Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Truthful Tuesday: I've Only Dated 1 Person

Yep it's true, I've only had 1 boyfriend my whole life. Well, at least a real boyfriend (relationships in elementary school don't count..Brian!!).  And you guessed it..that boyfriend is now my husband.  Now before you think I'm all weird, I should preface it by saying that we started dating when we were just 15 and freshmen in junior high.  We first met in 7th grade, had some classes together, and had some mutual friends. I thought his bowl cut was pretty cute but I had my eyes on this loser (who today I see on Facebook and am SO glad we never dated, haha!).  I remember thinking that Brian was cute and smart but he would run to the lunch room at lunchtime which at the time I thought was soo childish, haha!

That's Brian in the middle, and that's the bowl cut I fell in love with! :)

It wasn't until the summer before 9th grade that I really took interest in Brian.  We hung out in a group setting for awhile and then in September before a football game, I gave him a note spilling out my feelings and asking him to be my boyfriend. Yeah, I was a feisty little thing!  I guess I knew what I wanted?  He called me and told me that he just wanted to be friends. Ouch.  (I still tease him about this today). 
Brian's 9th grade picture in my 9th grade scrapbook..yeah I was a little in love!

Well, that fall we still hung out a lot, sometimes just the two of us, sometimes with a group of our friends, and we really became best friends.  Our 9th grade formal was coming up and he asked me to be his date. Of course I said yes and it was one of the best nights of my life, seriously.

9th grade formal picture...from my 9th grade scrapbook again! :)

 A couple days after that we talked again and I just got the guts to ask him again to be my boyfriend yet again! Yes, remember that we were 15 at this point!  This time he said yes! This is where our love story began.

We continued dating throughout high school. We had classes together, went to each other's sporting events, celebrated holidays together, and continued to be best friends. 

I swear, he was happy to be there with me! :)

I'm pretty sure we shared a locker together too!  When we decided where we were going to go to college I knew for sure I was sticking close to home and going to the University of Minnesota. Brian knew he wanted to go far away and applied to several places, one of them being the United States Air Force Academy. I knew absolutely nothing about the military but he assured me he wasn't going to get in. Ha!  Of course he got in and we had to do some major soul searching. We decided to try and stick it out and that day I said goodbye to him before basic training was one of the worst days of my life.
High school graduation, June 2004. One of our last weeks together before basic training.

I wrote to him every single day during basic training and it was there that I further realized how much I truly loved him and how much I truly wanted this to work out.  That fall I went to college and I think that was the first time I really found myself. I came to this new place and no one knew me as Brian's girlfriend, or Rachel the tennis player, and I really had to find my identity. That first semester I lived in a lounge with 3 other girls and we lived in an all guys hall.  I don't know how Brian felt about that but I'm pretty sure it wasn't super fun for him to deal with.  I made a lot of great friends, lots of them guys, and it was then and there that I knew Brian was for sure the one for me. I made an effort to put myself out there freshman year to meet people and not one, not one single guy was even half of the man Brian was.

Freshmen year at college with one of my besties, Alex!

We continued dating throughout college. And man, it was hard. Spending 4 years apart from someone is just not fun. Seeing each other for weekends at a time and saying countless goodbyes is just hard on the heart. There were many times we almost ended things because it was just so difficult but each and every time our love kept us together and we stuck it out. 

Spending time with Brian on one of his breaks

Ring dance at the Academy

 I graduated college a year early and I was patiently waiting for Brian to pop the question.  We had talked marriage, even when we were going to get married (during his 60 days of leave after the Academy) but here we were 2 days left of his summer break and no ring on my finger.  Of course he waited until the absolute last minute to propose but he did and I eagerly started planning our wedding.

Our engagement pictures, Fall 2007

We were 22 when we got married and looking back, man we were young. But it was right. It was right for us.  We had been together for 7 years that point, been through so many tests in our relationship, and I knew more than anything I wanted to marry this man. Our wedding day was magical and was the absolute best day of my life.

June 21, 2008

Fast forward 5 years and we're where we are now. 2 wonderful kids, a dog, a house, and our military life in Omaha, Nebraska.  

I can't wait to tell our kids our love story and although I don't know if I'll let them date at 15 I'll let them know that I'll try and trust them like our parents did with us.  I'm sure it wasn't easy for our parents with us being so serious so young!

If you had asked me at 15 I would have told you I knew I wanted to marry Brian. I don't know if that's a normal 15 year old thing to think you're going to marry your high school sweetheart, but I really truly felt it in my heart. I know that a lot of people back then thought we should date other people to see what was out there but to me there just wasn't anyone out there worth sacrificing this relationship for. So yes, I've never been through a break up and I've never dated anyone else, but I'm a lucky one. I found my soulmate at 15 and haven't looked back ever since. I love you Brian!!!


Becky Dougherty said...

That's such an amazing story! So few people are lucky enough to marry their high school sweetheart. I love that you knew so young and even though you didn't date anyone else, you were able to discover that he was the one for you!! Love it! :)

Janelle Vannice said...

Oh my goodness! Your story is SO adorable. How lucky that you met Brian so young and stayed together! This is just the sweetest. :)

Nicole said...

Very sweet story!

Jenn said...

Aw I love it, Rachel! I also love the old school photos of y'all together. The fact that you drew hearts around his name in the yearbook and had the 9th grade scrapbook all decked out- you were in deep! ;) Love that y'all have had such a great and long-lasting relationship! (My parents were high school sweethearts too, so were my grandparents. I think it's the sweetest!)

Jenny @ Creatively Blooming said...

You guys are adorable! I love all of the old pictures! My parents were high school sweethearts too, and it makes for such a sweet story!

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