Dating Diaries

Dating Diaries 13

My first date with Raimo was to a Vocal Point concert at BYU. I think we doubled with his brother Risto. I remember I wore a little floral print dress, jeans, and teal flats. Afterward we went to Baskin Robbins for ice cream (Raimo and Risto are both lactose intolerant actually…) I don’t remember many details. I feel really sad that I don’t remember much of our early dating. I just remember that from the beginning I was very attracted to Raimo and was excited to be with him. I actually wrote about all of our dating, engagement, and wedding in great detail in my journal, then lost it shortly after we were married. Four years later, I am coming to terms with the fact that I will never find that journal–I think I lost it on campus, and it is gone for good. I wish I could revisit all of those wonderful feelings. I even wrote in it on our actual wedding day after our temple sealing! I have to remind myself that what I do and feel now is just as important, but for a girl that likes reminisce about the past and dream about the future, the present is usually a little lack-luster.
We continued going on dates throughout fall semester. Raimo would regularly bring me diet cokes and reeses cups and roses. Something that made me love him even more was the fact that he’d also bring a rose for each of my roommates, who weren’t dating anyone at the time. It speaks volumes about the kind of person he is and why I fell in love with him. His kindness is one of the qualities that makes him an especially wonderful father. Needless to say, my roommates were big fans of Raimo!
Now that I think about it, we went quite a while before having our first kiss. It happened on Valentines Day…

Dating Diaries

Dating Diaries 12

(continued) So I was dating my dance partner at the time, and he was in the same class as me and Raimo. He and I would walk together after class, and we would part ways to go to our next classes. Raimo would follow along behind us and swoop in on me after the other guy had taken off to his class, and Raimo would walk me the rest of the way. (The funny thing is my dance partner and Raimo were in the same class after our Latin Ballroom class, so I’m guessing Raimo was always late to it…?) Anyway, I thought it was cute of him, and one day he got enough courage to ask me for my number. It took him a very long time to call.
During one of those walks, I was telling Raimo that I had a choir performance coming up and that I always felt a little sad that my family couldn’t come. I had never had anyone in the audience for a performance. So I sang in homecoming spectacular and as I was driving away, I got a call from Raimo asking where I was. He had shown up to hear me and was still at the Marriott Center. I turned around and picked him up (he had a red rose for me–roses ended up being a big theme in our dating, part of the reason I loved naming my daughter Rose) and I suggested we get ice cream at the creamery. I wouldn’t find out till later that he was lactose intolerant!

Dating Diaries

Dating Diaries 11

I will skip ahead to Raimo. I dated a TON my sophomore year of college, but it was a ton of first and second dates, and not a lot of serious dating. I was having a hard time making up my mind about anyone. Even dating Raimo was very slow in the beginning. We met in our Gold 1 Latin Ballroom class. I think it was at 8 a.m. in the KMB –which has since been torn down 😦  I remember thinking he was a hottie and also thinking he kind of had this cool factor. As in, he was a much better dancer than anyone in our class and was therefore cool and aloof. In truth, Raimo has a lot more natural dance ability than most girls. However, I later found out he is as friendly as he is talented, and that cool exterior really doesn’t exist for me anymore (sorry, babe!). It was his silliness and kindness and romantic heart that eventually won me over. So anyway, we didn’t ever speak in class. Everyone was always switching partners, as you always do in ballroom classes, and every once in a while Raimo would ask me. But I thought he wasn’t interested in me because he rarely asked me to dance.

Read Raimo’s story here:
http://raimolovesjessica.blogspot.com/2008/09/chapter-1.html

Dating Diaries

Dating Diaries 11

I have been looking forward to writing this one. His name is David. Did you know David means “beloved”? And he was… at least by me. We were both freshman at BYU, in the same ward (Adam was in it too). He was one of five boys in the ward known as the Henderson boys, so I guess that was probably how I first knew who he was. I honestly can’t remember how it happened but we spent a fall afternoon lounging out on the grass at Helaman Halls getting to know each other. There were leaves all over the ground and one of them (I think he gave it to me?) ended up in my Book of Mormon. I kept that withered, cracking leaf in my Book of Mormon for years until it was only a stem. It’s still there.

