Our talk at the park, if a movie script, would probably have been the cheesiest thing you ever heard. We both talked about our past relationships: what went wrong, how we knew we should have done better, how we wanted this to be different. We made up a list of boundaries and I forget what else. But essentially, we were officially dating.
Then we went to see A Walk to Remember at the Marketplace. Then Stephen dropped me off at home.
When I got home I was super excited to tell my sister Paula, about what happened. She was in the bathroom doing her hair or something and wouldn’t come out until it was perfect. So, not wanting to announce it to the whole house I just slipped a note under the door telling her that Stephen and I had held hands the night before and we’d talked that day and we were dating.
So much for not wanting to announce it. Paula opened the door curling iron in hand screaming like girls scream when they are excited about something. We were jumping up and down and giggling and being giddy.
Paula, being the much more popular and outgoing of the two of us at church, asked if she could tell anyone she wanted. I said I wanted to wait to see what Stephen said. That Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday (I think or it might have been a week later). Anyway, we went to the youth group party and gave Paula permission to tell whoever she wanted. I think in a lot of ways Stephen and I can be pretty non-confrontal and passive about things. So letting Paula be our announcer seemed at the time like the perfect way to let everyone know without having to talk to everyone about it.
The next week at our youth leader meeting Dave was pretty mad. He sat us both down and told us he didn’t really like finding out through the rumor mill that two of his key leaders were dating. Oops! We said sorry and things were settled.
So I’m going to be real here because I think this is something a lot of couples struggle with, but no one really talks about. The reason we struggle with it is because dating in general is a relatively new phenomenon in the history of people.
About a week or two into our relationship the boundaries pretty much got thrown out the window. Heavy make-out sessions were on in full force. Our two greatest downfalls: the apartment during the day when Stephen was home alone and his car late at night when he was dropping me off. While we never went all the way, we definitely stepped over the line of what we should have been doing.
We fought about it. Cried about it. Prayed about it. Struggled with it. It was just hard to deal with that.
I’m not sure if she had any inkling of what was going on (or maybe it was just that wise mom intuition of hers), but Pastor Mike’s wife, Lee, recommended that I read And the Bride Wore White at some point. So I did. Basically what I got from this book was that even kissing wasn’t good and if your relationship wasn’t completely above reproach, you should end it.
So one night after another gone-too-far-makeout-session, I told Stephen this. I pretty much expected him to not agree with me. Talk me out of it or say we could make things better. I didn’t expect that we would follow through with it!
But we did. He said, “OK I think you’re right. If we can’t handle this we shouldn’t date anymore.”
I was completely devistated.