Why I’m Glad I Didn’t Meet My Husband in High School

By  |  25 Comments

this past weekend my title was unofficially “madame first lady” since i married the class president of humble high school! i know, my 16 year old self is totally rolling her eyes right now. not only did i marry someone with high school involvement, but he also has zero tattoos.

let’s paint some pictures of who i was in high school compared to my overly ambitious and sometimes forgetful husband (note the writing on his hand below):

high school reunion

officer role held:

husband: class president, all 4 years
me: none.

sports involved with:

husband: varsity water polo, swim team
me: none.

high school ryan

fastest mile:

husband: 6:36 minutes
me: 13:05 minutes

extracurricular activities:
husband: running a successful candy selling business
me: “president” of pottery club, peer counselor

class voted title:

husband: “class favorite” and “mr. school spirit (all 4 years)” and “mr. humble high school” (when i asked him about this he got very proud and reminisced about those good ol’ high school days)
me: *someone on the yearbook staff told me i was 3rd runner-up for funnest girl, but she could have just been being nice since i probably had a threatening look in my eye.

clothing style:

husband: ironed jeans, polo, sweaters
me: bell-bottom jeans, band t-shirt, old man shirt from the thrift store or too tight of a shirt

high school sweet hearts

prom experience:

husband: coordinated prom
me: kicked out of prom

letter jacket status:

husband: his read ‘candy man’ on the back, covered in sports accolades with a class president patch
me: *non-existent, but i did have academic bars from each year (i was sort of a faux-badass-wannabe that maintained an excellent grade point average and took advanced placement classes, but never in science)


okay, the picture has painted and as you can tell, we were in whole different worlds. if we would have met in high school, i would have absolutely made fun of him and not have given him a second glance because he was way too clean-cut for my taste. if he would have met me, he would have looked down on my lack of involvement, wondered about my old-man t-shirts and saw me as a hippie-loser.

i feel very fortunate that we met towards the end of our sophomore year in college, where he loosened up a bit and i started taking life a bit more seriously. we often joke about how hilarious it would have been should our paths have crossed in high school because we were just so very different and not in that endearing ‘opposites attract’ way. we were opposite like i trip him in the cafeteria and he somehow gets me kicked out of art club kind of way.

since we ventured back to houston for his high school reunion, i wasn’t sure what the reaction would be being married to this overly ambitious guy. sure enough…everyone loved him and it was so fun to be introduced as his wife!

IMG_4654 IMG_4657

it was hilarious to hear stories of him in high school and meet his friends that he spent almost a decade around. my husband, of course, is still an overly ambitious guy and many people told me he hadn’t changed much. since he left texas right after graduation, he hadn’t seen most people for a solid 10 years so it warmed my heart to get to see the interactions, the hugs and hear about their high school days.

high school reunion 2

it’s funny how the universe works to give you what you need, when you need it and sometimes even without tattoos!

high school reunion ryan and chelsea avery

1) how old were you when you and your spouse met?
2) do you feel like you’ve changed a ton since high school?
3) have you gone to your high school reunion or plan to?
4) tattoos or no tattoos? (i have some, he doesn’t)



  1. Audrey

    June 29, 2015 at 9:28 am

    My husband and I are 3.5 years apart, but we’re 4 school years apart so we were never in high school together. We met the summer after he graduated/before I started my freshman year (& we started dating my junior year of hs). I LOVE this fact because we got to do high school with our own friends and our own experiences- which makes story telling so much more fun now! His friends are awesome and always tell me tons of stories! Had we been in hs together, I think we would’ve dated, but he was a promiscuous little tramp so I’m glad I got the mature version 😉 😉 😉

    I’d say Kyle didn’t change too much- he’s always been ambitious and independent. He doesn’t like having a “boss.” I’m still emotional and irrational, but I’m more confident than I was in hs. It was actually really reward to grow and mature alongside one another.

