June 21, 2013

Guy lessons from reflection {Part 1}

     In the last few weeks, I've had this huge urge to just pour my heart out into this blog. When I first began this blog I was looking forward to doing some things differently then I had on my old one. For example, I never really got into fashion at all before, and fashion posts were something that I was excited to do. I still love doing them (I'm not stopping! Don't worry) and I've gotten some great feedback, but as I look back on my first few posts on this blog I realize how little I wrote about what was going on in my life at that time (which was my first semester of college). If you've read any of my posts of late about non-fashion things you've probably realized that I over-analyze everything that happens in my life. Well, a good way to deal with all of this is by blogging things out. :-)

     During my first semester I had "relationships" with two guys, one at the start of the semester and one at the end. When I say relationship, it makes it sound like I had two boyfriends over the course of the semester, which isn't true at all. I'm proud to say that my Facebook relationship status has never been changed from single, and it's going to stay that way until a wonderful Godly guy sweeps me off my feet. ;-) But anyways, by relationship with these two guys I mean more like friendship that was headed in the direction of dating, but never made it. (See how complicated that was to explain and why I just stuck with the term "relationship?" Haha.) Both were totally different situations involving guys that were total opposites of each other. Since coming home for the summer I've been thinking a lot about both of these "relationships" and how much I learned from each one and grew. But I feel like I'm still hanging on to each one a little bit, and it's time to move on for good. So hopefully by telling all of you the details of both, as well as what I learned, I can finally have closure and move on. Plus, it will give you all a little insight as to what I was up to last summer, which is a time when I had taken an unofficial blogging break.

The story of Guy #1:

     Guy #1 and I actually met on online, and it will be a year ago on Tuesday. I only remembered this because he first messaged me on June 25th, and 25 has always been one of my lucky numbers. Anyways, last summer I was apart of a Facebook group for members of the incoming freshman class at my (former) college. I was going to be attending July's orientation, so I tried to message as many people as I could who were on the group to introduce myself and see if they were going to the same orientation as me.
     Guy #1 actually messaged me first! He sent a basic message saying a little bit about himself and that he was a fellow incoming freshman looking to make some friends before the start of the school year. I happened to be online when he wrote, so I wrote back right away, and then he wrote back, and before I knew it we were deep in conversation. Well, I ended up glancing at the clock at one point once it had gotten late and I saw that we had been Facebook chatting for four hours! We talked about so many things in that first chat; everything from what we were majoring in and where we were from (he was from NC), to our Christian faiths and our families. I told him that I had to get to bed, but I asked him if he wanted to continue to chat the next day and he said yes.

     Well fast-forward to a week later and by then we'd Facebook chatted every night that week! By this point we'd also shared phone numbers. That weekend I went away on a one night camping trip with my high school's Interact club. I'd been very involved in Interact since sophomore year, and this was the big end of the year bash. It was held on a small island up Maine, the teacher advisor for interact had a cabin on the island and we all camped in her yard. But anyways, while on the camping trip my friend H and I had a heart-to-heart talk about boys while in my tent at two in the morning. I told her all about guy #1, and I was so excited to finally be able to tell H that things were happening for me in the boy department! After a failed attempt at liking a guy friend of mine during the start of senior year, I hadn't really liked anyone since then, so this was kind of a big deal for me. This was also the first guy I had liked in a long time that was Christian.

H and I on the boat ride to the island for the camping trip! June 2012

     Guy #1 and I continued texting, and our conversations began to talk more to matters of love and dating. At this point things were never about each other, but he later told me that he had feelings for me by this point. I was on the verge of developing feelings. We were open with each other on just about everything: qualities we were looking for in a BF/GF, thoughts on sex before marriage (both of us not for it), our dream dates, celebrity crushes, etc. I loved how open I could be with him, and I felt totally comfortable talking to him about everything. I liked how he said his family was an important part of his life, and how his Christian faith was important to him. He didn't curse, and shared my views on drugs and alcohol. And the best part was he loved talking to me even more than I liked talking to him! Things seemed great as the month of July started.

Saw this amazing DOUBLE rainbow while driving in my hometown on June 24th, 2012, the day before guy #1 and I started talking. I saw this while driving and was so amazed that I pulled over to take some pictures!!!