I asked David to preference. It was the first time I ever took a guy on a date–not really my style, and I much prefer to be asked. But I liked him right away. I liked how much I connected with him. I felt like we had a lot of strong characteristics in common. He is independent, confident, smart, stubborn, driven, and doesn’t follow the crowd. Of course he had his softer side too, but he is a bold personality and for some reason it really appealed to me.

With David, it was all about highs and lows. I never had another relationship quite like it. The good times were amazing and the bad times were awful. It was rarely in the middle for me. We had some really terrible fights, but when he wasn’t frustrating me he was busy romancing the heck out of me. One day I came home to 3 dozen roses on my bed. Yes, he liked to go a little over the top, and I loved it. He then texted me: If I could see you that happy every day, I’d give you 36 roses every day for the rest of my life. I felt giddy about David, and it was so exciting to feel so much for someone. Because of that, I actually felt quite vulnerable while dating him. Technically, we dated for less than a year. But when I think about that time together, it feels so much bigger. My journal entries from that time flip-flop from extreme happiness to so unhappy I actually had stomach aches.

My freshman year of college was a very spiritual, testimony building year for me, and as David was new to the church, he was always struggling with putting God first in his life (or at least that’s what I remember). After having so many boyfriends that were lukewarm in their testimony, I was really just ready to have one who could be strong and have faith on his own and, for crying out loud, be strong for me once in a while.

David drove down to California during Christmas break to be with me for a little while. I was very excited for him to be there on my birthday. Actually it was one of my best adult birthdays. We went to Newport beach, ate at the Crab Cooker, and did some other fun things that I can’t remember. But it was a beautiful, fun day. I have another memory of sitting with David on a hill on campus. The weather was perfect and we were just happy, enjoying each other’s company. We could be goofy together, but I also liked how intelligent he was and how that challenged me.

We also spent a weekend at his parent’s house. We walked around the strip, went to see the Vegas temple, visited with his parents, cuddled, ate artichokes dipped in mayonnaise, and I slept in his sister’s flowery room (amazingly, I never met his sister, who lived in Salt Lake). I loved that time with him.

I loved David. I had said goodbye to a lot of mission-bound boyfriends, but as my mom pointed out, I cried pretty hard over this one. And I didn’t cry over anyone else. Marc came home after he left, I went out with Matt, saw some old boyfriends at their graduation, but I was actually still thinking about David. This is the only missionary I felt this way about. David called me from his mission a few times, and it made me uncomfortable that he chose to do that, and it also made me miss him all over again. His letters that summer were pretty incredible. He loved me, he loved my family, he loved my grandparents, he wanted to know all about everyone and every thing I did. We thought we would eventually get married.

Around August, David came home. I was shocked since I had prepared myself to not see him for 2 years. I was also afraid that he was using ‘medical reasons’ as an excuse to either come back to see me, or to just get away from a physically and emotionally exhausting mission. I still do not know if I judged him too quickly, or if it was really that necessary for him to come home. I sent him one last letter, and then saw him back at BYU, but I remember feeling nothing but disappointment. And disenchantment. Again, I felt those previous concerns of him needing me to carry him along in his faith. Now that it’s been 6 years and now that I have some new perspectives, I wonder if a mission was a good idea for such a new member. He had only been a member for a year or two, after all. He also had no support from his family–in fact, they disowned him completely and tried to dissuade him from having anything to do with the church. I was pretty much the only person he had in his life at one point.

We never dated again. I haven’t seen him in a very long time. We stayed in touch through facebook, and I found out he did lose his faith eventually. I tried to talk to him about it from afar, which seriously affected me. I cared about him, still felt for him, and wanted everything to work out for him. It actually plagued me beyond our conversation–I worried about him and missed him. And to this day I still wonder if he is the same person or if life is taking him in a totally different direction. I learned a lot from this relationship, and he is someone who affected me forever.

