The falling in love part.

March 17, 2011

In honor of my upcoming one year anniversary, I am looking back at The Story of Us. Scroll down to previous posts to get the full story.

The lingering question kept me up, 2 a.m.,
“Who do you love?”
I wonder ‘til I'm wide awake.

The first month was full of walls coming down and doors staying unlocked. We hung out when we wanted to hang out. I learned to live in the twenty-four hours in front of me rather than the twenty four days, months or years ahead. I decided that if within those twenty four hours I wanted to see Chris, then I, in fact, would see him. Before I knew it, it was every day and over the next couple months I would realize how freeing this all was.

A sweet, sweet freedom.

The first month was a whirlwind. I was feeling things I had never felt before and I was seeing things in this guy that I had never seen in any other guy before. The months following were just a continuation of the whirlwind, but I was starting to feel a little more in control. I was finally accepting everything that was going on.

He was patient as I tried to figure out how to transition from my independent singlehood to a committed relationship. The walls I had spent the past ten plus years building up had such stubborn mortar lining the bricks that I was having to physically chip away at the pieces.

He was persistent and pursuant as he made it clear to me that he was not going anywhere. That was what I needed most at the time. I didn't take advantage of the fact that I knew he wasn't leaving, but it helped me not feel rushed as I was trying to figure myself out.

And he was present. Whether we were in a crowded dance hall or sitting alone on the couch, he was always, always present. The best feeling was to wake up in the morning knowing that he was there. Not physically there, but in the sense that he was present in my life and a constant presence in my day.

The next two months I would get the walls down to just a few bricks high. Just enough to be able to stand behind, but not enough to keep him out. It was in those few months that I learned what it was like to be loved and how to love back.

I learned that I really was beautiful in someone's eyes with or without make-up, wearing cute jeans or sweats, in my good moods and bad.

I learned that he wasn't going anywhere like so many had before.

I learned that we had the same goals for our future and worked better together than apart.

I learned that love was more than hearts and butterflies; it was a deep caring for the other person who makes you better than you ever thought possible and brings out the real person you were meant to always be.

I learned that the only reason he was able to love me the way that he did was because of he had first loved God with the entirety of his heart.

I learned that through Chris' love, God was showing me how He loved me. And I have never felt so loved.

A major part of any relationship is when the "I love you" comes out. It's always awkward with who says it first and do you reciprocate and what if you don't feel the same and so on.

Our moment kind of went like that.

About six weeks into our speed-dating, since by then we had already brought up the idea of marriage pretty seriously, we had gone out for my birthday. After dinner and a night out with friends, I came back to what was then just Chris' house and we were hanging out trying to squeeze in every last moment of the night.

At some point in the night, Chris leaned over to me and said the infamous three word phrase. "I... I love you."

I paused and wasn't sure what to say. So I said what every guy wants to hear after they muster up the courage to tell the girl they love that they really do love them.

I said, "That's good." Really. I said that.

Then to make matters worse I said, "It's just that I don't want to say it until I know it's right and I don't know yet."

He understood, because he is way too understanding of me sometimes, and we went on with the evening like nothing happened. About twenty minutes later I spoke up, "I love you, too."

Except, well, I didn't really mean it. I mean, I did really care about him at that point but I soon realized that I had just said it to say it and to break the deafening silence in the air.

The next week or so was rough because he had figured me out. He would tell me I love you when he was saying goodbye or goodnight and I would sometimes say it back. Like one out of three times. Then it would turn into a "why aren't you saying it back" conversation and well, it just got more fun from there. I had to tell him that when I said it initially, I didn't really mean it.

That was awesome.

Two weeks after the initial love you's came out, we went to church together. We had been going together for a couple of weeks and they were coincidentally doing a relationship series. When I walked into the church, there was a slideshow on the stage flashing through slides as they got ready to start the service. The opening slide for that series sermon said, "Have you told the person you love that you love them?"

Well, if that wasn't a big knock in the head, I don't know what would be. I also don't know what I was waiting for when I knew in the deep bottom of my heart that Chris was the one for me and that I did love him and that he did truly love me.

That hour long service felt like a lifetime as I sat in the church pew with Chris, itching to tell him how I felt. For real this time.

We walked out to the car after church ended and he opened my door for me. I stopped him before he walked to the driver's side and looked at him straight in the eyes. "I love you," I said. "For real this time."

And I knew when I said it this time, that it was real.
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  1. Jordan, I really relate to you letting down your walls and opening up to a relationship (even though you were independent). I needed to hear this.

  2. This is so wonderful. I love how you laid out why you needed to take time. What a wonderful man!

  3. This entire series is just so sweet. What a wonderful time in your lie to revisit!

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