Alright, where did I leave off?
Right, we had just decided to wait 9 months until we started dating, or at least until we would revisit the issue and see if we still had feelings for each other.
I would say that the beginning was the hardest part, but I really don't think that any period of that nine months was harder than any other. It was all a continuous struggle. I wish it had been as simple as just being friends and not dating. But it wasn't.
There were real feelings that had developed. Feelings that I didn't even realize existed until we stopped talking. Every day I fought my urge to text him or call him or just talk to him in the hall. At first we were very rigid about all of our "no talking" rules that we had imposed upon ourselves. We would only talk while we were in groups of people. Which lead to people feeling awkward talking around us and walking away, which led to us staring at each other awkwardly and then walking away ourselves. It's kind of funny to think about now, but at the time it was probably the worst thing I could think of.
The first two months of our waiting were during school. This wasn't just your ordinary school either. We were basically stuck in the same classroom with about 5-9 other people Monday through Thursday for about 5 hours a day. It wasn't like I could just pretend he didn't exist (which I didn't even want to do) I had to be around him nearly every day! And to top it off we both were working at Starbucks and had a lot of the same friends outside of school. Just to clarify we both worked at different locations so we pretty much only saw each other when I would cover shifts at his store.
Over the summer we loosened up on our "no talking" rule a little and would hang out with mutual friends as often as we could. There was the very occasional text to invite each other places.
|On my 21st birthday|
|At the drive-in with some friends|
|At a BBQ, my friend Carmel is in the middle|
|Hanging out at a BBQ|
|Playing badmitten with some of our friends, with my Friend Sara|
|Playing against Alex and Jason. BTW, I loved that flannel shirt!|
During this time I went through a lot of personal struggles. I didn't realize how much validation I thought I needed from guys. There was never once during that 9 months that Alex told me how he was feeling about me. The only thing I had to go off of were things that people told me, my own feelings for him, and the few unrelated things he would say to me here and there. It was so hard to trust in his feelings for me while I was so unsure that they still existed.
And then I messed up.
I wish I could say, it was perfect. I was an angel and I fully trusted his feelings for me and knew that everything was going to work out perfectly. But I didn't. Every day I doubted that I was still what he wanted. I didn't know how to feel, because I couldn't talk with him about it, I had made a promise to wait until January.
I struggled a lot with my own self worth. At one point I started getting attention from other guys, and it started to make me feel better about myself. I had some "validation" that I was pretty enough, or whatever us girls feel like we need validation for.
I ended up kissing another guy.
It was someone that I met while on vacation, I don't even know why I did it. The details of the situation are not important, but what was important was that I was devastated. I'm not sure I have ever been more disappointed in myself. I thought I had ruined everything! I was sure that I was going to have to tell Alex and that he was going to say that everything was over. I remember emailing my friend telling her what a terrible mistake I had made and trying to explain that I thought I was going to marry this guy, and now everything was ruined. [Which may have been the first time that I thoughtpo, what if I am supposed to marry this guy?]
I had a chance at a fairy tale love story and I ruined everything.
After I got back from vacation I told my mentor and she assured me that it was ok and to wait to tell Alex. She brought me back to my senses and kind of helped me see why all this had happened in the first place. I realized how much I had focused just simply on getting attention from guys. During this time of not getting any of that from Alex I sought it out elsewhere. To try to find answers. To know that I was good enough. To know that I was even worth him investing his time in.
As my mentor had suggested I didn't tell Alex, because the fact of the matter was that we were not together. He wasn't my boyfriend, and as guilty as I felt I really was free to date or kiss anyone I wanted... if that is what I actually wanted. Just as he was free to do the same. This was hard for me to accept. Sometimes I still feel guilty about what I did. It was stupid and impulsive, and I wasn't thinking about the long term consequences of my actions. I was only thinking of the immediate. Luckily I was able to see past my mistake and know that in the end it would all work out.
Towards the end of summer Alex and I, little by little, started to talk more. We would actually have conversations over text messages! There was some make up work that we had to do for one of the classes that we had taken the year before and towards the end of the summer we started to work on it. We used it as an excuse to go out to coffee shops together to "work on homework". Which we did do, but we also just wanted to be around each other.
You would think that after all this time that maybe our feelings for each other would wane a bit, but they didn't. Not even a little bit. The closer January came, the stronger my feelings grew. Every time I saw him it killed me not to be able to hold his hand, or tell him how handsome I thought he looked. It killed me that the majority of our time together was spent with other people, who usually didn't understand our joking/flirting. I was just hoping and praying that maybe Alex would decide that he didn't want to wait until January. That he would decide that he wanted to date sooner. As much as I wanted to tell him that this was something that I wanted, I decided not to. I really felt like God was telling me just to wait. To allow Alex to be the one to make the decision of when we were going to start dating.
Towards the end of August, I started to get word that Alex was considering asking me out early!
As opposed to waiting until January, he was thinking of asking me sometime in October, which was only 2 months away! I was exstatic! I heard that he was going to have a meeting with Jason, the director of the school, to help him decide if he should ask me out before January 1st, or what he should do. For the first time I realized that Alex and I were completely on the same page. I knew that we were feeling the same way. Just weeks before I had prayed about this exact issue, and then I heard through people that Alex had been praying about the same thing. Even though we had never mentioned this to each other.
I knew that this was not going to be an ordinary relationship. I knew without a doubt that if this relationship happened, that it was going to be the real deal. It was going to be a true, long term relationship.
As crazy as everyone thought I was, I knew that this was going to be the man that I married.
Other people started catching on as well. Some of my friends started making bets about when we were going to get married. All of which were way too soon!
Or so I thought.
Did we end up dating early?
Check back tomorrow for the final part of our love story!