Dating Diaries

Dating Diaries 10

This story begins with Adam. He was the first guy I met at BYU. And for him, it was love at first sight. But not for me. Before I knew it, there were rumors swirling about the ward of us being an item. And I was not happy. I really enjoyed Adam and we definitely connected right away, but I remember wanting everyone to know that I was indeed single because I was excited about dating in college and meeting new guys. Well, Adam continued to be a big part of my freshman year despite the fact that we never were totally official.

Adam planned some wonderful dates for the two of us, including a night at the symphony, dinner on The Roof in Salt Lake, little trips to his parents’ house. The best was walking to his sister’s apartment south of campus, picking up her car, and going for a drive in the night. He was totally in love with me. He might have been even more in love with me than David, who was the one I ended up dating that year. Adam and I spent a lot of late nights talking and talking. He somehow turned up with a pint of ice cream for me whenever things weren’t going well (with David). I was always astonished by the things he would choose to do like waking up at 4 am to play racquetball (for fun), going running (for fun), studying for long hours in the library (by choice)… he did a lot of things that to me were totally crazy, but made him happy. 

I wanted to like Adam–he totally made sense, and I went back and forth about how I felt about him. Regardless, being good friends (sometimes with benefits) with Adam was really important that year. It was hard for me to be on my own, as exciting as it was, and it was a defining year. It pushed me to be more brave and confident and self-disciplined and so many other things. Adam was an outstanding person and a great example for me. We stayed in touch through his mission–in fact, when I was studying in England, we ended up sending each other emails at exactly the same time of day! It was exciting to be on the same side of the world again, and we were able to email back and forth for a couple of minutes as though we were actually conversing. I wrote him all the way up to my engagement just a few months before his return. Raimo says, from the things I’ve said about him, that he would have made a great husband for me. Funny, eh? They have never met.

Dating Diaries

Dating Diaries 6

Are you getting tired of these??

Daniel

He was never my boyfriend. He dated one of my girlfriends for most of high school, but we did hang out in groups or at his house sometimes. He lived a few streets away from my grandparents’ house, so he came over to visit me there a few times. My grandpa called him “Danny boy”. They were good pals, and had the Idaho connection since Grandpa was born there and Daniel went to Pocatello on his mission. Daniel was super huge, super fun, and someone I could be really goofy with. We would jam at the piano for fun and mess around at youth events and just have fun together. When I think of my memories of him, I picture the two of us just laughing and laughing together.

Daniel never took the leap to ask me on a real date in high school. It was more of a friendship at the time, however we wrote during his mission and when he came home we did spend some time together. He was still acting strange as a newly returned missionary just getting back into the swing of things, and hanging out together wasn’t as easy as it had been before. Around that time, his brother actually took me on a date (which I don’t think was that great for either of us). Later that night Daniel showed up at my house after the date. He could probably have picked a better night to do this. We took a walk around the block, and after much dilly-dallying, he finally told me how he felt. But the timing wasn’t very good–I didn’t feel the way I had before. And so, after a lot of years of flirting and hanging out together, nothing ever happened.

Stevie

We were also never officially boyfriend and girlfriend. In fact, we never went out on a real date. But he seems significant enough that I need to share a few memories. We were in choir together, both chamber singers and show choir, and so we saw a lot of each other in high school. There were a lot of things I liked about him: how kind he was to everyone, how he had a strong conviction about God like me, how he was a great singer, how he was really tall and cute. There was a time when we started talking with each other about our religions–we kind of went back and forth over the phone one night. I remember really wanting him to understand and see truth in my beliefs, and I’m sure he felt the same about his own. I think this kept us from ever dating–we were both so involved in our own churches and wanted to share that with whomever we dated. I also felt like his parents didn’t want him spending too much time with me. A few times I went over to his house to listen to him jam with his friends or play with his 11 younger siblings. Yes, I also appreciated the fact that he loved little kids as much as me. All my dating life I was searching for a family man.

