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A friend who I had lost contact with about 4 years ago added me on Facebook and she commented that she was shocked that I was already married. The comment made me laugh because at the age of 20 when we last spoke I was adamant that I wasn’t going to settle down until I was 30 at the very earliest. I apparently didn’t have time for that kind of ‘stuff’. I was career driven, determined to get a MSc, get a job and to me at the time that meant no men.

But then Karim happened. I’m relatively stubborn, so the way I had began feeling about him didn’t factor into the path I had set myself. I continued to suppress my feelings for him, thinking that if I showed anything he’d say what I knew he was feeling and for some weird reason I thought I couldn’t consolidate my ambitions with love and relationship, which is preposterous now that I think about it. Three months after tip-toeing around the situation we began dating. But I made it clear that I wasn’t prepared to settle down anytime soon, that even getting engaged was not on the cards. Two months or so into our relationship my brothers figured out there was someone, and being brothers they wanted to check him out. Luckily I have the most amazing relationship with my brothers and they understand me and the bonus was/ is that Karim and them get on like a house on fire!

On one of my mother’s visits to London she caught wind of our relationship and kept pestering me about what his intentions were. There were quite a few arguments if I’m honest about this between mum and me (but we’ve had a relatively turbulent relationship – luckily it seems to have settled down in the last year). We had been dating for almost six months then and I was open with Karim about what my mum was thinking. That’s when he told me that he was ready to propose to me at least a month ago but that he knew how I felt about getting tied down formally. You would think that hearing an admission like that would make me run a mile but I couldn’t stop laughing. It occurred to me right there and then that I didn’t want to spend my life with anybody except Karim, he has in all honesty become my best, best friend, I was completely in love with him and if I allowed myself to imagine being married, it would be to him. And so we got engaged and a year and a bit later we got married.

I am lucky that I’m married to a guy who isn’t insecure enough to stop me from getting on with my life, from stifling my ambitions. If anything he encourages me, even nudges me forward to do better. He’s the kindest person I know, and I know everyone says that about the person they love, but after the flack that he got from my mother and the way he handled it all with such grace I found myself falling in love with him all over again.

So yes, two years ago I would never have imagined that I would be married being determined as I was not to fall, thinking that marriage was a trap. And then Karim came along changing the way I thought about marriage, washing away my insecurities and my assuredness that it meant the end for me as a person. If anything, he’s made me grow, wiser, more worldly, more confident and so much more in love.