Five Realizations after Getting Engaged

Zack and Annie Oates
Our very first photo together the day after we met.


Two months ago, I was a single guy who just got back from an adventure lasting seven weeks–now I’m an engaged guy who is about to jump into another one lasting forever.




You read that right.


I’m engaged.


In analyzing the past two months from meeting Annie to proposing, I have often wondered, ‘Why, after 1,000+ dates, did I finally meet someone I with whom wanted to spend the rest of my life?’


I came to five realizations that may help you on your quest to either find what you’re looking for or to greater appreciate what you’ve found.


First: Choose Your Love

I blogged about this right when I got back from my globetrotting and truly mean it. The more you open your heart to love and serve, the more you fall in love. It is much more of a choice than I ever imagined. But even after you’re doing everything you can, a lot is just about timing. #MostFrustratingThingToTellASinglePerson #SorryButTrue


Second: Love Your Choice

Now there are things that I appreciate about previous people I’ve dated, but before, I was constantly looking for someone who bested the best at everything…a couple months ago, I started looking for someone with whom I got along really well and could love and work through whatever we were lacking, as a team.


Third: There isn’t Just One

This realization came only after understanding the first two a little more. I am so grateful that Annie said “Yes!” and I am so glad that previous relationships where I considered marriage didn’t work out…but if both parties in those previous relationships were both were committed, I could be in the place with someone else, and so could Annie. As a wonderful grandma taught me recently, you make your choice and then spend the rest of your life making it the right one.


Fourth: The List Matters

A few months ago, I created a list of must have’s and nice to have’s. I even wrote about that experience. From making a list I learned that everything that I want, Annie has! Previously I had always looked for “something better,” regardless of how good things were, because I was scared. I was scared that there would be something else that would come up on the imaginary list that I hadn’t anticipated and everything would be ruined. With an actual list, it made things much more clear in my mind.


Fifth: I have No Clue

First of all, I know no more about dating or relationships than I did a few months ago, and quite frankly, I think I might know less. See, I spent years writing this dating blog, supposedly about how to get married. But, when it came to the steps leading up to the proposal, I did everything wrong. I mean I didn’t follow any of my advice.

  • I kissed her the first day we met
  • I hung out with her every single day after that
  • I invited her to a family reunion 4 days after we met
  • I didn’t date other people when she left to Thailand and China
  • I made my intentions clear on dating her before she got back
  • I even proposed without talking to her about marriage


Basically, what I learned from all of this is something my mother has told me for years: follow your heart, but don’t leave your head behind.


Do what you know is right, when you feel it is right, but if you feel to make a positive deviation, get over your pride and do it. Because while there is wisdom in experience, your heart full of love is always better than than a head full of yourself.


Oh, and what is to become of this here blog?


Well, it is going to stay around.


After all, I’ve just proven that everything I’ve thought about the dating “rules” might be wrong. I have some correcting I need to do.




4 thoughts on “Five Realizations after Getting Engaged

  1. As a girl, one thing I think you did wrong was propose at temple square. That’s so cliché! I expected something big and grand from you… But as long as you continue to share with us more of these excellent tips of how to do everything wrong and still have a happy ending, I suppose the cheesy proposal can be forgiven 🙂 congrats on starting your new adventure!

    1. lol…don’t you worry, there was a LOT more than that. And actually, I didn’t even propose to her in front of the temple…that was just a staged recreation of the real thing. It was too special to be caught on camera. Just between us. 😉

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