Dan and I are 9 months into our marriage - and boy has it been a (wild) ride.
I've had expectations built up in my head my entire life....imagining what life would be like as a married couple....EXCEPT, I didn't think about all the little details and ~behind the scenes~ of what marriage would be like.
Also, 9 months into our marriage, I finally got around to changing my last name to a new "married" name.
For this announcement, I thought it would be funny to share "Expectations vs. Reality" of what Dan and I have been going through during our newlywed stage these last 9 months of marriage. Keep reading to find out....
Expectation: You will keep your own independence with decision-making
Reality: You are a team now. If your partner gets promoted, it feels like you both are promoted because it benefits you both. If someone gets a big bonus, you both get the bonus. On the other side, if someone is sad, you both are sad together. It's a team unit, and I've loved working together as a team with Dan on our financial goals, career goals, and travel bucket list together.
Expectation: Marriage will feel effortless
Reality: You have been dating for x amount of years, finally engaged and married, so all the hard work is done! Hahahaha nope. Marriage has felt like a new partnership, and being each other’s primary support system. To me, putting effort into our marriage is planning a date night once a week, grabbing coffee together on Sunday mornings, and pretending I have an interest when Dan wins against his buddies while playing video games. It's the little things that have been creating the sweetest memories (minus the video games).
Expectation: We will need to align on financial goals
Reality: We recently met with a financial advisor, and it helped us decided what we want to save + invest our money towards. We know we want to own a house in the next 1-2 years, so we have been prioritizing what we want to splurge on vs. savings to help manage our NYC lifestyle (aka not a cheap city to live in). The financial advisor helped us look at the big picture for our financial goals. I never thought we would have a financial advisor, but it's been super helpful for us to have an outside opinion on financial goals at our age.
Expectation: "Sleepovers" will be the same as "Living Together"
Reality: Nope. Not at all. I totally thought it would be the same, or very, very close to the same. I was wrong. Now that we have been fully-living together, our communication style has changed and we are learning how to be patient with each other. It's been hard, but we've made great progress and have figured out our roles in our home for how we want to run it (ex. who cooks, cleans, laundry, walks/feeds the dog, etc.)
Expectation: My husband will stop playing video games
Reality: Nope. Still playing.
Expectation: You don't need to create a "Will" until you have kids
Reality: I figured we didn't need one, especially the first year of being married. The same financial planner we have been working with advised us on the importance of it, even without having kids. We have 401K's, stocks, savings that need to be accounted for in case something happens to us. Obviously, we hope nothing happens to one of us, but making sure the other one is taken care of.
Expectation: You have to change your last name to your husband's
Reality: I always thought I would take my husbands last name and that was that! Now that it's the time to change it, I feel like I am going through an identity crisis by changing it. I have been called "Sara Meier" all 28 years of my life....and then if you change it, who the heck knows who you are. After a lot of soul-searching and talking to family + friends, I decided I feel more comfortable being Sara Meier-Weiss. The new last name doesn't bother me because I still feel like it's "me" by seeing "Meier" in my full name. So, I am excited to re-introduce myself as Sara Meier-Weiss. :)
Also, if I am going through the effort of changing my last name, I want to make sure I have everything covered. There are a couple services online offering services to change your last name easily! The one I ended up picking is HitchSwitch! They have made everything so easy to change and it has made this process less stressful. Use code SOCIALITE15 to receive 15% off any package on HitchSwitch.
Expectation: When you get married, nothing will feel different
Reality: So many people told me this, so I was expecting nothing to feel different. TBH, I felt a difference in our commitment during our mini-moon in Bermuda. I was so used to playing "hard to get" with Dan (and vice versa for Dan). Now, we are all in. All our ideas for our future, are more concrete because we are doing it together. It's not a fantasy anymore.
Expectation: When you get married, it's "game over"
Reality: I still feel my freedom of doing whatever I want, and Dan (hopefully) feels the same way. We were never controlling in our relationship to begin with. We are choosing to be together, work on our marriage and life together, and I am so excited for the new experiences we will go through. I've actually LOVED marriage much more than I expected to! I loved being on teams back in school and at work, so being on this life-long team with Dan is fitting for my personality. I don't miss the dating scene, nor do I have a desire to go back to it because marriage is a new game we are playing.