(2006) Carmen and I dated towards the end of my time in college. We used to go to Blockbuster to rent movies and even did the Netflix DVDs service for awhile. Our favorite thing though was to play World of Warcraft together. Video games are a cheap date option and it was fun to always have a Player Two. Hanging out with Carmen was an escape from the overwhelming stresses of school and work. I’ve always worked at least two jobs, even when in school. I was doing training with the Marines and had a job as an assistant at a local high school but I made sure to make time for Carmen. I found time because I never studied much. I was always surprised how well Carmen did in school because it felt like we were always hanging out. Somehow, dating made our life less stressful. The biggest thing I learned while we were dating was that we were good for each other. We helped each other be more responsible and disciplined. I know that might not sound romantic but I care a lot about being productive. I was on my own the moment I turned 18. I had to figure out how to pay my bills and how to be an adult. But I was still in college and wanted to have fun. We were hanging out so much that we had a hard time finding movies we hadn’t already watched. But amazingly, my grades got better when I started dating Carmen because I was more structured in my study times. One of the reasons I wanted to get married was because life seemed easier together. We both had big dreams and we were helping each other realize them. Being young didn’t matter because I felt like we would figure life out together. Starting a marriage in an expensive city with debt is a scary thing but I would rather face it together with Carmen than by myself. Book excerpt – if you want a copy, please help me figure out how many physical copies to print by pre-ordering! Link in bio.

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