When T and I first started dating, we had already been friends for about a year. In that time, we had a chance to get to know each other without the pressure of dating looming over us, or too many emotions getting in the way. It was a fun, solid friendship. We went to a lot of movies, hung out in dorm rooms, and had great, challenging conversations. Freshman year of college, I had made a promise to myself that I wasn't going to date. I was going to develop friendships, get my feet wet with the whole college thing, and save dating for later. While, there was a teeny tiny point in the fall when I thought I had some feelings for T, I decided it was more worth it just to be his friend. Well that entire plan failed miserably and he and I started dating the last week of school freshman year.
In that time though, I learned what it meant to build a solid base for your relationship. Even though I didn't know we would end up dating (heck, get married!) I cherish that time that we spent getting to know each other in a non-romantic way. When we started dating, we both viewed dating very seriously. I didn't want to mess around with yo-yo type relationships. I wasn't going to start dating someone that I couldn't see myself marrying. We knew going into it that marriage was the end goal of our dating relationship(s). Our friendship didn't change greatly when we decided to make the jump toward dating, but we looked at our friendship and relationship in a more serious light. I knew after only a few months that this was the man I wanted to marry. Then, it was all about the wait. So what the heck do you do with the wait time? We knew we wanted to marry each other, but we also knew that it wasn't the right time yet. We were both still in school, we had some things we needed to work through, and quite honestly we needed to date more. We needed that wait time.
During that wait time both T and I wanted to know the things we could have been doing/talking about/preparing for in our dating relationship. How do you make the most of that time? How do you prepare yourselves, both individually and together, for marriage? And how do you do it all while still having fun? The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to write about this topic -- because it was such an integral time in our relationship, one that I feel like built a strong foundation for our now marriage. I want to share the things I've learned and continue to learn, as we are now in the next phase of our relationship. I want to share how to make the most of the wait time.
I hope to be sharing more about dating, engagement, and marriage using T and I's relationship as an example. It will be informal and conversational-- an exploratory of the things we've learned and continue to learn daily. Most importantly, it will be REAL. Parts of our relationship have been messy and hard, and I believe it's important to share that. With so many cheesy relationship books out there, I want to share the real talk. I want you to ask me questions and to share your own stories, I want to start a conversation.
So what do you say? Will you follow this journey with me? What would you like to discuss?
*This is an edited & updated repost from my previous blog Floral & Frayed