Actually the symptoms can lay dormant for a long time. I've learned a lot about the disease over the past year!
I didn't actually notice the standard symptoms. I had a slight pain in my back which I could tell wasn't muscular. That lead me to get tested just to rule anything out, which of course it didn't but at least I knew. The back pain went away, so it may have been my body telling me something, who is to say.
My wife got tested after I told her, and we didn't have unprotected sex until the clearance had passed for her antibiotics. The irony is that she didn't even have it! Not sure how over the course of a year she didn't get it, but there you go.