DBC on dating
My dating life in college was hit or miss. Like you, I went to a Christian college. Unlike you, mine was in the Midwest. And unlike you, my college experience began 30 years ago, well before many of you were born. Regardless of geography or decade, dating hasn’t changed much since U2 broke out on the scene and Bruce Springsteen wrote “Born in the U.S.A.”
The mystery of dating
When I arrived at college right out of high school, the away-from-home-and-surrounded-by-too-many-people thing overwhelmed me. My freshman year was basically dateless. My sophomore year, ditto. Slowly, I squeezed out of my cozy and cocooned little world and into the strange phenomena — at least to me — of “the date.”
I sputtered through a few relationships that lasted a week or two, a fraction of the time it took me to muster up the courage to ask.
Taking the plunge
I recall one particularly attractive girl. Her name was Beth. Problem was, Beth was dating Tom. One day, I caught word that Beth and Tom had gone their separate ways. The relationship had faltered. Could it be that this was my moment? I approached Beth and nervously asked her out for Friday night. She obliged. The date was set. I was to pick her up at the candle store where she worked part-time. When I met her, she had a “mandle” for me, a he-scented candle. Musk or oak or barbecue or something. Beth and I were off to a good start.
By the time we said good night, I sensed the aromas of our candles were blending. The next day, my mind replayed the evening over and over. The same was true for Sunday, which was the day she called me to talk. Things were looking up. We met in the lobby of Beth’s residence hall. She thanked me for Friday. I said, “You’re welcome.” I meant it. Beth went on to say that going out with me truly was an eye-opener for her. Because of our date, she and Tom (remember him?) got together the next day and realized they should’ve never split. She thanked me again, this time not for the date but for helping them get back together. I muttered, “You’re welcome.” It was a lie.
When I graduated from college, I was dating again. This time, someone else. Within the year, it was over. I wondered if indeed college was going to be the place where I met my future spouse. It looked doubtful.
But, God in his timing redeemed the bumpy relationships I had during my undergraduate days. Five years later, an old friend from college moved from Texas to Boston to live and work in the city. As I began graduate school, we reconnected while hanging out with mutual friends. Four years later, we married, a month before I turned 30. This year marks the two-decade milestone.
For what it’s worth, don’t be anxious about whether or not the deal is sealed before you graduate. I discovered well after college that God gave me a gift in Paula that I wasn’t ready for as a senior. It was worth the wait.