    We each have one tattoo that we got in our 20s, after we were married. They have nothing to do with each other- his is music related and mine is literature related. I’d love to get more but hiding them from my grandparents is a big factor… hahaha.
    Audrey recently posted…The Perfect Score (and Soundtracks)

    • chelsea

      June 30, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      that’s a great point that you were able to have your own experiences and friends in high school, audrey! also glad he got the mature version of your beau later on with less promiscuity ha! my husband can’t stand the thought of ever having another boss again too -samesies like kyle! that thought doesn’t freak me out too terribly 🙂

      so happy to hear that you are more confident than you used to be, i would agree with that for me too. and ommmg hiding tattoos from your grandparents would be so stressful! eeeek! good luck if you get more 🙂

  2. Amberly

    June 29, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Haha, this was so fun to read. Joe and I sort of met in high school, we knew who each other was. I think he’d have been the one who wouldn’t have dated me if he’d really known me in high school, but we are both a lot different now than we were then. His 10 year reunion is next year and I’m excited to go because I’ll get to see people I know as well as hang out with his friends and find out more stories from his high school days 😉
    Amberly recently posted…Date Night – The Food Truck League

    • chelsea

      June 30, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      oh that will be super interesting to go to his reunion next year, amberly! i am sure we can expect a blog article on this so yay! it’s interesting to think ‘what if…’ when were back in high school!

  3. Dee Dee

    June 29, 2015 at 11:16 am

    This was a fun read! My husband and I’s relationship is quite the opposite. I have known and was in school with my husband since Kindergarten. He was my first kiss at the 6th grade dance! We “officially” started dating when we were 16 and got married at 19. We have now been married almost 26 years and have 2 grown children! So…I guess to answer your question we were 5 when we met. I don’t feel like I have hardly changed at all since high school. He is completely different. I go to some of the reunions. He’s never been to one, which is odd because I was the shy keep to myself girl with only a few close friends while he was the outgoing one with tons of friends. He has two tattoos (one represents our kids) and I have one.

    • chelsea

      June 30, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      wow dee dee! since kindergarten?! that is super sweet that he was your first kiss at the 6th grade dance even and congratulations on 26 years together! that’s fantastic 🙂 it’s funny how things work out the way they are supposed to and glad you’ve made it to some of your reunions!

  4. Amanda

    June 29, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Did you really get kicked out of prom? Please do tell. 🙂
    Amanda recently posted…Lessons I’ve Learned in Therapy

    • chelsea

      June 30, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      sure did…although i did attend my full junior prom but senior prom was a different story. the short version is that my best friend in high school and her boyfriend took a smoke break outside (ew gross i know) and there were no signs that indicated if you left, you couldn’t get back in. the vice principal denied her reentry (and she had worked two jobs to afford the tickets and their outfits) so i flew into a heated debate with the VP about the ridiculousness of not having a sign or any indication of this. i then also may have flown out a few choice words at her which eventually lead me to being escorted out of prom, along with my date and my best friend.

      it was a big deal and we eventually met with the principal and demanded (and got) our money back. i’d probably still do it again but it wasn’t so fun at the time!

  5. Vivien

    June 29, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    I echo Amanda’s question.
    Vivien recently posted…Reaching Deep, Being Brave

    • chelsea

      June 30, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      haha see response on amanda’s post 🙂

  6. Elyse

    June 29, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    We met at 14 and started dating at 15. I have few regrets because like I say, it means I get more time with him in the long run. But, there are some downfalls to marrying your high school sweetheart ie. Stupid stuff you wore or said. They seem to remember EVERYTHING!

    I have a tattoo of my maiden name on my back, and he had none!
    Elyse recently posted…I Said No to a “First Look”

    • chelsea

      June 30, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      that is super true that you’ve had more time together elyse and you can’t really complain about that! ohhh photographic evidence doesn’t help the ‘what you wore’ thing either! ha! i’m just glad we didn’t meet earlier because i had a lot of work to do on myself before i was ready for such a guy to enter my life 🙂

  7. Amanda Wood

    June 29, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Oh man! I’m so glad Hubs and I never crossed paths in high school. We met online when we were 24ish and in person at 26. We were both pretty quiet people in high school, so I’m not sure either of us would have had the courage to say anything to the other. But I don’t think I would have liked him at the time since I was totally into this one guy at my church. I’m a totally different person now, I’m more outgoing and social, but I don’t think he’s changed too much. I haven’t gone to my reunion, and I don’t think hubs has heard anything about his. But I’m the one with a tattoo, not him.
    Amanda Wood recently posted…Christmas in July Blogger Swap

    • chelsea

      June 30, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      isn’t it funny to try to picture meeting our husbands back then though, amanda?! it’s so weird to think about. i’m a super different person too and high fives to us having the tattoos!

  8. Heather Hawkins

    June 29, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    1) Online, we were 17. In person we were 24.
    2) I don’t think high school me would have recognized me but still would think the me now is super cool. I live in Australia and have blue and pink hair. She’d be down.
    3)I didn’t go to my high school reunion. I was an overachiever and had tons of accolades, but still tried to rage against the machine.
    4) I have 4 and will have more in the future. My husband has none as well!

