About a year after my last relationship had ended in heartbreak, I met the man who would become my husband. I had not dated anyone since my breakup, and I wasn’t looking to. I had recently found a new group of friends through a church I had begun attending and was content being single.
One weekend we went on a camping trip. It was there I met my husband for the first time. Our group of about thirty twenty-somethings had a blast hiking the trails, swimming in the river, and roasting marshmallows. For every single gal in our friend group, there were about five single guys. The competition was stiff, so my future husband decided to just be my friend.
But I took an interest in him, and soon we started dating. Getting to know him was thrilling. He was cute, fun, and had really interesting stories of traveling around the world. But within a few short weeks, I started to panic. Maybe I wasn’t ready for a relationship. Maybe I was too damaged. Maybe he would hurt me too. Maybe a relationship wasn’t worth the effort.
So I broke up with him. I explained the wounds I had from my previous relationship and that they had not yet healed. I told him I wasn’t ready to be romantically involved. Again, he decided to just be my friend.
I found out later how hard being “just friends” was for him. But it was exactly what I needed. Our time as friends was healing for me. The more I was around him, the more I grew to trust him. I got to see up close his character, his integrity, and the kind of man he was without the pressure of being in a romantic relationship. I began to fall in love with him.
After a few months of growing closer through our friendship, we sat on the front steps of my little apartment. I asked him to be my boyfriend. And he said yes.
Breaking up and making up was difficult, but it was essential to forming the trust and friendship that our marriage still stands on today.