Did I tell you he wrote me a song for my birthday? He did. My best friend threw me a surprise birthday party when I turned 18. I think I was still dating Robbie at this point, but at that party Stevie got out his guitar and sang the song for me. I died. So sweet. So up my alley. And later that semester, when we were flying out to New York, we actually sat by each other on the plane ride over. It was totally exciting and we might have been snuggling or something, until the woman (a stranger) sitting on the other side of me started giving us this sermon about chastity/not letting my boyfriend push me into anything. I have no idea where this came from as we were not even dating and both cared very much about virtue. We never talked to each other about that strange experience. It kind of killed the rest of the plane ride. I didn’t see much of Stevie on the trip after that. He was usually surrounded by other girls all the time anyway (a few specific ones that probably had crushes on him too).

There was one kiss. It was totally unexpected. And unexpectedly good. I went over to his house, and somehow he was the only one there. All the details are a little foggy as to exactly when or how it came about– I didn’t write about it in my journal until much later. He didn’t have a shirt on and it was so quiet in the house. It was probably the only time the two of us were ever totally alone, and it just happened all of a sudden. But it was a real kiss, as in a kiss that really made me feel things. This really didn’t happen often for me. It caught me so off guard and it was like all of our unexpressed feeling for each other went into just those couple of minutes. It was a Notebook kind of kiss where he picked me up with ease, and suddenly we’re moving about the house. Even thinking about it now, I can remember that excitement and surprise running all through me.

We never acknowledged what happened or talked about our feelings, which seems really weird to me now. Why ever not?? I liked to imagine what we would have been like together–probably a modern VonTrapp duo, only with more religious themes and church-going.

I love that movie.

Dating Diaries

Dating Diaries 5

I was inspired by another blogger, Cjanerun, who wrote about 5 of her past loves. Each story was so different and so beautiful, and in each story she reflected on how that person had influenced her. I find relationships very interesting, and I think you can learn a lot about yourself through dating and friendships. With it being February, love has been on my mind lately and I’ve been remembering some pretty great valentines-of-the-past as well as some great people I got to date (there have been a lot of them). I think I’d like to take a little look back on some of the loves of my youth. Maybe this will get interesting! This blog could use a little spicing up, after all!

I met Robbie at a fireside at our bishop’s house. He had just moved to Riverside from Washington, and we both liked each other right away–we visited quite a bit that night, and before long we were dating. He was a year younger than me, but it didn’t matter to me at all. I could joke around with him and have a good time, plus he was cute and really tall and big. He played on our high school football team. If there was anything he loved more than me, it was football. I went to a lot of his games, and he would come to my music stuff. It’s too bad I wasn’t doing cheer anymore because that would have been really fun to be on the field together.

Robbie and I not only dated, but had a really good friendship as well. We could just relax at home and have a great time together. We spent a lot of nights just watching movies, cuddling on the couch.

I know Robbie sincerely cared about me. Though a lot of our time together was pretty simple, once in a while he would do something extraordinary. One time I mentioned to him that I wished people still treated dates the way they did in old times, getting dressed up and showing respect and decorum. He showed up for our next date to the movies wearing a suit. Another great date was seeing Les Mis in San Diego with his parents–it was one of the most breath-taking nights of my life hearing all that beautiful music live for the first time. We went out to a fancy restaurant where the food was just divine. I really enjoyed his parents and spent a lot of time at their house my senior year.

We also went to midwinter together. I wore my favorite dress ever–it was fitted and rouched with ivory silky material and had some ruffles down at the bottom. We had a fun night, but honestly I had more fun with Robbie when we were one-on-one. It wasn’t my favorite formal dance.

