How We Met (Part 3)
Sunday, October 30, 2011Tweet
Read Part 1 and Part 2 first!
By the time the next weekend rolled around, my resistance to dating was starting to melt.
That weekend, our residence hall had a retreat, which Mike and I both attended. A bunch of girls from my floor also went, but the people Mike and I knew best were one girl on my floor and her boyfriend, so the four of us spent a lot of time together on Friday evening of the retreat.
Then all the attendees were assigned to small groups for the weekend, and Mike and I were assigned to the same small group. (OK, OK, God, I get your flashing signs already.)
For those who don't know, a "small group" in a Christian setting usually refers to a group of maybe 6-8 people who meet to pray and talk together. On a retreat, this usually means sharing personal stories and talking about deep thoughts and fears.
If my heart hadn't already melted for Mike at this point, hearing him share his feelings openly certainly did. One thing in particular I remember was when he talked about how most people saw him as this goofy, funny guy, and how only the people close to him knew his serious, introspective side. I realized that I had gotten close enough to him to be one of those people who knew many sides of him.
That night, a group of us sat out under the stars and talked. Slowly people started heading to bed until it was just Mike and me left. We lay on the ground and talked for hours, probably until 1 or 2 in the morning, even when it got freezing (and you know how I hate to be cold!!). I don't even remember what we talked about, but I knew after that night that if he wanted to date me, I wouldn't say no.
That night also marked the first and only time I've ever seen a shooting star.
We got back to campus Saturday night, and on Sunday we went together to see some murder mystery thing our campus activities board was hosting -- still as friends; I think maybe some other people were supposed to come too. Then Monday evening he invited me down to his dorm room to watch a movie -- Toy Story. I remember he had cleaned the room and had a bowl of candy sitting out. Later he told me he was embarrassed that he hadn't offered me any candy, and I told him it was fine because I'd eaten some anyway (see also: I am a mooch).
We watched the movie, and then while it was rewinding (yes, it was VHS, haha) we looked at each other awkwardly, and I said I should probably get going. Then he said no, wait, he needed to say this because he'd been practicing it in his head and he needed to say it now before he got too nervous. I don't remember exactly what he said except that he liked me a lot. (Sorry, Mike -- at least I remember the important part, right??)
I didn't feel ready to be in a relationship with a label, and I remember thinking, "Whatever you do, don't say but." I said, "I think you're a really great person, I enjoy spending time with you, and I think we should continue hanging out and see where it goes."
(Well, dear readers, you know where it went.)
I think Mike must have heard a "but" anyway, because when we went out to dinner for my birthday a few weeks later (which was supposed to be a group event but was engineered by our friends to just be the two of us) he gave me a card signed "Your friend, Michael." I think he was trying to show me that he respected my space -- something he's done ever since.
It was a slow process; when I went home for Thanksgiving I had to explain that there was "this guy" in my life who wasn't a "boyfriend." I didn't even have his cell phone number yet. But eventually we started using the terms boyfriend and girlfriend for expediency, and our college got Facebook just in time for us to be "Facebook official" sometime in December.
And that, my dear readers, is the long and dramatic story of how Mike and I got together.
If you've written about how you and your significant other got together, please link to it (or give us an abbreviated version!) in comments. I'd love to read them!