The second chapter in the less than magical story of how my husband I met, didn’t fall in love, eventually figured it out, and by the grace of God ended up married.
If you are just tuning in, you can read the first part of our love story here:
I’ll save you a click, though, and give you the gist. When we met, it was far from the way most people dream that they will meet their future spouse. We all dream that when we meet that special person, something deep within us will just “know”. That was definitely not the case for us. Blythe and I met in college, it was NOT love at first sight. In fact, even though we spent a ton of time together Blythe couldn’t remember my name to save his life.
However, as fate would have it, the summer after we met, Blythe was going to be my only assistant at a camp where I ran the horse program. Not only were we going to be stuck inside a barn together all summer, but I was going to be his boss.
Step number one, I made sure he knew my name. “Hey you” definitely wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
That summer was a great one and an important one. Both of us have a lot of happy memories in the barn together. It was a summer full of misty mornings, beautiful sunrises, backbreaking work, hot days, ice cream runs, late nights around the campfire, belly laughs, and countless inside jokes. Each of us found a trustworthy teammate in the other, someone that we knew we could count on with absolute certainty. I remember thinking that I had never enjoyed working with anyone as much as I enjoyed working with Blythe. We grew very fond of one another.
But we didn’t find love. In fact, at the end of the summer neither of us thought of the other in a romantic way at all. Both of us were still in committed relationships with other people and even if we weren’t I’m not sure we would have been compatible at that point. We had become great friends, but absolutely nothing more.
As it turns out, that friendship would be the key to our finally finding love with each other. If we hadn’t had that summer together, I am positive we never would have become a couple.
And, at least now he knew my name.
The following semester, we really didn’t see too much of each other. When we did, though, it was more than a passing, “Hi”. We would sit together and chat, discuss classes, life, and, of course, laugh and joke as we had all summer.
The most important thing that happened to both of us that semester is that we broke up with our long time significant others.
And they were bad breakups.
Sometimes you break up with someone and you’re able to part ways fairly peacefully. You really can’t be friends with an ex, though many people try, but you can at least hope to be civil to one another. Blythe and his ex were eventually able to find that balance. The same can not be said for me and mine.
Both of us ended the semester deeply broken, deeply sad, and feeling very alone.
After Christmas break, I walked into the first day of my Organic Chemistry class to see Blythe! Blythe, who is naturally the center of attention, was surrounded by a group of about ten of his friends. Being a little too shy to break into such a large group- who am I kidding, even if it had been just one other person I still would have been too shy- I waved hello and took a seat alone a little further back in the lecture hall.
And then, the single most important moment in our entire relationship happened.
Blythe stepped away from his group of friends and took the seat right next to me.
We’ve talked about this moment several times since we’ve been married because it really is why we are together today. Blythe says he still isn’t quite sure what made him do it, but he’s come up with a few options. Maybe a little spark had been there all along and when he saw me walk into class he decided to make a move. Or maybe he didn’t want to be distracted by his big group of friends in class (I find this to be highly unlikely as Blythe is normally the distractor, not the distractee). No matter the reason, that was the first step towards a relationship for us. When people ask us how we met we normally give the short answer which is, “We had chemistry together”.
Blythe choosing to sit next to me may have been the first step towards a relationship for us, but it alone didn’t bring us together. We had a mutual friend in the class, Evan, who once or twice a week forced us to get together with him to work on chemistry homework and study for the exams. Normally, Blythe and I weren’t the group study type, but because Evan asked, we obliged and ended up spending countless hours together because of it. As is often the case with study groups, I’m not quite sure how much real studying happened.
We would meet at coffee shops or someone’s house and usually spent more time looking at Facebook and making McDonald’s runs than we did going over O-Chem. After the group study time was over Blythe and I would often stay late into the night talking about our failed relationships and difficult breakups. It was nice for each of us to have someone to vent to and confide in that understood exactly what we were going through and would listen without complaint. This confiding time brought us close. And then the flirting started.
For some strange reason the first stages of our flirting centered around internet memes. I can’t even begin to count the number of funny memes and ecards I saved on my phone (it was well into the hundreds) to show Blythe, and he did the same. We started texting each other constantly, we hung out all the time, and we were incredibly distracting in class. I feel so bad about that and I’m incredibly embarrassed to share this sad truth! We laughed too much, we whispered a little too loudly and we paid basically no attention to the professor. We even joked at one point that there was a lady at the front of the room interrupting our conversation. The lecture hall was large, but still, I know we were distracting to everyone around us. To this day, friends that were in that class tell us we were distracting. I’ve heard people tell Blythe that it’s a, “Damn good thing he married me, at least that made our distraction worth it.” I have never been distracting in my life and to this day I feel guilty! Blythe, the talkative center of attention cannot say the same. In his words it was, “A vital part of our life education. We were forming the most important relationship of our lives.” Thankfully, we both ended up doing really well in the class, and I hope we didn’t distract anyone too badly.
Even with our constant flirting and conversation we never discussed any feelings that we might or might not have for each other. I think that we were both so lonely and sad, we were just looking for a friend and we had found that in each other.
It took two months of this flirty friendship (and me dropping hints) before Blythe finally asked me out.
Our first date was at Texas Roadhouse because Blythe had a giftcard that his mom sent him (the other options were Whataburger or Walmart). Parents of college kids, take note. Giftcards allow college kids to take their future spouses on first dates. Send your college kid gift cards.
The rest of that semester was really great for us. We had a ton of fun together, we were the best of friends, and we spent basically all of our time together without being intentional about it. It kind of just happened. It was all pretty effortless, lighthearted, and never serious.
However, neither of us thought it was going to last. I had gotten a job at a luxury resort in Montana and Blythe was going to be a supervisor at a camp in Texas. In both of our minds, we were nothing serious and we were positive our relationship would just sort of fizzle out over the summer. They say long distance is hard and can tear apart even the best relationships. Well I was going to be nearly 2,000 miles away and I certainly wouldn’t call what we had “the best relationship”. It was a fling in both of our minds and barely a relationship.
The day I left for Montana and we said our goodbyes, it wasn’t prolonged. Just a short hug, kiss, and “I’ll call you when I can.” I knew in my heart that we would end our relationship within the next couple of weeks and I wasn’t too upset about that. It was fun while it lasted and it helped me get through a really terrible breakup. It was just what I needed at the time, but I was ready to move on.
But for some unexplainable reason, the distance only brought us closer.
Stay tuned for Part III next week!