Though Robbie and I went to the same church, he was always back and forth about whether he really believed in it. It is the number one thing that made me fall out of like with him and most of my high school boyfriends. I was holding out for a guy who I could share that part of my life with. It got old always encouraging them to find their faith and it wasn’t very attractive to me. While it was easy to let go of our dating, it was sad losing a really good friend. Unfortunately, there was a lot of animosity between us afterward and that was kind of how our friendship ended.

Over spring break of my senior year, my choir got to go on a trip to New York. It was my first trip to the Big Apple, and I enjoyed getting to experience it with so many friends. While it was Stevie that I had a crush on, another friend, Chris, started to get my attention during the trip. He was Filipino and a total sweetheart. I had never even thought of Chris before then–he dated another girl through most of high school (she was actually one of the cheerleaders I was always hoisting up over my head). So while it was a total surprise to realize I liked him, it was a good surprise. When we got home, we were boyfriend and girlfriend and had such a fun summer together.

Chris was a really wonderful boyfriend–he did all the things girls wish their boyfriends would do. He would plan everything out, and we’d have these wonderful dates. We went to senior prom together, and had such a wonderful time and danced the night away. We also regularly spent time with both of our families. Chris would sometimes just come over to my house to play nintendo or throw the baseball around with my brothers–I liked any boyfriend that took a real interest in my family, so I really appreciated that about him. At his house, we would go swimming or do karaoke with his parents. To my delight, he started working at a sushi bar and I would go visit him and have him make me delicious sushi rolls. 🙂 We went to Disneyland, went dancing, went to the movies, and just played and played. Since I was completely done with high school and my responsibilities, I was able to just enjoy life before college started up. It was my favorite summer ever.  

For one of our last dates that summer, he took me to Irvine Spectrum and we had a really nice dinner, shopped for clothes, got Golden Spoon, and rode the ferris wheel (I was terrified). After that we went down to the beach and played around on the lifeguard tower. It was a really romantic, fun night. When it came time for me to leave for BYU, we talked about taking turns visiting each other from afar. Despite our good intentions, once I got to BYU I was completely immersed in a whole new world and realized what a separate, exciting life I still had ahead of me. Our relationship didn’t last long-distance. Chris had actually said to me that he’d be willing to get baptized in my church if that was important to me. I thought that was an amazing gesture, greater than maybe any other from a boy in high school. It was incredibly generous. I’m sure he didn’t quite realize all that joining my church entailed and how much it affects every single part of my life. I appreciated how willing he was to not drink or party when we were dating–he was an example to me of being willing to be flexible for someone you care about, something that I have needed to embrace and learn in my marriage! Chris is one of the few guys I dated that I still consider a friend and like catching up with every so often.

P.S. Chris was one of the best kissers

Dating Diaries

Dating Diaries 4

I was inspired by another blogger, Cjanerun, who wrote about 5 of her past loves. Each story was so different and so beautiful, and in each story she reflected on how that person had influenced her. I find relationships very interesting, and I think you can learn a lot about yourself through dating and friendships. With it being February, love has been on my mind lately and I’ve been remembering some pretty great valentines-of-the-past as well as some great people I got to date (there have been a lot of them). I think I’d like to take a little look back on some of the loves of my youth. Maybe this will get interesting! This blog could use a little spicing up, after all!

For some reason, there have been a lot of Brandons. The first one happened junior year of high school. He was tall and good-looking and Asian (I had a thing for Asians). It was the first time I dated someone that shared a lot of my interests. He loved going dancing! He loved singing, theater, artsy stuff, and was a hopeless romantic. It was really really fun! Perhaps this led me to hope to share some of these commonalities with my future husband. If I could wrap up that relationship with one word, it would be spontaneity. We did things like jumping into the pool with our clothes on. He surprised me with a trail of rose petals leading to a romantic set up on the stage of our school’s theater. We went to the beach and snuggled. We doubled with my best friend and her boyfriend a lot, and it was really fun because all four of us were old friends. I knew my parents weren’t too keen on the idea of my dating him because he had a little bit of a bad boy with the ladies, which made me not want to tell them anything about it. Thankfully, he was always respectful. For my birthday that year I chose to get tickets with my parents to a jazz concert, and he got to come along. We got to dress up, go out for dinner, and enjoy a night of scat, blues-y music, and dancing. It was totally up our alley and we both loved it. I still have a CD he bought me that day from a musician on the street.

