In the grand scheme of things, our married life is only a few years old and we have so much more to learn.
On the other hand, I find myself already smiling indulgently at newlyweds and thinking to myself, “Aren’t they cute! Just wait a few more months, lovebirds, and see what life holds in store for you. …”
Here in no particular order are my top 5 thoughts about why anniversaries differ from other special occasions such as birthdays and graduations (and thus merit more appreciation):
- You have greater choice over the date. You don’t really choose the day you get born, and graduations are set at a certain time of the year whether you attend the actual celebration or just opt for receiving the diploma (or certificate, or whatever). But you most definitely choose your wedding day.
- You celebrate a real victory that depends on two people’s commitment, not just one. Unlike a birthday or graduation, you’re not just celebrating your own achievements. Your spouse and you most definitely choose every day to stay married, which is a great testimony to your love for each other (especially in this day and age where married couples are at an all-time low).
- You get to decide the level of pomp and circumstance. With weddings being such a billion-dollar industry and some graduation parties being so incredibly elaborate, anniversaries are that lovely compromise between public and private where the two are free to choose how they want to celebrate. You can announce it to the world or keep it as quiet and intimate as a candlelit dinner.
- You reduce pressure on family or friends. Ever had that awkward moment when you find out that a friend is getting married, but you weren’t invited? (Or maybe you’re the bride-to-be and someone who isn’t on your invite list starts congratulating you!) On your anniversary, though, you can tell anyone it’s your anniversary and they don’t feel obligated to give you a present. There are no birthday or graduation parties for them to attend while dragging along flowers or other awkward gifts. The only thing that’s required of them is to say, “Happy anniversary!” or “Congratulations!”
- You get to spend your anniversary with the love of your life. This may be pretty obvious, but on more public occasions such as birthday celebrations, graduation parties and weddings, you need to share some of your time with friends and family. And that’s all well, healthy and good. But anniversaries are that glorious one-on-one time with the person you chose to marry and remember all the reasons why you got married in the first place.