This is the fourth installment of a six part series on how Jonathan and I met, fell in love, and got married. You can start the series by clicking here.)
After our romantic rendezvous seeing U2, things did NOT heat up at the pace Jonathan was hoping for. Besides our very long and flirtatious Old Testament study dates, nothing changed. By now, this doesn’t surprise you. (I know, I know- you’re thinking- WHEN is this love saga going to end? Patience, okay? I’m hurrying, I’m hurrying!)
I’m going to skip quickly over the embarrassing parts: in early December 2001 Jonathan held my hand, on my bunk bed, while a bunch of us were watching Home Alone 2. (How old were we? Junior high age?)
Apparently, the handholding gave him courage to ask me to winter formal. As evidenced by this picture, it was a very romantic evening of Jonathan feeding me butter sticks:
Later I learned that Jonathan had made a little promise to himself on formal night. He was going to kiss me. NO MATTER WHAT. While walking me back to my dorm room, in mid conversation about nothing related to kissing, he stopped. I stopped. And then he turned and kissed me.
He says I kissed back, which is why he went for it again. I was so shocked, I don’t really remember.
Jonathan went back to his dorm room prouder than a parent on college graduation day. I went back to my dorm room and cried. Then, I did something very mature. I avoided him for two full days.
Avoiding someone for two full days on a campus like Westmont is nearly impossible. I literally had to drive to Los Angeles with my girlfriends just so I didn’t run into Jonathan. By Monday night he’d caught on to me. Amy had told him I was freaking out, and then she told me I needed to pull it together. I didn’t know what I wanted, and I told her so.
Jonathan showed up in my room that night in a way I’d never seen before. Gone was the guy who gave me my space, who let me call the shots, who waited patiently. Gone was the boy-next-door/I’ll-be-your-best-friend charade. Instead, he laid down the law:
“I’m tired of you messing around with my heart. I want to date you. If you don’t want to date me, I don’t want to hang out. It hurts too much,” he said.
I cried. He left.
About an hour later I ran to the prayer chapel, a beautiful white building in the middle of campus where I always went when I needed answers. I’d curl up on the floor between the pews and journal or whisper. At night the lights illuminate whoever is in there. That night, as I ran up the cobbled path to its door, I caught Jonathan sitting on one of the pews, his head between his hands.
He’d beat me there.
I went back to my dorm room, the image of him so clear in my mind…and still so clear in my mind ten years later. I thought about my fears of dating him, of taking a risk that I could get hurt again versus the bigger risk of losing him all together. And, I just knew. I knew he was worth the risk.
A few nights later he took me on our first official date as boyfriend and girlfriend. We sat in the candlelight of La Playa Azul, the first of many romantic dates he’d take me on over the last ten years. Here he is, looking so smug again. Love that hand on his hip!
We gave it a shot, and never looked back.
(Think I’m done? I’m not! There’s still two parts left! I can do that. It’s my blog, after all. Read the next installment here.)