family is story

How To Break Up Before You Start Dating

How To Break Up Before You Start Dating

My whirlwind romance with Nathan was supposed to begin immediately following our reunion at Kim’s house—Nathan’s cousin, and one of my bestest friends (she’s got dirt on me and said I could use her name in this story. Thanks, Kim!). I mean, we knew each other fifteen years ago, I’d had a dream where God had revealed Nathan would be my husband, and now—through the miracle of Facebook—I was reunited with him and his cousins. Happy day!

But . . . crickets.

Maybe I was hoping that Nathan would ask for my number at family lunch (yeah, right) or that he would at least ask Kim to get my number for him. But that didn’t happen. In hindsight, a healthy evaluation of expectations would’ve come in handy.

Instead, I spent months talking about him, wondering about him, scheming about him, and praying about him, wondering how I could put myself in his path so he could—of course—fall head over heels in love with me and ask me to marry him. God told me it was gonna happen!

Alas, after months, I finally was encouraged—to the point of beatings if I didn’t—by some friends to ask him out. So, I did. Via email. Because I was super confident and sophisticated and not at all scared out of my mind to talk to him on the phone and be faced with possible rejection.

I sent the email. I waited. I checked email. I saw his name. I closed email.

It had actually happened. I sent him an email. He read it. And sent an email in response. After freaking out for a few minutes, I opened my email again, clicked on his name to open his email, and with one eye closed I read his response: “Sure, that sounds like fun.”

Details were established, times set, wardrobe shopping commenced.

Our very first date was to a Jason Mraz concert at The Tabernacle in Atlanta on November 29, 2008, with dinner prior at Ted’s Montana Grill across the street.

Everything about that night was awesome and comfortable and easy and so very significant. And when we parted ways, he said: “That was fun; we should hang out again.” To which I confidently, excitedly and maybe a little too quickly said: “YesI’dlikethatlet’sdoit.”

And then I didn’t hear from him until Christmas Eve at which time I received a “Merry Christmas” text. I texted back, of course. And that was all there was.

Thankfully, Kim was well aware of my crush on Nathan and helped me along as she could, including inviting me to family gatherings around the holidays where he was required by family law to be. One of those events was a Christmas party to which I brought Paula Deen’s Three Cheese Hot Artichoke Dip, and where he sang Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” to me and told me he had memorized the whole song. Swoon and faint and swoon and faint!

As we left that family party, because I’m totally patient and willing to let things unfold naturally, I asked him out again. In person, like adults do. To Cirque Du Soleil at Atlantic Station the following week. He said YES!

Details were established, times set, wardrobe shopping commenced.

And to my surprise and delight—which was, by the way, way before that phrase became a marketing cliché—Nathan called the next day and lined up another outing together.

And from January through April, 2009, Nathan and I traded back and forth, the setting up of “dates” between friends who flirted and sometimes held hands.

Ladies, please know that, yes, I was all kinds of confused and knotted up mentally over these goings-ons. Nathan and I had a great friendship and I believed a chemistry and attraction for one another, but there were no moves made on either side to take us to the next level—where kissing would happen.

That is, until May 2, 2009, when sitting on his couch in the afternoon, watching a movie and about to head out to dinner he sat forward, leaned around and gave me a big ole smooch! To which I thought: This is it! This is it! The dream is coming true! How awesome! Let’s get married! My weekends in June are clear!

But things weren’t exactly smooth. I was probably acting a lot weird because I knew many important and gargantuan things about our future that he didn’t know, and we didn’t communicate well, and sometimes we went for weeks without talking to each other. And finally, in July, 2009, whatever it was that we were doing—dating, hanging out, seeing each other, whatever it was—came to a screeching halt.

See, Nathan was at a point when he wasn’t actually interested in having a girlfriend—not even one that was God-ordained, apparently. And it wasn’t even that Nathan didn’t want to see me anymore. He did want to see me, but just as friends. Then and now, I realize that he let me down sweetly and gently . . . but it hurt as badly as one thousand cardboard paper cuts—not only on your finger, but on your hopes and dreams as well.

Because, see, I’d been given this thing, this vision—a DREAM that God had set Nathan aside just for me. For me. And I had all this hope and all this expectation and all this love ready to give, and it came to an end. And I couldn’t be wrong about this. I just couldn’t. It was from God, wasn’t it? How could we break up before we even started dating?

Read our story from the beginning:
how we met
a dream about my husband
between the dream and dating
meeting my husband again
we tried to date but didn’t
a year of silence
how we became friends again
we started dating . . . for real this time
we got married!

©2015 Jennifer Wilder. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint or publish this content elsewhere, please contact me through this blog.