     A couple days before I was leaving for July orientation at my former school, I suddenly wondered to myself why I wasn't trying to make plans to meet guy #1 in person while I would be down in NC for a few days. He lived about an hour from the school, and didn't have a job so scheduling wouldn't have been a problem. We had still been talking a lot. I thought that I liked him in a more than friends way, but I was still a little bothered by the fact that we had met online and I wanted to meet him in person before I could let my feelings grow. I like to think I'm a logical person. ;-)

     I texted him asking if he'd like to meet up while I was in his neck of the woods, and he said definitely! Within a couple hours our plans were made. He and a family member would drive down to have dinner with me and my dad after orientation at school. I was totally cool, calm and collected about the whole thing as you can see from this text between me and one of my high school friends:



     So off my dad and I headed to NC! I was excited to be in my future home state again, to have some Bojangles biscuits, and to meet some of the girls from school that I'd met on Facebook. But most of all, I was excited to meet guy #1! The night before orientation I was literally freaking out in our hotel room. My worst nightmare was that he'd actually be like some 70 year old pervert who ended up on the Facebook page and posed as an 18 year old dude.

We stopped at one of my favorite Southern restaurants right after arriving in NC!

     Finally, orientation day arrived. The actual day itself was pretty great. I got to meet my bestie K in person for the first time, as well as my other good friend M (who is the one that took many pictures for the fashion posts on my blog during the school year!)

Left to right: M, a girl I met at orientation that transferred after first semester, K and me! 

     But as fun as orientation was, I couldn't stop thinking about how I would be meeting guy #1 later that day. After orientation ended, my dad and I headed over to the restaurant that we were meeting guy #1 and his aunt at. My nerves were at an all time high...

     And then guy #1 and his aunt walked in! He really was who he said he was, and I was so happy. Conversation came just as well in person as it had over texting and online. I told him all about my orientation experience, and we all talked about the tragic shootings in Aurora, CO (which had happened the night before). My dad liked him, and his aunt liked me. He kept shooting me sweet little smiles across the table, and I noticed that his eyes were nicer in person than they were on his Facebook pictures.

     However, during the whole meeting I realize now that I was trying too hard to convince myself that since he had come all that way to meet me, I had to like him in a romantic way. I could tell from the way he was looking at me across the table that he was really into me, and I think that I liked knowing he liked me more than I liked liking him! (If that makes any sense). I do remember thinking to myself how in person he was still attractive, but didn't look exactly like in his pictures, and I wasn't quite as attracted to him as I thought I would be (despite the pretty eyes). But I told myself that my attraction for him would grow more once school started, and I should be thrilled to have a Christian guy who was that into me before school even started.

After orinetation my dad and I headed to a beach in NC for a few days of vacation. More on that next week! :-)

     A few days after we had met in person, guy #1 told me over texting that he had feelings for me. Even though I'd had some moments of doubt when I was actually with him in person, I was so flattered by the fact he admitted it that I told him I liked him too. The one good thing that I did say is I'd like to date him but nothing could be 100% sure until we'd spent more time in person together once school started (proud of myself for saying that). He said he agreed but jumped right into planning what we'd do for dates.

     In the last few weeks of summer before school started, we got a lot more comfortable with each other and started referring to each other as our BF/GF (although the Facebook statuses were never changed THANK GOODNESS) and texted each other hearts and things. Guy #1 had even begun to talk a little bit about how he could see us getting married after college... which I know now should have been when I ran for the hills, but at the time again I was flattered, although I made no promises to marry him. ;-)

     I forgot to add that by this time we'd started skyping. The night before my big move to NC a few of my girlfriends from high school came over to say good-bye. Two of them joined me in skyping him... after talking to him they told me they approved!

High school friends Jules and B joining me in skyping guy #1, the night before I left for NC. Sorry the picture is a little dark!

     Two days later, I was officially a resident of the South as it was move in day at college. Guy #1 and I texted most of the morning as my parents and I left our hotel and headed for school. After I'd checked into my suite and moved some of the larger items into my room I texted him and told him I was ready to meet up. We decided to meet on a little bridge over the small end of the school's lake. It was halfway between his dorm and my suite building.