On Christmas Eve that year, we really wanted to see each other for some reason, and since I knew my mom would not want me hanging out with him, I told her I was going to do some last minute shopping. Instead, I went to the movies with Brandon. During the movie, someone starting pelting hard candies at our heads from behind–I have a feeling it was a certain friend of my mom’s, and she must have ratted us out to her because I got in big trouble when I got home. I think it was the only time I lied to her about being out with a boy. Brandon and I had some wonderful times at stake dance, and we even went to midwinter together (interesting note–Raimo’s date for junior prom in Utah wore the same hot pink dress that I wore in California). I have this memory of the two of us being in the back seat of a suburban and making out on the way home. Why on earth was I doing that when there were two other couples in the front of the car?? I was crazy, that’s why. I think the night ended with some hot tubbing, the steam weighing down my up-do and melting all my makeup. Later that school year we both ended up being leads in our high school play Oklahoma!, which would have been ideal for spending time together, but unfortunately the relationship had ended by then. It was not hard for me to move on from Brandon. And I don’t think he missed me either. It was just over. How nice to just have a relationship end with no lingering feelings. Maybe this relationship was just infatuation? I later dated his older brother, Ryan too.

Another Brandon happened in college. I learned a lot from this relationship. It was quite unlike anything else I have experienced. I was new to the ballroom scene and we met in one of my first dance classes. He was one of the better dancers, which I liked, and he asked me out. I don’t know why he kept asking me out–I did something pretty embarrassing on our first date… I fell asleep!!!! We had gone dancing up at the Murray Arts Center and had a wonderful time, but on the drive home I must have been too comfortable or something. To my credit, it was an extremely exhausting time in my life, with a huge load of classes and tons of dance and ballroom team and also being part of Women’s Chorus. But how embarrassing! I guess it did not deter him, because we became dance partners and continued going out. I was always really comfortable with him and really happy too.

We shared a great love of food and both had a very special place in our hearts for ice cream. He took me out for ice cream after most of our dance practices–cheesecake or strawberry for him, chocolate or peanut butter for me. He would make me dinner all the time (he was a very good cook). I don’t think I ever made dinner for anyone but I was lucky enough to have home-cooked meals at his apartment fairly frequently, followed by a movie and cuddling on the couch. One night after a movie had finished, we were still sitting/laying there in the dark when I knew that our first kiss was going to happen. I seem to remember it taking him a while, but it finally happened.

But Brandon never told me how he felt about me. I guess you could say we were technically friends, or dance partners, with benefits. We went on like this for a long time, and eventually we were just kind of “together” I guess. I think he had a hard time with sharing how he really felt with me, though his actions were speaking for him. But it was awkward that we never even acknowledged our dating or liking each other or even that we enjoying spending time together. I still went on dates with other guys during this time. In fact, a lot of weekends I had to double up the guys–I was meeting lots of people in my singles ward, lots from ballroom, and still getting together with guys I knew from home. It sounds pretty awful, but I didn’t feel guilty about it at the time. I didn’t feel like being exclusive with any one of them.

One day with Brandon really glows in my memory. It was a cold, sunny, and beautiful day in December and we spent it snowboarding. But as usually happens with me snowboarding, I was done after just a half-day, so we went back to his dad’s house and had hot chocolate and played games by the fire. It was simple and cozy and romantic, and from there he drove me to the airport for Christmas break. I did not want to leave.

