Hans and I met in college through campus ministry in 2009, when I was a freshman and he was a sophomore. We actually can't remember the first time we laid eyes on each other, which is eternally frustrating for me. I say eternally because only God knows and I plan on asking Him when I get to heaven.
For about three years, we served in Christian Challenge together and would occasionally hang out with our mutual group of friends. He was dating someone else and I wanted someone else dating me, so we never gave each other a second thought.
Here's a picture from the New Year's Eve 2011. See? Opposite ends of the room.
In the Fall of 2012, I started noticing him a bit more. The now-single Hans loved Jesus a lot, he was tall and hardworking and independent. However, having just come off of some weird relationship junk myself, I was wary to try and get his attention. I prayed through it a lot and felt like the Lord was telling me to just wait and trust that if it was going to work out, it would. He would take care of it, I just needed to surrender.
So I did.
I just made sure to "got in his way" a handful of times ;)
One night, Hans dropped by my work to pick up something for Challenge, and asked if I wanted to hang out. "Sure," I said, "why don't you text some friends and see if anyone wants to do anything?". Hans sent a couple texts, and 5 minutes later informed me that no one had responded and did we want to hang out just on our own?
After I got off work, he followed me to the house that I rented with a couple other girls (who both happened to be out of town) and we watched Harry Potter at complete opposite ends of the couch. I had never had a guy "over" before...I didn't know if this was a date or if he was interested or what.
When the movie was over, he turned to me and said: "I like you. I want to get to know you better. I'm interested in pursuing a relationship with you with the intention of seeing whether or not we should get married."
Please enjoy Jennifer Lawrence demonstrating my reaction.
I'm also fairly certain I pointed to Banjo and said, "The dog and I are a package deal."
Over the next few months, we got together a handful of times to take walks or do homework. We parked our cars next to each other for Trunk or Treat (he was a cowboy and I was Rosie the Riveter) and he came to my 21st Birthday Party (a 1920's themed Murder Mystery costume party because YES I am awesome), which are some of our first pictures together.
Right after my 21st birthday, Hans told me that he wanted a relationship with me. This conversation happened in the parking lot of the university library, and I distinctly recall sputtering mumbo-jumbo for half an hour before I just gave up and walked across the quad to just sit under a tree and think. Because we both knew that he was basically asking me to marry him.
I said yes, and Hans and I went down to my parent's hometown a week later so that Hans could ask my dad's permission to date me. That December night, Hans took me out under the gorgeous starlit Kansas sky and "officially" asked me to be his girlfriend.
Having never dated before, I remember feeling at peace but also extremely nervous. I liked Hans, sure, but I was so new at the whole thing! I We went on dates and hikes and watched movies together, but we were both also busy with school and work. Still, Hans made sure and carved out time to drive across town after a torrential snowstorm and shovel my car out ;)
I got to know his (huge) family and he got to know my (tiny) one. We went to local art walks and antique stores. He taught me how to hold hands. I was still nervous and awkward, but slowly started to fall in love with him. I never had to question what he thought of me or where our relationship was going: he was honest. I had so much security knowing that he wasn't playing with my emotions or wasting my time, but that he was pursuing my heart with intentionality.
Three months later, on March 2nd 2013, Hans proposed (in a Starbucks...it's a great story) and I (after hyperventilating) said yes. We were married six months later. In retrospect, yeah, we did sort of rush into it. Do I regret it? Not at all. Has it been difficult? Absolutely, but I think that no amount of dating prepares you for marriage. In fact, I'm so glad we got married early, because we're able to "figure out" our relationship in the context and security of marriage.
Our love story is neither conventional nor extravagant, but it's ours :)
Would YOU get engaged after only dating someone for three months?
Featured Image // Rose Wheat Photography