Thank you for all of your encouraging comments. This endeavor has become quite a challenge for me. If you haven’t read the first post, be sure to do that before continuing with this one. 🙂
Those first few months of our relationship were wonderful. We were both in college at the time, so it was easy to find time to spend together. We both had busy lives, but we were learning to be a support to each other. If we didn’t get the blessing of those foundational first few months, I don’t know if we would have made it as a couple.
That May, I graduated from college. Michael still had a couple more years to go. I had already decided that I was going to stay in town because my brother also was going to this college, and it was much cheaper for him to live with me off campus. Michael went home for the summer (eight hours away), and the transition that summer was quite challenging for me. My career expectations were thrown wildly upside down (although that is a story for another time).
Also, I had no idea how to go about maintaining this new relationship. All I had known before this was the roller coaster of moving from one guy to the next. I didn’t want that to happen to this relationship, but I had no idea how to make him stay. At this point, I had forgotten that God had brought me here in the first place. Well, I didn’t so much forget as assume that I was completely responsible for keeping it all together.
By the time he came back from that first summer, I had a full time job during the day and he was working mostly at night, going to school during the day. Our schedules were mismatched. It was really hard to find the time to spend with one another. Also, the only way I knew how to communicate was to do it strongly and forcefully, and really brutally honest. Being that we were both quite strong-willed, this brought on a lot of fights, and some were quite public.
But Michael taught me the meaning of the words love and commitment. This relationship wasn’t something he took on lightly. He actually told me several times that it was my stubborn personality that drew him to me. He didn’t want to be with someone who agreed with him all the time. He wanted to be with someone that could challenge him and help him to grow. I learned that we could fight, and fight loud, but at the end of the day, we still chose to be with each other. Nothing we fought about was a deal breaker. In fact, I don’t remember most of the arguments now.
Even though Michael was quite patient through this learning experience, I had a really hard time letting go of some inner demons throughout our two years of dating. These insecurities were only validated by people around us that truly believed we wouldn’t last. It was easy to listen to these people because, from my perspective, they seemed to have it all together and if they had any relationship problems of their own, they were very well hidden. They knew all the right words and actions in any situation, while I seemed to stumble through them quite awkwardly. They got all the right kind of attention, while I still felt like I was fighting off my previously bad reputation.
And that’s when insecurities became the dragon in this fairy tale.