     I got there first, and I saw him coming towards me. When he came up to me, I gave him a hug. It was a long hug, and I was shocked that I felt NOTHING. No romantic feelings, no butterflies in my stomach, no happiness, just AWKWARDNESS. That's when I started to see that everything that I'd planned out was about to fall apart. Next he pulled something out that he'd been holding the whole time, a beautiful little bouqet of lillies. He'd remembered once during the summer that I'd said lillies were one of my favorite flowers, so he'd bought me some. I was so touched. No guy (besides for my dad lol) had ever bought me flowers before!

Sadly this is the only picture I have of the flowers. I snapped it on my phone as I was walking back to my room after meeting him.

     After he gave me the flowers, I felt like it would be appropriate to kiss him. This would have been my very first kiss. But as I leaned in, something inside me screamed NOOOOO! and I remembered how I'd felt a moment before with no romantic feelings, so instead I kissed him on the cheek. He was delighted by this and didn't make any moves which was good. I went then went back to my room.

    I showed my parents the flowers and they were just tickled. They were so happy for me that I'd met a nice guy so early into school, and were more excited than I was about the flowers I think! Haha. Anyways, I was hoping that finishing moving in would help me sort out my feelings about guy #1, but he showed up right then at my suite to help my parents move stuff. My mom got to meet him and took a few awkward pictuers of the two of us (pictures that I've never seen and never want to haha). After this I told him I needed some time to myself to move in, and he agreed.

     Dinner that night was a campus-wide barbecque for students and their families. His parents and him ended up finding me and my parents, so our parents met each other and started talking over dinner. I barely said anything during that meal. I knew by this point that I didn't like guy #1 at all in a romantic way, and after dinner I wasn't even sure I could see him as just a friend. He asked me to hang out that night but I told him I wanted to meet up with K, who I hadn't seen since orientation.

K and I having fun with my umbrella, "Mr. Frog," on our first night at college!

     The next morning was a church service for students and their families. I sat with my parents, new friends K and M.... and guy #1, who tagged along. At the start of the service the pastor speaking announced how he met his wife on his first day of his freshman year of college at that school... when he said that guy #1 gave me this weird smile and K and M poked me on the arm. ONE OF THE MOST AWKWARD MOMENTS OF MY LIFE... because I knew I had no interest in guy #1.

Guy #1 took this picture of K and M and I after the service. I hate the dark background because it looks like I have no hair haha.

     That night, I texted guy #1 and asked him if I could have space for a couple days from him as classes started and I settled in. He wasn't happy about it, but agreed. I feel really badly now that I wasn't honest right away in telling him my feelings had changed. Instead I blamed not wanting to see him on "having a hard adjustment to life so far from home" which was actually kind of a lie. I settled into college pretty well.

     Long story short, after about a week of not seeing him he messaged me all confused as to why I wasn't talking to him anymore and wanted to know what happened. I told him then that I had decided that I wasn't ready for a BF so soon after coming to college, and that I thought we should both focus on making friends. He was REALLY upset by this and I won't go into details but he sent me some pretty weird texts that got me very worried about him.

     I went to see him in his dorm room later that night and again, I won't go into specifics but he was very upset. I learend that his transition to college had actually been a lot harder than mine, and in his head he'd always counted on me being there for him from day one. At the time this creeped me out, and I started to see how deep his feelings had been for me. Wayyyy more than just an online crush. I advised him again to just work on making friends, and I alerted his RA about the weird messages I'd gotten and how he seemed upset.

     About a week later (I think) he had sent me a message apologizing for his behavior the night I visited him and told me he'd thought a lot about what I said. He agreed he wasn't ready to date at the time, and asked if we could kinda start over and be just friends. But here's where I messed up.

     Instead of seeing that he was genuinely sorry and was a brother in Christ who was in need of a good friend, I told him that I didn't want to be friends at all. By this time I'd started thinking he was really weird. It took me awhile to make friends in high school, and I didn't want anyone like him to hold me down from socializing in college. This sounds terrible now as I write it, and I'm so ashamed that I acted that way, but I did, and I want to be honest here.

     In short, I cut off all contact with him on my 18th birthday. That was also the day that I started this blog. I wanted it to be a day of new beginnings, and for me new beginnings didn't include guy #1 at all.   Unfortunately, guy #1 and I had a class together last semester, so that was kinda awkward. He used to glare at me a lot from across the room (I don't blame him now).

