“How can you be in a relationship with a guy and still be growing in your relationship with Jesus?”
My friend’s face was shadowed underneath the red-light that my car idled under. Our friend group had all simultaneously been on the titanic of relationships. We stared at our married friends as though they were unicorns. Did they have a love-potion slipped into their iced coffees? Were they actually as emotionally healthy as it seemed?
How were they so sure that they could commit to using one toilet with this person for the rest of their lives?
I’ve always been drawn to the emotionally unavailable, Kylo Ren types, while most of my friends had dated really nice guys who just didn’t work out. But regardless of type, we all seemed to be unsure about the ‘ole falling in love routine.
I’m a journalist, so I interviewed people. Because what else could I do?
My interviews seemed to stop at one point- none of the women necessarily knew until later in the relationship that they would be with these guys forever and a day. They liked them, but didn’t immediately think the world spun on its axis for these Patagonia-clad men.
It seemed like the defining moment wasn’t necessarily about their husbands. It was about them. It hinged on being the best versions of themselves when they were with their dates.
I’m starting to think Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan chose each other because they brought each other closer to their true selves, not because their email chemistry was undeniable (although that, too).
“Date someone who draws you close to Jesus,” said Laurie Tomlinson, 34 and married 12 years with two adorable kids and a dog named Samson. “Date the one who doesn’t try to change you but inspires you to be the best version of yourself by the way they live and the choices they’re making.”
Maybe falling in love is less about your certainty that this man is the only one in the world for you, and more that he draws you closer to your identity, closer to truth.