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'We Can Handle Anything': Pandemic Life Pushes Some Couples To Tie The Knot

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

And finally, love is in the air, and not just because it's Valentine's Day. A tumultuous year has some people reevaluating priorities, like perhaps getting married. Yes, amid all the uncertainty during this pandemic, some couples are becoming more certain of each other. Screenwriter Marty Abby Schneider from Los Angeles, Calif., proposed to his girlfriend, Rebecca Meier, this month.

MARTY ABBY SCHNEIDER: It definitely affirmed my decision to propose to Becca. To put it in a concise way - sort of if we could handle this together, we can handle anything.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Adam Giammarinaro and Russ McCall of Washington, D.C., say that after years of being on the fence about getting married, the pandemic pushed them to finally take the leap.

ADAM GIAMMARINARO: I just remember, one day during the pandemic, I was with a friend outside, having coffee. And I was talking about him. I was - you know, I was like, man, like, I do really love him...

RUSS MCCALL: And pandemic or not, I guess I kind of thought we were going in that direction, but maybe that just solidified...

GIAMMARINARO: I think it's the realization that we were going through stress and that we were still enjoying each other's company.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Marriage and family therapist Nick Bogner says he's not surprised.

NICK BOGNER: Something that's really clear throughout history is that we are really afraid of the unknown. And in a time like this, when we are dealing with so much of the unknown and so much unpredictability, I think marriage really symbolizes a sense of permanency and stability and reliability to a lot of people.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But how do you plan a wedding during a pandemic? Well, Marty's fiancee, Rebecca, says it's still up in the air.

REBECCA MEIER: Yeah, I think we've talked about it potentially being a long engagement, partially just because we have no idea what's going to happen in the next year, but also because we've talked about how venues are probably pretty booked up because so many people that were supposed to get married last year and this year will get married, you know, this winter, next year.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Adam and Russ have had to push their plans back three times.

MCCALL: So many of our friends' weddings that were happening in 2020 got shifted to 2021. So we didn't want to be overwhelmed with, like, other friends' wedding and our wedding as well.

GIAMMARINARO: Yeah. And we don't want to make people feel uncomfortable and - you know, we don't want to get anybody sick and that stuff, too. So obviously - yeah.

MCCALL: So we're pushing off anything till after summer, and we're going to at least have an engagement party in September. But you know, you have to be ready for that to change, too.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But for all you lovebirds out there, don't forget that after the wedding, Nick Bogner says, comes wedded life.

BOGNER: The message that I have to anybody is if you get married or you start a family, congratulations. And know that it's not something that is going to support you up when your job frustrates you. It's actually something that is going to become like a second job that you have to really work at. But the good news is that work really pays off.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So happy Valentine's Day and congratulations to couples Marty Abby Schneider and fiancee Rebecca Meier and Adam Giammarinaro and fiance Russ McCall. And thanks to couples therapist Nick Bogner. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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