How We Met

The first question we were asked when I introduced Matthew to someone new was, “How did you two meet?” When I answered, they would “aww” and smile and sigh. For a lot of people, the most romantic part of a relationship is the beginning. They feed on stories of indifference turned to affection and then commitment. They wonder how the “magic” happened to their friends and where can they find some?

This theme is played on in countless novels, movies, and magazines. In fact, most media stop the story right after the first kiss. Girl meets strange boy. Girl and boy become friends. Girl and boy discover they have fallen in love. Sometimes, girl and boy get married. The story isn’t how the girl and boy work through difficulties and grow together as people, it’s how the girl and boy discover love at all.

I felt like everytime I was asked how I met Matthew, I was marking myself on some spreadsheet titled: “Ways to find your significant other.” For most of my peers, the options were the same: school, church, work, friends . . . All of the couples I know met this way. But I know even more single people who go to the same places and haven’t met anyone. Or, they meet someone, but it doesn’t work out.

But what about the “magic?” There must have been something different about Matthew on that day, something to show me that this was “the one.”

To be honest, there wasn’t any magic when I met Matthew. I thought he was nice. I didn’t think anything else about him for about five months because I was dating someone. I had no way of knowing that the dark haired boy I talked philosophy with on Tuesday nights was my future husband, just like I had no idea that the boy I went ice skating with and took choir with would not be. The magic came later, after we were a couple. When we looked back onto how we met, that day seemed to stand out more than it had before. We remembered it differently. We made it special.

I think what is truly magical about meeting Matthew, is that out of all the people I met at church and in school, he is the one that became a story. At the risk of taking all the joy out of love-stories and sounding completely un-romantic: Matthew was just one of many until I chose to date him. I had several “crushes.” There were things about him that I just didn’t like. But we dated, and we kept dating. We dated purposefully and searchingly. We asked ourselves, “Will this work?” We fought. Eventually, it became apparent that we had something “special” and we were committed to making it last.

I could say to be patient, there is someone out there, wait for “the one”, but that would be a lie and would not help. I don’t know if there is someone for everyone. I do know that there are a lot of people in the world, and probably quite a few of them would get along very well with quite a few others. The possibilities for love are endless. It really is all about what you want.

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