Friday, June 22, 2012

Our {love} story: part 3

I'd say it's probably about time to finish this love story that I started back in May. Now that I have time to write the story myself, and Alex already wrote out all of his half, I will just include both sides. I'd love to have him write it, I just can't bring myself to only let you guys in on half of the story.

{Incase you have missed any of this story
 please check out

A key thing that you need to keep in mind while reading this, is that there were only 3 times when Alex and I had actually talked about our feelings with each other!

1st     when we were out for coffee, which Alex told you about in the first part of our story.
2nd    a few months later, when we chose not to date... we will get to that ;)
3rd     when we actually started dating.

All this meaning, that we allowed our feelings for each other to develop naturally. We weren't constantly reassuring each other how much we liked each other. Which was the hardest part!!

Well, let's get on with the story...
My side: Beginning Life School

So, there I was, a brand new face in a church where I knew almost no one. To say that I was scared, and a bit intimidated, was an understatement. I felt like such an outsider, and I literally had not a clue what I was getting myself into.

Something you may or may not be able to tell about me from my blog is that, I'm pretty quiet. Very quiet. This isn't really something that I brag about. It is actually part of my personality that kind of annoys me. I feel like I often have a lot to say, but sometimes I'm just not given an opportunity to speak. I'm sure we have all run into the kind of people who don't allow anyone else to get a word in. They just talk and talk and talk... and if you have something to say you have to interrupt them, or just wait for them to finish talking so you can say something, but half the time once you get a chance to say something it isn't even relevant anymore because they have talked for so long (I'm aware of the run on sentence). Well... I find myself surrounded by those kinds of people ALL. THE. TIME.

It's frustrating. I feel like I can never speak my mind. Maybe if I was louder I would try to talk over them. But I'm not. Sometimes this makes being the new girl really tough. I just don't know what to say. So I just stand/sit there. Awkwardly.

The first time I met Alex I was sitting in the hall of the church waiting to have an interview with the director of the school to see if I could come. After sitting there for awhile, not sure what to think, Alex walked in. The only thing he did was stare at me. Him and another student sat in the chairs across from me both looking at me like who the heck is this girl? but none of us saying a single word.
That was probably one of the more awkward moments of my life. 

I remember seeing Alex and not thinking much of it. I wondered what he was like. I wondered if he was going to say hi to this stranger sitting in his church hallway.

Then I got called in to talk with the director. Long story short, they accepted me into the school. Attending this school was probably the most rash decision I have ever made. Someone had told me a very little bit about it. I didn't want to go. Then one day I decided I wanted to go. I went in, applied, got accepted and left for "boot camp" all in one week. Everyone else had applied months before.

A few days later I packed up my bags and headed out to the church to go to "Launch Week" which was sort of a boot camp style retreat. That is when I saw Alex for the second time. He was leaning against one of the church buildings when I came up with all my bags, completely unsure of myself and second guessing my decision to attend. I remember thinking that he was kind of cute. I actually remember sizing up all the guys and thinking that Alex was the one that I was the most attracted to. 

I tried to mingle a bit. But I felt awkward. Most of these people knew each other for years, and all of them were regular attenders of the church. I did have one "friend" that was attending this school. I'm not sure if we could really be considered friends at the time, more like acquaintances. We both had worked at Starbucks, and had met each other at a party the year before. Neither of us having any clue that the other was attending this school. Her name was Aly. And I soon found out that she was actually Alex's cousin. 

During that first hour of waiting to board the bus, I was constantly aware of Alex. Still standing against the wall. Still eyeing me strangely. I wondered if he was ever going to say hi to me, or introduce himself.

But he never did. 

I pretty much hung out with Aly for most of the week, every once in awhile Alex would talk with her... and look at me, saying a few words here and there. Thinking back, I'm not even totally sure what I thought of him. He was a little awkward. A little nerdy. His clothes were far too tight. I wasn't in love with his hair (long and shaggy). But somehow, I was just drawn to him. I remember several times throughout that week when we just had some sort of connection. Not the kind where we talk for hours and hours. It was the kind where we would catch each others eye from across the room. 

I knew instantly that I had a crush on this guy, but since I had just gotten out of a relationship and I hadn't come to this school to meet anyone, I tried to ignore it. Then Alex started hanging out with one of the other girls. Honestly, I was pretty jealous of this other girl. She was beautiful, athletic, a total package, that I could never compete with. I had resolved that this was for the best and I ignored him. {Plus, I hate to admit it, but I was totally a game player. I knew the more I ignored him the more intrigued he might become.}

And so things went for a little while. I made other friends and just tried to focus on why I came to this school, to have a better relationship with God.

