September 7, 2014

OUR STORY

Since I announced that we were engaged, I have had a couple of people ask me about how Dave and I met, and what our story is. When they hear that we have been together for over eight years, we get quite the reaction. 

What people might not realize is that Dave and I started dating when we were sixteen, and in high school together. But we actually met on the first day of middle school when we were only eleven. We started off as best friends for those early years, and are so fortunate to have experienced so many of life's adventures together. 

Around 2007, when we had been dating around 1 year.
When we were in middle school, Dave and I were in the same classes, but weren't in the same social circle. We were friends because we were in classes together, and would talk on instant messenger outside of school. We used to stay up so late at night talking, coaching each other on what to say to the boy/girl that that person was interested in at the time. We jokingly called each other our "advice columnists." 

In ninth grade I started going out with one of Dave's best friends. So of course, Dave hung out with us too. That only lasted a month, but Dave was along for every step of the way.

After that, we started hanging out more and more with our friends Nick and Liz. In Sophomore year, Liz told me that she knew Dave liked me, which my sixteen year old self obviously thought was gross, and would change our group dynamic. He was my buddy, and we could never be boyfriend and girlfriend. 

But as time went on, I started to notice how sensitive and caring he was. I knew he had an awesome sense of humor, and I loved spending time with him. Maybe I we could try "going out" and it wouldn't be so bad. I realized I kind of liked him too. 

Our group of four went to see a movie one Friday night, and Dave and I held hands through the movie. I had butterflies the whole time. After that, he asked me to be his girlfriend. We still celebrate that date as our anniversary (May 10). 

Dave and I before Junior Prom with our friends Liz and Russ
There was so much to celebrate in high school. We both earned our driver's licenses, we attended the Junior Prom together, we scored winning goals, aced papers, and both graduated with honors. Dave was the captain of the lacrosse team, and I starred in the school musical. It was a great time.

Those years weren't without bumps though. Dave's parent's were divorced during that time. There were deaths in the family. And we broke up two times for a total of three months.

Dave and I are very different people, and that is part of what makes us work as a couple. Figuring out where we were meant to be in the world was and still sometimes continues to be hard for us. Realizing that we are each other's rock has made life feel much safer, and we are able to move through life as two individuals who can trust and lean on each other.

High School Graduation 
After high school we attended college separately. Dave went to SUNY Geneseo for Political Science and Philosophy and I went to Mercyhurst University for Music and Arts Administration. I am so glad that I decided to move away for school, because I think that it allowed me to flourish and bloom into the independent person that I am. 

We survived those years on visits and breaks. We were about a three hour drive away, which was a great distance. Not too far, but not too close that we didn't have our own things going on. 

Having a long distance relationship for those four years was extremely hard, but I wouldn't have traded those years for anything. There were times that I considered transferring, don't get me wrong. But I made some of the best friends of my life at Mercyhurst. I know that I don't need Dave to survive. I'm stronger for those years than I would have been if I didn't experience them. 

Also, when you have experienced a long distance relationship, being together is so much more worth it. 

At a Gala for work
Dave and I have been living in Norfolk, Virginia for two years now. I remember when I first got the job down here, and I moved, I thought it was the worst thing ever, because I didn't know when (or if!) he was coming. After four years apart, I was leaving. I felt so selfish!

He came less than a month later, and we have been making our tiny apartment a home ever since. Living together has been full of quirks. Who is going to take out the garbage? Who does the laundry? I don't like that food! But it has been so fun to learn each other's preferences and habits.

I absolutely cannot wait to marry this man. This person who has been my best friend since he was eleven. My boyfriend since he was sixteen. Who will become my husband on July 2, 2016 :)

2 comments:

  1. This is a good couple story! I'm glad you were able to experience independence, as I'm sure he was too!

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  2. Thank you! I think independence is so important in a relationship. I can't imagine how our relationship would be different if we didn't have that season of life.

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