(Photo credit: Jelger and Tanja Photographers)
Breanne Agnew hails from Vancouver, BC, and helms the wedding blog, The Wedding Planner’s Diary. She grew up with a mother who was always crafting and a father who was always cooking – and discovered a love for creating when she was quite young, thanks to these two strong influences in her life. She was encouraged to do the things that made her happy, and this journey led to her discovery of Live Action Role Play. She was doing costume work when she realized she would totally be the type of fae to wear a chainmaille bra but having no idea where to find something like this, she made one and so began an affair with making armor. Here she talks about her upcoming nuptials, what it’s like to propose, and the frog she had to kiss before finding the man of her dreams.
If Aliens were questioning me, asking me to explain just who I was, I wouldn’t be able to help but think, “Damn, my dad was right all along.” I should have paid more attention to some of the things he said about this greater life form. I would tell these beings that I have the innate need to be loved and feel needed, much beyond a normal human being – at the same time, I’m definitely not afraid to offend a person when I think they’re wrong. I intend to make my living on loving. The ultimate goal, professionally, is to be a wedding planner. I want to be the person with their hand in the happiest day of peoples’ lives. My life has been built around the knowledge that love is the most powerful thing on this earth, even though it’s a non-tangible ideal.
My wedding planning career is apparently starting with my own wedding. I didn’t plan it that way. I went to school to be a wedding planner, which I finished just after I met my current fiancé. This man is the most amazing thing to ever have happened to me. He’s the perfect mesh of all the things I needed in another human being: clingy with just the right smidge of self-entertaining. He also has drive and passion for his work, without it being the most important thing in his life and he made this outstanding and admirable decision for his career. He studied most of his life to enter the medical profession and upon realizing that this was the wrong thing for him, he dropped it and instead pursued a creative field. That was the thing that got my attention, in the sea of these decent looking men, all who had ambitions; he decided that his happiness was the most important thing when it came to his life (also his smile. I dream about his perfect smile). After only a few months, I started thinking about my future with this man.
If there’s one thing you need to know about this love of mine, he takes his sweet damn time to do everything, whilst one may call me impatient. But despite it taking him five minutes to tie his shoes, I fell in desperately in love. He drives me nuts, and I can’t wait to spend my life with him. This habit of taking forever has defined our relationship in a different kind of way. Around January of this year, I decided that I was going to marry this perfect human being and if he didn’t ask me first, I would propose to him. I was all ready to propose to him on Leap Day, which is an Irish tradition. He is very Irish; I thought it was fitting. He has since revealed that he would have taken at least another two years for him to take that “leap.” Figures. I didn’t actually ask him on Leap Day. I got impatient and asked on the 25th of February. The moment was just too perfect, and how could I surrender that perfection? I was thinking back on it the other day and I realized just how happy that time was. How amazing it felt to have this other human care enough about crazy little ol’ me to want to be legally bound to my name for the rest of his life. I almost wished we could do that all over again, but not actually because the moments between my question and the eventual yes were scary as all hell. He kissed me, and I’m pretty sure he was trying to cut off my air supply while this little anxiety-riddled brain thought, “is he stalling before he tells me no and shatters my world?” I had a plan in mind for a “no.” I didn’t have a plan for a non-definitive answer. Finally he had to come up for air and I told him that I needed a “yes” or “no.” He answered me with another kiss, which I couldn’t get away from. I’m pretty sure I was crying, from neither sorrow nor happiness, but out of sheer terror. I put my heart on the line, this precious and fragile part of my being, and sacrificed it for an uncertain answer. That “yes” was the most rewarding word I’ve ever experienced.
I can honestly say that meeting this guy has been the one event in my life that has led to the greatest amount of happiness. Sometimes I wonder if I really knew just how to be happy in a relationship before him.
I didn’t know I was emotionally abused until about four months after my last relationship ended. I’ve never been good at not being in a relationship. Since I was about 13-years-old, I found myself in steady relationships with as little as a two week break between boyfriends. The relationship that causes me anxiety started just after I moved to Vancouver from my small town East Kootenay. I knew no one here, my five year relationship had just ended and I was depressed. I met this guy, let’s call him Bob. Bob wooed me from the start, he had a paramedic license but didn’t work, he was pursuing his education, was well read, a vegetarian, which was an exotic change for me. He had all these seemingly wonderful attributes, he didn’t mention he still lived with his parents and was unable to find employment at age 28. He kind of reminds me of a Venus fly trap, luring me in with his sweet nectar, only to clamp his jaws tight on me. I was his pray.
