One theme that I have been noticing is that, with the wedding so close, it makes me think about my relationship with Chris in a different way. Mostly what that means is that conversations about the future surface more -- and not in the "isn't it fun to dream about the future" kind of way, but in the "how are we actually going to make this happen?" kind of way.
To be sure, Chris and I both have things we want to achieve both as separate people (e.g., our careers) and as a couple (e.g., children and a home). We have talked about these things before, many times and at great length. And yet, as we creep up find ourselves closer and closer to the day of the wedding, these conversations seem to take on a different weight.
As a psychology grad student, I know that this behavior - the re-evaluation of a commitment during that in-between time after deciding to commit (e.g., engagement) and before the commitment becomes finalized (e.g., marriage) - is completely normal. It happens with small decisions and large, good decisions and bad; this psychological reflex does not discriminate, particularly if you have a pragmatic style of thinking.
So, given that, it's completely normal and natural that Chris and I are having more and more serious conversations about the direction of our lives - particularly considering that, for the next year, I will be living in LA and he will be here in the Bay Area. It's also particularly present, I think, because for the past four years the needs and demands of my schooling have been of paramount importance and largely immovable while Chris had to mold to mine. A difficult feat to balance these things and now we are moving closer to being able to prioritize Chris' career and needs over mine. We discuss how we are going to manage this coming year while living apart, but also long-term financial planning, personal goals, professional goals, and family planning.
The closer we get to the wedding and the closer we get to more freedom (in the form of me becoming a licensed psychologist) the more these questions and discussions are imperative and hold more weight.
I suppose I have to think of this in neither a good/bad manner, but rather accept that the intensity of these transitions is appropriate and important to consider.