Remember the Beginning

Remember that time that you patiently answered every question that Big Sexy and Captain America had at the rugby game? The first time we met? I was charmed. You were boisterous and funny in the car ride, but then you gently taught the boys without bragging that you knew more than them. I liked the juxtaposition.

Remember when I reached out to you innocuously on Facebook because I hated that you hadn’t shown interest in me? I asked you about a TV show, you answered, and then I ignored you? Remember how you waited a week and then struck up the conversation again? It infuriates me that I had to pursue you. But you know what else? I like that we are equals. That you don’t lay down and let me walk all over you. And I like that you remember what I wore that day. That you remember that I touched your back when I had to scoot behind you.

Remember the long messages we would write each other? Remember how you didn’t ask for my number right away? I really loved that. You let me adjust to talking to you on Facebook messenger. It felt less forward. Friendly. Remember how smart you were (are)? You made me laugh. You caught my pop culture references. Remember how I still have to google yours? Maybe you’re too smart for me. Or maybe you have terrible taste in tv shows 😉 Remember how Big Sexy peaked over your shoulder one time at work and texted his wife and told her that we wrote “novels” to each other? We kind of did. I loved it. I loved that it wasn’t one sided. I loved that you had a lot to say.

Remember that I drove in to town and saw you that very first night? Big Sexy and HLM had an event to go to. You were out at The Garage for work. You were with your friends. I was nervous that we wouldn’t be able to talk easily. Or that you were already hammered. I still came out. I wore all black. And there you were just sitting with your two friends, drinking waters. Your back was to me and when you turned around to hug me, your friends nudged each other and were grinning. Your friends were nice and one of them kept quizzing me. He made me guess his home state with 5 questions. He still owes me a shot. I hope you remind him of that. Remember how we went to get a drink at the bar? Then just stayed there, ditching your friends. I offered to go back to their table, but you said “nah, they’re fine”. They came over to say bye to us. Shots friend leaned in and said “We hope to see a lot more of you around here!” We stayed for a long time. We only had one drink. We were too busy talking. You walked me to my car. You hesitated. I gave you a hug. You didn’t kiss me. You don’t know this, but I remember how I hoped you didn’t kiss me. I wanted a connection with you. I didn’t want to ruin it with a first kiss by my car in front of a bar named The Garage.

Remember how HLM always has people over for spaghetti nights? She did the same thing the next day. Except she conveniently forgot to invite anyone besides you. Remember how we promised to back each other up when she assigned you to bring wine and me to make crescent rolls? We didn’t need any backup. We sat outside under the twinkly lights. It was a little hot and we quickly drank the chardonnay you brought. I usually hate chardonnay, but it tasted really fantastic sitting next to you. The four of us finished both bottles. And margaritas. And after dinner drinks with XO. We told stories and you helped HLM clear the table. Big Sexy smiled at me. I sarcastically asked him what was wrong with his face. He genuinely responded, “I just like seeing you so happy.” You came back out and you held my hand and you whispered jokes in my ear.

Remember how you stayed over that night? Big Sexy suggested it since we had so much to drink. I hadn’t realized it, but I was very very drunk. I felt awful. I went into the bathroom and made myself throw up. Don’t worry. I brushed my teeth for 3 minutes straight. Remember how we sat on their big gray couch together? We talked about everything-families and dating and God and really truly liking each other. You kissed me then. It was sweet and full and easy. You stayed over that night. We probably went too far. We were a little too drunk. We shared too much, but then again, we have since Day 2 (Day 1 you ignored me at the rugby match, duh). I said we were too different. That we shouldn’t do this. You told me you wanted to try. I hope you still do.

Remember how the four of us had breakfast together the next morning? You ate all of HLM’s protein pancakes that I hated. Remember how Big Sexy waited until it got quiet and said “Sorry about last night” and we all burst out laughing because we all knew that we heard them having sex in the next room? I love that you’re a good sport. I love that you adapt well to new situations. I love that you can make light of things.

Remember how two days later you picked up the three of us in your very clean black car? You drive a stick, which I was a little bummed to see. Less hand holding you know? You realized that the other day and mumbled to yourself that maybe you should get rid of it. You drove us to your friends’ new house. They were having a BBQ. You wore a Hawaiian shirt. It made me laugh. I actually liked it…minus the fact that you wore a black mock turtleneck underneath it. You told me later that you liked how you didn’t have to be right next to me the whole time. That I tried to join in the conversation even though you boys dominated it with shop talk. I told you that I loved how you saved Big Sexy from going down a rabbit hole that other people wouldn’t enjoy. You would touch my back when you walked by me. It gave me chills. I love when you touch me. Remember how you told me you don’t like PDA after that day? I’ve made fun of you ever since. You also told me that you think its maybe something you’ll have to get used to. I think you’re too hard on yourself about this, honestly. It hasn’t been an issue, but I am still going to tease you. Pinch your butt when no one is looking. I remember how you made sure not to leave me hanging though. You quickly came around to introduce me. I loved that you paid attention to me. Not everyone does that. I’m lucky.

Remember how all of this happened before we even went on a date?

I loved it all.

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Love. And Faith. And Real Real Life.

