending time with as our interests had deviated and our outlooks on life had changed. That realization and the knowledge that something wasn’t working in both areas of my social life led me to meetup.com, a whole new group of great friends who are still in my life and eventually my fiancee.

I was also already thinking into moving to a new place, to get a fresh start on life and that was spurned on by the new relationship. I was bored at work and already thinking of change when she came along. It’s certainly possible that I would have never made the leap if she hadn’t borne the idea within me that taking a chance on something new can lead to great results. Thankfully, she did come along and brought it all home for me and I’m thankful for that and glad to be so lucky to find her and realize all this.

I know everyone out there probably can’t be so lucky.

Still, I do believe that those seeking personal growth often need to find a spark to get them moving. It took me nearly thirty years to realize that and find my spark.  I think that spark can come from anywhere whether it be a new relationship, a new job, a new location, a new group of friends or a hobby. It can be anything that takes a part of your life that’s not working and changes that to make you realize that success can be had eventually. It took me a while to find the right girl and it might take others a while to find the right job or place to live but that’s how life works. I could have sworn of dating for a while, I could have been comfortable with my group of friends I no longer enjoyed spending time with and I could have stayed in my boring unfulfilling job. I could have been in the same spot now that I was just a few years ago but I’m not and it took one success to change all that.

In my case, that success transferred into other areas of my life that were lacking the past and are in a much better spot now.

My fiancee made me a better person and she didn’t have to do much to do it except be herself and make me realize that I’m not stuck in mediocrity for the rest of my life. I can do better, whether it be in my career, my living situation or my relationship. I’m thankful to her for being that spark for me but I also know that it was my own personal drive that ultimately drove the results. My fiancee makes me a better person but I also have to strive to be a better person or I’d be doomed to fail no matter what she did to push me forward.

I’m super excited to see what the next few decades bring for us and I’m eager to see how we can both help the other grow.

We just spent last weekend shopping for rings and picked one out that should arrive in a week or two and then comes the wedding planning part of things. I’m honestly not overly excited about the prospect of that but fiancee is more than willing to handle most of the planning.

We’ve already talked about what we want, a small, non-traditional, low-stress wedding that doesn’t break the bank but lets us celebrate the joining of our lives with our friends and family. It’s so nice to finally be in a relationship where we both have the same expectations and views on life.

I’m excited about this next step in our lives and know there’s plenty more to follow. I’m also glad to have a clear path forward with the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. Home ownership is potentially on the horizon and other things as well; things that would cause lead to anxiety and fear in the past but I’m less worried about these unknowns with her by my side. I’m confident now in my ability to do well in other areas of my life(even if I fail once or twice along the way) because I’ve already succeeded before.

11 thoughts on “Relationships, personal growth and marriage

    1. I think it’s key to pick the right partner in life – they really have such a huge impact on quality of life. I’m not sure how long our engagement will be but I’m in no huge rush to plan the wedding just yet.

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  1. So great that you have a partner that is onboard with you financially. Two people working towards the goal of being FI is an awesome accelerator. Ya know, even if you are kinda chill and laid back with reaching that goal.

    I was married almost three years ago. Small service in the backyard of my newly acquired house for friends and family that came. Hired a local guy that did BBQ as a side-gig, $12 per plate. Rented tables, chairs, and extras. Total cost was real low.

    It doesn’t have to be expensive if you do it right.

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    1. I mentioned BBQ as the food of choice but not sure the girlfriend will go for it plus it’s a bit messy for a dressy affair which is what we want. Still, I’ll definitely be keeping BBQ in mind.

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  2. Congrats on the marriage, man! Finding my wife definitely helped me change for the better, but I’m learning that it’s a continual thing you can’t let slow down once you’re married.

    I’m glad you found someone who shares your financial values! I didn’t really get into personal finance or FI until after we were married so I’m just lucky she got on board with me!

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  3. Congrats again on your engagement!!! It’s amazing when you find the one how quickly they can build you up by just being themselves. That happened with my wife and I have taken chances that I never would have dreamed about without her. You’re going to love be married!!!

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