I did not speak to Tyler for five more months until I got a call from him one day. When his name flashed on my phone, my heart stopped. I was just coming to terms (as much as I possibly could) with the fact that I would never hear from him again.
“Hello,” I answered.
“Hi,” he responded. There was a long, heavy pause. “So I’m in New York. My flight got in an hour ago. Would you want to get dinner?” His words were normal, but his tone was not. At dinner, we spent the first ten minutes wearing painted smiles and asking polite questions until, finally, I told him that I couldn’t pretend everything was okay.
“Why are you here?,” I asked. “I’m so confused.”
He went on to explain to me that he wasn’t happy in California and, more specifically, that he wasn’t happy being away from me. He was transferring to Columbia. However, he also explained that he didn’t trust me and that he didn’t know how we could start again.
“I loved — I love — you so much,” he said. “And I understand why you did what you did. But I don’t understand you for lying to me. I don’t forgive you for talking to me on the phone, telling me you loved me, hanging up, and then having sex with someone else. I want to try again, but just know that it will be hard for me.”
And it was. It was hard for both of us. Rebuilding our relationship was no easy task. For the most part, we never talked about my cheating (we agreed that, if we were going to try again, there was no point in talking about it over and over and over again), but there would be nights where Tyler would wake up in the middle of the night and wake me up, demanding answers. “Why would you do that? How could you do that to us?,” he’d ask, especially during the first few months we were together. It killed me to see him like this and all I could do was reassure him of how much I loved him — how I never stopped loving him, but I just got scared.
A year later, in June, Tyler and I were walking the Highline in New York. “I’ve been thinking about something,” he said. “Wait. Hold on. I think better on one knee.” He proposed to me and I said yes. Originally, we planned to get married after college. However, I decided that I wanted us to get married on our 10-year anniversary, which was December of 2011.
Suddenly, we had less than six months to plan a wedding. Neither of our families objected to us getting married and I think a lot of that had to do with us dating for so long. I’ve been dating Tyler for over 50% of my life. We were not two strangers getting married. Our families, however, did make it clear that, if we were making this decision, they would be cutting us off financially. As my mom said, “I love you and support you, but I’m not going to pay for you to play house.” Tyler’s parents initially were more skeptical of us getting married so early, but after explaining that he’d still be going to medical school, they felt more at ease. I think they would have preferred us to wait (they kept saying “what’s the rush?”), but they ultimately accepted that it was not their decision to make.