When we had come back from launch week I moved into the "dorm" with three other girls, which was really just a modular building on the church property.

My roommate Nikki!

I quickly started a friendship with one of Alex's roommates. Since their apartment was right across the street from the "dorm" I would spend a lot of time there hanging out and talking with the guys. This was something I was more comfortable with, being surrounded by guys. I just found it easier to be myself with them. With girls I felt so much pressure to live up to some sort of self imposed standard, but with the guys it was more laid back. Sometimes my roommates did come with me and we all had a lot of fun over there.

No matter the friendship that I formed with any of Alex's roommates, there was still an undeniable connection between him and I. I always longed for him to spend more time with us, but he was stand-off-ish and often opted to go to bed early whenever I was around. However, there was the occasional times when he would be a gentlemen and walk me back to my door. Which often led to us standing outside my door talking for far too long.

Nothing exciting happend, nothing that let me know that he was in anyway interested in me (other than my own suspicion) until that Halloween. His roommates had a party that me and my roommates went to. I don't remember much about that night, other than sitting on the couch with Alex talking, for hours. He was flirty. He was awkward. He would punch my arm or try to tickle me. I was pretty sure he liked me.

Alex on Halloween

After that night we spent a lot of time flirting. Everyone but us could tell that we had a thing for each other. Even our teachers would comment. At this point in time everyone decided they needed to warn me about Alex. I heard all kinds of stuff about how he was a big "player" and he was always looking for a girlfriend. I heard about all the different girls within the church that he had crushes on at one time or another. With all this information I tried to deny my feelings for him. I tried to pretend like I wasn't "falling" for his "game".

I remember one of my friends asking me if I liked him and I flat out denied it and told her that Alex was like a brother to me. I even told him that to his face once... NOT a good idea! Ladies, if you like a guy, do not say they are like a brother to you. No matter how much you want to pretend you don't like them.

But the truth was, we were bonding. We were building a really deep friendship. And I was smitten with him. I couldn't help it and I couldn't explain it. I didn't even know why I liked him, all I knew was that I did. Regardless of all the warnings everyone had given me. Regardless of how awkward and completely uncharming he was... I couldn't stop thinking about him. I couldn't help but try to sit next to him in class, or strike up a meaningless conversation, or just be near him. I had fun with him. He was different. He was funny. He was nothing like any guy I had ever met before. And he was SO SOOOO not smooth. [Sorry babe, you really can't deny it.]

This was awhile later, much different style!

I slowly let a couple of my friends in on my [not so] secret crush. They were by no means surprised when I told them. My friend Nikki was probably the most supportive. Which is why, when all of us got invited to a holiday party, she was the one encouraging me to ask Alex to go.

Which I did. In a text message, of course. It went something like this,

me: Hey, do you want to ride with me and Nikki to the party tomorrow? 
Alex: Sure, I'll drive.
me: cool

Thrilling conversation, I know. None-the-less, I was as excited as I could be, and knew that I had to look my best. Electric blue dress, 4 inch red heels. I was set! Since Alex already told you all about this party and how we got our lovely "marriage bears" as they are referred to, I wont go into more detail. But just know, that I'm pretty sure that was the single most embarrassing moment of my life.

After that whole experience I think it was pretty obvious to both Alex and myself that we needed to have a little talk. Did he like me? As obvious as it should have been, I had no idea! One second he was about as subtle as a blow torch, the next second he was pretending I didn't exist. I think this had a lot more to do with him trying to focus on not dating, but to me it was just confusing. And as a girl, I just needed some answers.

Thus led to our coffee "date" during which Alex asked me if I liked him. I didn't know what to say. I knew that this question was bound to come up sooner or later, but when it did, I wasn't sure how to approach it. In my past experience the next step to mutually liking someone would mean dating them. Was I ready for this? Four months after my last relationship, was that enough time? I don't know why, but I knew that this wasn't our time. I knew I needed to wait. Alex had become one of my best guy friends and that was something I wasn't ready to sacrifice just to have another failed relationship. I wanted something more.

I knew that the initial excitement could fade over time. I've experienced that more times that I would like to admit. I didn't want that. I wanted a steady relationship with someone who was going to be my future husband. I was done with dating for fun. I was done with trying to find my worth in guys. If he truly liked me and wanted to be with me, I knew that he would still be around when I was ready to date.

So, I told him that I did like him, but that I wasn't ready for a relationship.
He agreed.
And that was that...

At least for another three months.

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