When you live in Utah dating is a little different, everything moves double-time. When people here find out I have a missionary one of the first questions is "Are you two going to get married when she gets home?" My normal response is "That's a good question..." then try to find a reason to get away. Originally I'd explain to people how being apart for a year-and-a-half is a long time, anything could happen, Hannah could come home permanently different in ways that don't fully appeal to me. This results in my favorite Utah-Mormon cultural phenomenon, something I refer to as Mormon-eyes. I don't know if it's reached the outside yet, but when interacting with each other many Mormons have perfected a certain look, I would describe it as disappointment with a dab of abhorrence, lightly frosted with an attempt to hide the whole concoction.
I became very familiar with the look between the ages of 19 and 21, whenever anyone asked my age at church, following my response was a brief pause before the look was administered, I knew why, they were realizing that, at my age, I shouldn't be here, I should be in a far-off land serving a mission. The look was a big contributor to my year of inactivity. After that I was able to avoid the look, probably because once I hit 22 most people assume that a nice, clean-cut boy like me is an RM and don't bother asking. The next time I got the look was after Hannah and I had been dating for about a year and she started to work on her mission papers. Luckily these looks were exceedingly rare, it took quite a few questions before people had enough information for me to warrant the look. Most of the time it came after the question of how serious it was, or if we had discussed marriage, and had explained that Hannah would soon be leaving for 18 months, I'm sure it was quite the shock since it seems not formally discussing marriage in a year of seriously dating seems to constitute blasphemy.
One thing that made me sad was knowing that, even though she had made a decision that we both felt was right, Hannah was getting the look as well. I remember Hannah coming home one night after one of her first meetings with the bishop about her mission, she told me how many of the questions were regarding herself and I, the nature of our relationship, our plans, all related to why she was going on a mission rather than getting married. Even I got the look whenever I joined her at her family ward, I bet the members there were sure a wedding was imminent after a year of dating.
Some nights I wonder if I should've just done what everyone told me I should do, but I think supporting Hannah in her choice to go really was the best idea. I mean, waiting hasn't been that hard when I think about it. While I get really whiny about it sometimes it's never really all that serious, it's not like I'm dying, or even that I'm going to cry, sometimes I think I whine about Hannah being gone just because the part of me that isn't "dead inside" tells me I should, but what does it know?