29 July 2014 by

DEBATE: Can You Really Know You’ve Met The One After Three Months?

DEBATE: Can You Really Know You’ve Met The One After Three Months?

Cheryl wed Jean Bernard Fernandez Versini after three months of dating [Instagram]

Is a whirlwind marriage the start of a beautiful life together… or does it spell disaster? Here, two writers debate if Cheryl Cole’s speedy wedding is a match made in heaven...

Can you really know you’ve met the one after three months?

Within two weeks of meeting Ian on holiday, I knew he was The One. He made me laugh like no one I’d ever known, we shared the same views on life and he was just so hot. We got married after 18 months together, but I can honestly say if he’d proposed after a month I would have walked down the aisle there and then.

And it turns out I was right… we’ve now been husband and wife for five years and, aside from the occasional row about which box set to watch, and him constantly leaving his shoes in the middle of the lounge (why?), I honestly couldn’t be happier.

Which is why I think Cheryl Cole and her new husband Jean-Bernard were absolutely right to get married after just three months. Like Cheryl, I had been in a long-term relationship before meeting Ian. And coming out of that after 11 years, I knew what worked for me (a shared love of American sitcoms, olives and peoplewatching) and what didn’t (being told off for people-watching). Same for Cheryl – she’s been married before and presumably thinks she’s found a man who can stay faithful and not engage in sexting with other women.

You simply reach a stage in life when there is no need for game playing, no hedging your bets or ticking off endless boxes. Cheryl is 31 and knows her own mind. So what if she probably hasn’t met all his friends? And who cares if she doesn’t know exactly how he likes his steak cooked, what his top 10 favourite films are or what he’s like when struck down by man flu?

They have a lifetime ahead to work out all the small stuff. To sound like a cliché, all you need is love. If you’ve got that, how long you’ve been together before saying ‘I do’ is utterly irrelevant.

Can you really know you’ve met the one after three months?

I was just 20 when I met my now-husband. And yes, on our first date, I did drunkenly text my best friend telling her I was ‘going to marry this one’ (psychoalert, anyone?). But it still took a further seven years for us to tie the knot. Both of us needed to grow up before committing ourselves. But, crucially, we needed to grow together, too.

There is something terribly romantic about Cheryl Cole’s decision to marry Jean-Bernard after just three months. And yet, I can’t help question what the rush was? In the West, we’re a generation of women incredibly privileged to have been born into an era that makes no demands on females to marry. We don’t need to do it for social acceptability or economic security. We don’t even need to do it at all. So why speed into a legal commitment you don’t have to make until you are absolutely sure of yourself, your love and your significant other?

It used to be a risky gamble, when you weren’t allowed to share a home or sleep together before marriage, but now all the societal norms are in place for both parties to suss each other out.

Even though I adore that my gut feeling on our first date ended up being correct, my husband didn’t feel the same (as he enjoys reminding me). While it was only a few weeks before he professed his love to me, it took many more for that feeling to mature, deepen and take on the roots I felt supporting us as we said our vows nearly two years ago.

And that’s why I wasn’t nervous about actually marrying my guy. Because I knew for sure, after years of plodding along together, sharing the same bed (and loo), all while kissing and rowing about the big and small stuff, he should be my husband.

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