In 3rd grade, my family moved to a new homeschool group. It wasn’t very big, but there was one family with two boys who were close to my age. One was a year and a half older than me, the other a year younger. Slowly but surely, our families became closer and closer. We went on field trips together. Had art classes together. Played tennis together. They joined our church. At some point, inevitably, I developed a crush on the older boy.
That was pointless. He was always too nice for me to get a clue, but he was oblivious to my interest (obligatory aside about boys being oblivious…). Until I was about 16, I held onto my crush, even through other boyfriends. Then he got his first girlfriend. I was devastated. For two years, I barely spoke to him. I dated other people. He dated other people. Life went on.
Eventually, I grew up. I moved past my crushed adolescent heart. I missed his friendship and I regretted letting it slip. One day, out of the blue, I started talking to him. It began with Facebook chats every once in awhile. In the beginning, I initiated and carried the conversations. He was friendly enough, but not pursuing. I was not impressed with where he was in his life at that point, so I was completely uninterested in dating, but I did think he needed a friend. We both did. Over a period of 3-4 months, we began chatting on a daily basis. We exchanged opinions on books, music, politics, religion, news, society, anything we could think of. And we agreed on everything. Literally. Everything we could think of, we agreed about. Our chats turned into daily, multi-hour events. Finally, we acknowledged that we should probably at least consider dating.
That was the summer before I left for college. From any view, that is a horrible time to begin a dating relationship, especially since I attend college 6 hours away from home. But we did it anyway. Eyes open to the potential difficulties, we started dating that summer, but didn’t make it official with our families until mid-fall.
Years removed from my childhood crush, I’ve now spent a year and a half dating the man I idolized as a teenager. I am now a woman and an equal with him, more than capable of holding my own intellectually and emotionally. In a surreal twist, I am blissfully happy with a guy I wrote off years ago.
My friends are almost all single, so I hear my fair share of dating angst. I never mind listening to them, but I don’t have advice for them. I didn’t go through the normal awkwardness at the beginning of a relationship – it was one smooth step from friends to dating. We talk about everything and always have. There is no uncertainty, no confusion, no nerves over making a good impression. We are, and always have been, completely ourselves with each other, mostly because we had no reason to impress each other.
In two days, I am leaving him again, living 6 hours away for the next 4 months. I try to call him every night, but he is sadly used to me texting him that I am working late, I have homework, can I call him the next day, etc. He is infinitely patient with my schedule and incredibly supportive of my education. I find myself absolutely blown away – that I am so blessed, that I found such an amazing man, that our relationship developed so smoothly.
There are million love stories in the world, so why am I sharing mine? Because my heart is full of it. Because it amazes me. This is the closest I can come to shouting my love from the rooftops. So that people know there are still happy endings. Because it is a story to share. What is your story? Stories are to share…they connect everyone across the world, across history.