    • chelsea

      June 30, 2015 at 8:30 pm

      ohhhh i didn’t know this, heather about meeting when you were 17 (or i forgot)! i super love what ou said about your high school still not recognizing your today self but that she’d approve. totally relate and agree for myself too – well said! the machine still needs some raging so glad we could do that, and still get good grades!

      high fives to tattooed ladies and to our potential future ones!

  9. Cynthia A Brown

    June 29, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    1) I was 18 when I met my husband. I was a freshman in college and he was a 17 year old senior in high school.

    2) No I don’t feel like I’ve changed much. I’m more self aware (but not always a good feeling)

    3) Yes I’ve been to two (10 & 20). Was on the planning committee & MC of the evening for the 20th. Currently on the committee for the 25th. My husband has never wanted to attend his. I LOVE MY HS. Hubby doesn’t care for his.

    4) No tattoos for either. But I’m contemplating getting a semicolon.

    • chelsea

      June 30, 2015 at 8:32 pm

      i know what you mean cynthia about being more self-aware as a good and tough thing at times! well as someone who has witnessed all the planning and preparation that goes into organizing a reunion- thank you! hope your 25th is super fun and glad you still have that school pride! ohhhh a semicolon would be an interesting tattoo!

  10. Devra | thePomeroyLife

    June 30, 2015 at 5:03 am

    My husband and I frequently joke about how glad we are that we didn’t meet earlier in life. I was a flirtatious, out-going, overly involved, jock. And he was a bit of a wallflower who mostly stuck with his pack of ridiculous guy friends. We for sure would have judged each other.
    As it was, God worked the timing out perfectly. We met between my sophomore and Junior year. I had changed and matured so much by then and so had he.
    We actually just went to a cookout that turned into a sort of ten year reunion with all of his high school buddies. They went to a tiny school, so they were all close and have stayed close. Despite living far apart those guys and their wives are some of our closest friends.
    Devra | thePomeroyLife recently posted…Grace Upon Grace

    • chelsea

      June 30, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      haha we would have had lots of judging of each other over here too, devra! it’s great how timing works in our favor and that’s fantastic that you are both close with the guys and their wives today too!

  11. Rachel G

    July 1, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Aww! Really cool that you both went to his high school reunion. I 100% agree with your conclusion that it’s a good thing you didn’t know each other in high school. Angel and I would not have liked each other, that is for sure. He was all about cross country and racing (his high school mile was 4:34, though), got Bs, took the SAT 3 times trying to get a better score, worked at Subway, didn’t even have any Caucasian friends because everyone in his neighborhood and school was either Mexican or Vietnamese, went surfing on weekends,and spent all the money he made on concerts and fancy running shoes. I got all As, scored in the 99th percentile on both the SAT and ACT, competed in acting competitions, also didn’t have any Caucasian friends because the vast majority of humans in Malaysia are Malaysian, worked as a secretary for an author friend of my parents, and was a total goody-two-shoes volunteer in my free time. Besides…in our case, when he graduated from high school, I was 12, and when I graduated from high school, he was 23. So we can add that logistical difficulty in. I’m glad we met in college. In some ways, we’re still similar to our high school selves, but we have grown enough to really, really appreciate the differences.
    Rachel G recently posted…Television in the Olden Days

    • chelsea

      July 3, 2015 at 8:00 am

      um his high school mile was 4:34?! that is incredibly impressive! sounds like the two of you met at just the right time too, rachel! it’s funny to sometimes do those comparisons to see how different we were back then and also what characteristics are still the same today. while i’m very glad we are still quite different (because otherwise it’d be boring) i am glad i could change opinions about those ‘preppy-looking texans’ 🙂

  12. Pingback: Married Life Chats Volume V • the new wifestyle

  13. Kait

    July 13, 2015 at 11:54 am

    1) The beau and I did meet in high school but I am SO grateful we didn’t go to the same school because I would have hated him (a fact I have shared with him on more than one occasion).

    2) YES. And as hard as it was, I’m grateful for the long distance because it allowed us to grow independently and into our own selves before we came together. No pun intended for once. 😉

    3) Maybe. I just skipped my 5 year college one though so…we’ll see how I’m feeling when the invite comes around.

    4) none yet for either of us. no real desire right now but who knows…
    Kait recently posted…Is Kinky Sex Better Sex?

  14. Pingback: Attending Your High School Reunion • the new wifestyle