We don’t agree on very much. He was raised differently than me. His step dad didn’t like how the Catholic church put their heads in the sand when they realized they had a chronic and pervasive rape culture. So they stopped going. He doesn’t really “think about religion at all really”. He believes “there’s a God, but i’ve done everything on my own. I don’t regret anything. I’m here now and living and seeking out all of these new things”.

I get all of that. Truly.

Except I don’t believe him. He’s constantly seeking the approval of his dad, and step dad, and male mentors. Father figures weren’t really present. He’s reaching out and getting rejected. Pretending it doesn’t sting.

He’s constantly seeking the next thing. The next high. The next night. He still “parties”. He says the word “party” as though its still a verb. He’s always wanting adventure. Acts like the settled, wholesome things are boring. And then he does them…and he adores it. The constancy, the safety.

Me? I’m no better. I worry. Constantly. I overthink and I doubt and I get frustrated and my temper is pretty nuts. I’m not easy.

But I do know that I have the perfect Father. Constant, omniscient, everlasting, never changing. I know there is freedom in my identity in God. It’s not bondage, its everlasting love and grace. It’s all encompassing. It’s life-giving! It’s not a set of rules, it’s beautiful beautiful love. It’s understanding that our current cultural zeitgeist of “whatever feels right to you!” is fleeting and inherently selfish. There’s no love in solely living for yourself. Eventually, all that is, is madness.

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

― C.S. Lewis

So, I’m worried. How will we move forward? Will he be able to respect that I truly mean what I say when I say I’m a believer? When I told him that I’ve dated men who didn’t go to church with me, that didn’t want to learn that side of me and that it was awful, did he hear me? That it was awful for both of us. Will he get that? Will he try?

Because I get him. How can we know for sure? Why would bad things continue to happen? Why do people who profess to know Him do the things they do?

But. All of that darkness. It indicates that there is light. There’s hope in the need for someone bigger than us. A personal relationship. A nothing-we-can-do-to-earn-it gift of pure, life-giving, love.

So, I’ll have faith. And I will love.

Making (Tentative & Bold) Plans

Alright, so now that I got that out of the way. We actually agree. On lots of things. But we’re both terrified. He’s scared he’s going to have to change. And I’m scared I’m not going to have control .

It’s laughable. A relationship without change, growth, adaptation, compromise, giving in…?

We’re hilarious really.

He’s nervous I won’t like his wild friends. I’m nervous he’s going to get plastered and embarrass me. Reality? I actually really enjoy going out. I haven’t had someone to do that with in a long time. Good drinks, fun people, dancing, music? I love it all. And, I’ve never actually heard of him drinking. Since we met, I’ve been the over-drinker. He’s stayed in most nights playing video games. And he got us a separate hotel room from his friends so that I would feel comfortable.

He over-explains his family. I get nervous that they’re heathens. Reality? They’re probably insanely lovely. I’m going to show them how funny, smart, and kind I find him. They’ll like us together most of the time, and sometimes, they’ll be confused because he’ll seem different. But, that is literally all relationships. When two people join, they make their own life together. Their own rules, traditions, rhythms. It’s okay. These people love him. And I lo…like him. We’ll get along.

I hate the distance part. He hates the distance part. Reality? We’ve each done our own thing for a long time. It’s actually not that far away. And if we stay together, being apart is completely part of that. More reality? We’re probably not that great at understanding each other on it so far. We REALLY like each other. But he’s hesitant to admit his feelings (see the scared of changing part) until I meet his friends and family. And I’m scared of being in a relationship (see the loss of control fear) and not being able to predict the outcome of all things. More reality? We’re still good to each other. We’re balancing it. We’re planning weekends: Memorial Weekend with his bff & his wife, and then a cookout with his family, then a ball in June, and then a whole week together. We’re flying in to Boston so I can show him what my life was there. Then traveling up the coast and “staying in bed and breakfasts and watching the sunrise on the coast!” (totallllllly wants a wild life…) of New Hampshire and Maine until we watch his friends get married.

We suck at this. Or maybe we’re normal.

Truly, I’m excited to find out.

This guy. He drives me nuts.

My Concerns With Love

Things I’m Worried About

He believes in God but doesn’t know what that means for him.
Uh, nope. Been there, done that. It’s one of my very few deal breakers. I dated someone previously who wasn’t open to it at all. I hated not going to church with someone. I hated that he didn’t/couldn’t try to see why it was so important to me. If you can’t love God/know God, how can you love and know His daughter? I base my entire life off of the bible and God’s promises and directions. I told him as much.
Responds with: Well, I’d still like to try. I hear that you’re wanting someone that sees at least the same shade of blue. Could I come see you in (your hometown) and go to church with you?

Well, ok.

He parties a lot. Drunk eyes, forgetting that he sent snapchats, partying partying. Still calls it “partying”. Who does that at his age? Show restraint and caring for your body and also for others around you. For other peoples’ perceptions. For your safety. For respect. Seriously, so many reasons.
I don’t laugh when he is giggling and telling me that part of his weekend. I ignore the behavior and respond positively to the other good parts.
Responds with: telling me all of the nice things he said about me to his friends and them saying how much they’d like to meet me and would I want to go camping with them all. In two months.

That’s it. Those are my concerns.

Oh yea, and he thinks I’m going to change with.
My response: Hell yeah. Love changes people. Welcome to life, friend.