There’s one simple solution: Don’t start dating. Don’t fall in love. At least, that’s what I thought during my early twenties.
I had been hurt by a long-lasting crush during my teenage years that left me with a lingering doubt about the trustworthiness of men. I didn’t want to repeat that heartache, so I kept men at an arm’s length.
Until I met Adam.
He was smart, playful, challenging, athletic, chivalrous, and his boyish grin made his eyes dance. After just a few conversations I knew I could fall for him, but didn’t know if I was ready for it.
About a month after we met, Adam found out he wouldn’t be returning to college in the fall due to training for a deployment with the Marines to Iraq. He told me he didn’t think we should date, but he was open to staying in contact. I was surprised and impressed by his directness. I was so thankful for his honesty that a relationship might not work. It also made me realize what a catch this guy was.
As our friendship developed through letters and email, my trust in Adam grew. This is not to say it was easy for me to trust him all the time. Every now and then I would find myself worried about the risk of falling for him. What if this is all a game for him? What if he’s just saying the right words because he’s a lonely soldier in Iraq?
But then I remembered his straightforwardness before his deployment about not wanting to date. Those actions showed me that he wouldn’t lead me on like the last guy, that I could trust him. I cautiously pressed on, making sure my head and my heart were on the same page.
Time and again he showed me he was worthy of my trust through his openness, especially when he risked his heart by confessing his feelings for me. As I’ve written previously, we did start dating and we did fall in love.
We’ve been married for almost seven years now. Without opening myself up to love, I wouldn’t have the joy that comes from loving him and receiving his love. I’m so glad I took the risk in trusting him with my heart and my life.