He was an easy person, and extremely intelligent too, more than he let on. I also loved how mature and independent he was. He was older than me and had a good job and was always the driver and paid for everything. And yet despite his maturity and intelligence, he never made me feel inferior in any way. However, I met Raimo during this time and Raimo was exciting and so very cute and I loved everything about him–I could not help myself. I had to tell Brandon I was going to become Raimo’s partner instead, and eventually our relationship was completely over and I was headed toward the thing I had always avoided: exclusively dating one guy. My future husband.

I felt horrible doing this to Brandon, and I would have wanted to continue our friendship if that were possible, but that would have been impossible since we had moved beyond friendship long before. I got the impression that I was a bright spot for him in his life at the time, which made me feel very guilty. But it was a really important step for me, being honest about my feelings and moving forward. We are not in touch at all, but he is someone I occasionally think about and hope the best for.

Dating Diaries

Dating Diaries 3

I have a vivid memory of Blake’s penetrating brown eyes. As a birthday present, a couple of his friends gifted him a double date in which they acted as our chauffeurs and drove us to various surprise locations. The date itself was extremely fun and memorable, but there was this moment. The two of us were sitting in the back of the car and I caught him looking at me. It was an unwavering stare. And it lasted and lasted, maybe for a full minute, his body angled toward me and a little grin on his face. He wasn’t even trying to be sneaky about it, and I was jumping out of my skin a little bit.

I was pretty young when we first met. My mom bribed me to go with her to a reunion in her hometown, Lake Arrowhead. She and I made some bet about how many people would say, “Wow, you look just like your mom.”

41

Okay maybe not that many, but it was a lot. It was also the first time I met my mom’s old high school boyfriend. Along with his son, Blake. Talk about keeping it in the family. I talked with him and about four of his guy friends, but it was Blake who got my number. He really stood out and was definitely the leader of the crew. He smiled a half-smile, had curly red hair, and could make me laugh. Actually, he can make anyone laugh, which is part of his charm. I have a lot of memories with Blake, and for some reason I can remember so many details about our dates.

As I mentioned before, Blake somehow got away with taking me on a non-double date when I was 16. I guess he just showed up by himself, said hi to my folks, and out the door we went. It just goes to show he was someone my mom trusted. It was a beautiful, warm evening, and I remember, after some delicious dinner (was it Italian?), walking along a brick path and enjoying the temperate night and the easy conversation. We ended up at the movies–he spent the first half of the movie trying to get a hold of my hand, and the second half actually holding it. It was a simple, wonderful night.

When I think about our dates as a whole, I recall feeling a little uncomfortable and sometimes out of place. I was fairly confident as a teen, but I wasn’t completely myself with him. And that may have been in part due to the fact that we were often hanging out with a bunch of his guy friends. They were totally a click, and I wasn’t part of it, but I liked him and just kind of went with it. It was definitely something for me to learn from.

We spent the days in the sun on the lake, smelling that delicious mountain air, and passed the nights watching movies or eating out. Eventually things fizzled. But in true Jessica-fashion, the old flame came back for me a few times. We got together a few more times. I went with him to his senior prom and we sang “A Whole New World to each other, even though he had a certain “Rosie” on his mind. And since my family vacationed sometimes on the mountain, we’d get together, naturally. I think part of the problem was that Blake liked the idea of me more than he liked the actual me–I had other guys back in Riverside who were sure trying harder than he was. And I think the other part of the problem was simply that we weren’t in love. But I definitely was “in like” with Blake, and my memories of him still bring a smile to my face.

Dating Diaries

Dating Diaries 2

I was inspired by another blogger, Cjanerun, who wrote about 5 of her past loves. Each story was so different and so beautiful, and in each story she reflected on how that person had influenced her. I find relationships very interesting, and I think you can learn a lot about yourself through dating and friendships. With it being February, love has been on my mind lately and I’ve been remembering some pretty great valentines-of-the-past as well as some great people I got to date (there have been a lot of them). I think I’d like to take a little look back on some of the loves of my youth. Maybe this will get interesting! This blog could use a little spicing up, after all!