A little more about who I am: I was told I was ugly by those mean boys in elementary school, middle school, high school, you know the ones; the ones you think are perfect so must know a thing or two about being perfect. I stopped caring what other people said about me at age 12 because I knew I was good looking (even if the perfect boys didn’t agree), I ended up modeling for a clothing designer and posing for a photographer’s portfolio on a separate occasion. I’m tall, thin, freckled, fair-skinned, and I have a great pair of breasts. Another thing, I’ve always been proud of is what I’ve accomplished in life. My mom had me when she was 18, my dad 20. My mother didn’t graduate, she is poorly educated and I didn’t want to be like her at all. I graduated from high school, I went to college, and I didn’t get knocked up by some random guy I only knew a week. My parents stayed together a whole 16 years after my birth though, so that’s kind of impressive.
Bob did a very good job of making sure I no longer felt this way about myself. He started off well, we were about four months into our relationship, fairly serious about each other, until suddenly I wasn’t quite good enough – but never in a negative way. He never out right said it. I wish he had, because I knew enough to know that I’m pretty great. I have that ego, and I love that ego and he killed it. The first hint of it came when he told me that while biking over to my house he passed the graveyard where his grandparents were buried. He knew his dead grandparents wouldn’t approve of our relationship because I wasn’t a vegetarian and I didn’t have any kind of educational degree. I was a server for Christ sakes, and I’d never be better than that. I was pretty sure I loved the guy at this point and I believed every word he said to me. I actually felt bad for him for not reaching his DEAD GRANDPARENTS’ expectations of a significant other.
At one point he told me that I must be sick of hearing everyone telling me how pretty I was, and concentrating on my thin waist line. After that point he never called me good looking, he went out of his way to call me ugly and tell me how much he loved my fat body. He’d always say it in this funny voice that made it sound like he didn’t mean it, but he continued to say it, even after I told him it bugged me.
The biggest issue with my relationship with Bob was that other people, my friends and family, told me after we broke up that they didn’t really like him. While we were dating, these people encouraged my relationship; they told me how much they liked him. I spent just over a year with Bob and not until we broke up, when I told people we were still friendly, did they tell me that they thought he was a pretentious asshole. My best friend told me “good, I didn’t think he was that good for you”.
I wasted all this time on a relationship with a man who mentally abused me and no one who I thought loved me cared enough to tell me that they thought he was the wrong guy for me. Had anyone told me, I might not have agreed with them, but it would have put a bug in my brain. I would have started looking out for warning signs that this guy was no good. I am a reasonable person, just because I don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean that we can’t get along or still be friends.
If I could give one piece of advice to someone is that if they have a friend who is dating someone they don’t like, TELL THEM! Be. Up. Front. Don’t be afraid to lose a friend over it. Any reasonable friend will appreciate your honesty and will be able to watch for warning signs.
Honestly, I didn’t give it a whole lot of time before I started dating my current fiancé, maybe someone else would give it a few months, have a few flings. I waited two weeks. I didn’t know just how bad that relationship was before him, I thought I was fine and I was over it. It occurred to me how bad it was FOUR months later. I now deal with this unshakable anxiety; I’m always worried I will run into Bob. It’s been over two and a half years since our relationship and I still find I get triggered into a panic attack if I think I see him.
For the men out there looking for dating advice when it comes to women (or men, because we’re all human and deserve it): remember that everyone has their baggage. Not every woman you meet is going to have an ego like mine – if you think she’s beautiful, tell her that as often as you think it, because more likely than not, she has been told she’s ugly or worse, thought it about herself. If you find yourself thinking “how did I find someone like her,” or “how did I get so lucky,” tell her! Tell her everything that’s on your mind. If you think you love this woman yet can’t seem to tell her all your thoughts, she’s not the one for you. Be open minded and support her in every way you can. My fiancé and I talk about anxiety, he comforts me when I need it, listens to me, and I do the same for him. Look for an equal partner, because unless you find your equal, you will never have a healthy relationship.