        The end of the story is that one night in January I was at my school's weeknight worship service when I spotted guy #1. He was there all by himself, as compared to me sitting with a bunch of friends. He looked so lonely and sad, and God spoke to me and told me in that moment that I had to make things right between us. This is something that my parents had been urging me to do for a few months, but I had to come to it on my terms and at the right time.

     Since we'd had such a bad parting in September I knew that I couldn't just go up to him and say something. In fact, I had no clue how to approach him. I ended up scheduling a meeting with one of the counselors at school, and I went back to see him several times over the next two months, until I had the courage to apologize to guy #1 for not being honest and for being a bad friend.

     Guy #1 and I were able to meet one more time and make closure at the end of April, and you can read about that in this post. Things went well, and I think that's because we had both prayed about the situation, and enough time had past that hard feelings were softened.


..... So that's the very long story of me and guy #1, and here are a few lessons that I've learned from the situation!


  1. Self-disclosure shouldn't be rushed: I took a sociology class as an elective at college last semester, and we talked a lot about the term self-disclosure, which is when one person reveals their true nature to another person. This is critical in any type of relationship (friend, family, etc) but especially important when you're interested in dating someone! However, it shouldn't ever be rushed. The phrase "True Love Waits" means more to me than just waiting until marriage to have sex. It also means to me that if God wants you and a person to be together, things will develop in their proper course over time. From the first week that guy #1 and I were talking on Facebook we shared almost everything about ourselves. I realize now where that's it's not wrong to have become friends online with someone attending my school, I should have not gotten too carried away and kept more personal things to myself (like my thoughts on relationships), in case things turned out like they did between us.
  2. ALWAYS be honest, even when it hurts: This is actually going to come up next week in my second guy story from first semester, so it's really important to me. In the case of guy #1, I wasn't honest with him. As nice as it was that he bought me flowers, I should have told him from day one of being at school that I wasn't as into him as I thought I'd be, and gotten that taken care of then, instead of dragging it on for a few weeks. I've also learned since then that you can be honest with someone who is interested in you and let them down without being mean about it. A guy liked me second semester and I didn't feel the same, and I told him that it wasn't so much about "him" as it was that God would bring him the right girl in his life at the right time, and that girl wasn't me. A much better way to let someone down then to cut them off like I did with guy #1! 
  3. Go with your gut: I've always relied on my gut feelings to make major decisions in life. Sounds terrible, I know, but I believe that's sometimes how God reveals His plans for me. (Don't laugh!) As I gave guy #1 the hug and kiss on the cheek after the flowers, I knew that I didn't have feelings for him, and I felt my instinct saying he wasn't the one for me. Did I handle this in the right way? No. But is it better then having ignored that feeling and made myself date him? Heck yes!


     For awhile I was angry and ashamed about how things went down with guy #1, but I honestly do believe that God allows all things to happen for a reason, and I'm happy that I learned some important life lessons from it. I think that I learned even more from my experiences with guy #2 though, so stay tuned for that story next week!


     xoxo Miss ALK


3 comments:

  1. Your story mirrors mine almost identically, except I stayed with the guy I met online for a long time...I'm so glad you were able to discuss your true feelings with the guy in a way that was respectful after some time had passed. I love that you recognized how you felt and had the courage to be true to your thoughts and feelings, instead of trying to make things turn out differently. It took me a very, very long time to do that. :-) I hope your upcoming semester at your new school goes really well! I'm so glad you love my home state so much. I do too. :-)

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  2. Thanks so much for opening up about this! I've never had a boyfriend or anything close, but it's great to learn lessons through others' stories. I can relate though, with meeting people and talking online through the group discussion boards right before college. I did that and I did end up talking to a guy pretty frequently on there. He turned out to not be a Christian, but we had interesting conversations and some things in common. We talked about similar things like you guys like relationships, but nothing really happened when we got to school since we didn't really see each other around campus too often. Now he has a girlfriend I think and we just say hi on campus. But it was interesting to get to know someone online...though I learned that getting to know someone in person is definitely better!

    Glad you could find lessons to learn from everything and you're at peace with it all. Over these past few semesters, God has been teaching me to embrace singleness, and it's been good!

    Hope you have a good weekend and I can't wait for more posts!

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  3. Your 3 pieces of advice from this story is ON POINT. I feel like you wrote that for me!

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