My first love
was probably Marc. He could not have come into my life at a better time. I was feeling pretty down about Josh–in fact, I had to spend a whole choir trip watching him with his new girlfriend. My mom and I stopped in at the jewelry store, which used to be owned by my grandpa, then my uncle, and then Wayne, Marc’s dad. I had stayed in the car, but my mom came back for me and took me inside to introduce me. Marc was so cute. He was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and his hair was bleached I think. He had the bluest eyes and was so cute! I know, I already said that, but he was cute! He got my phone number, and called me while I was on the choir trip. I was ecstatic! I dated Marc for a while, but it was always kind of from afar. He lived about an hour away, so quick hang-outs weren’t really our thing. On weekends he would bring his best friend Oren along as the token third wheel since we were under 18 and didn’t go on single dates yet (Blake would break this trend with no resistance from my mom amazingly, but that’s another story). I didn’t like Oren all that much, but I really loved being with Marc! He is one of those people that is incapable of guile. He was always easy going, had a smile on his face, was kind to everyone. Dating him probably influenced the list of character traits I would look for in my future husband. It was easy to tell Marc would one day be an amazing husband and father. And I sure daydreamed about it.

I didn’t even know how popular Marc was until he took me to his senior prom. That was unbelievably fun–he seemed to know everyone, and everyone loved him! And he didn’t even seem to recognize that he was popular. He was just genuinely friends with everyone. What?! I actually had to get out of playing the piano for my school’s Women’s Chorus that night in order to go with Marc. My choir director wasn’t super happy with me, but it was so worth it!

One of our favorite activities was swimming. Marc was a summer-lover and I was too (not a “summer-lover” like in Grease; a lover of summer). We spent hours in my pool, and he had the most toned body from hours and hours of water polo. He was a really good swimmer, and did I mention he was super cute?? I just remember warm summer nights with the dark sky above and the glowing pool below. We also spent a lot of late nights on the phone, and my mom would pick up the phone upstairs and inform me it was time to hang up and go to sleep. Ah, the pre-cell phone days. How did we survive? On one of those phone calls Marc first told me of his dream of becoming a pilot, a dream that has now, about eight years later, come true.

Marc left for his mission while I was still in high school. We wrote each other, but the letters were not particularly poetic or long. However, he returned the summer after my Freshman year at BYU and we picked up where we left off. With my going and coming from BYU, our dating was a little scattered. We never really discussed our dating or the future, and maybe if we had, things would have panned out differently. Somewhere along the line, Marc moved to Provo. Whether that was to start a new life or to be closer to me, I wasn’t sure, but I assumed the latter and it really freaked me out. I had a whole different life in Utah with an incredibly busy schedule, dating, friends, choir, and ballroom. I had gone on my first few dates with Raimo and was really liking him. I was dating a TON my sophomore year–for some reason, that was my peak in dating. I “broke up” with Marc, and I think it really took him by surprise because we had never actually talked about being officially together. I’m sure I hurt him, and though I really liked him, I knew with having him so close by I could only date him exclusively, especially since I’m pretty sure he was not dating anyone else. He was an RM. And I liked him a lot. But I knew I didn’t want to get married yet, and ultimately I didn’t feel like he was “the one”.

I got it into my head that I shouldn’t have broken up with him and made up with Marc the following summer (Raimo and I were broken up), and we spent time together but never really dated again. There were a lot of times when I really missed Marc–he was someone I loved being around and really admired, plus he was just an adorable, fun person. I’m a better person because of him.

P.S. One of the things that I will never forget is that after his mission, Marc made it a goal to keep up his scripture study. Every single night he would read for an hour. I’ll tell you why this is especially amazing–I would keep him out super late on our dates, and he would still have the long drive back home, and then he would start reading. By the time I had sent him home, I was already crashing in bed. I have never been good at making the time for scripture study, much less for an hour every single day and at such a late hour. I always wished I could be like that.