Rachel (part 1)

I was that girl who every mom hopes her son will marry. Sensible, cute, smart, and as comfortable running a household as I was rappelling down the face of a cliff (which for me, means absolutely competent). Not only this, but I was focused. At the age of 16, I had my first “break up” with my boy friend (although who can really call him a boyfriend if neither of you have a license and thus can’t really date?). After crying miserably for three days, I determined that dating was simply not for me. I didn’t have three days of my life to waste in an attempt to find some dude that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. For me, I was going to enjoy being friends with my male counterparts and when I found my husband, skip the dating part and just marry him. With this came my firm belief in abstinence until marriage, an idea that was introduced to me at a young age (thank you, summer camp!). It had made a lot of sense to me: no risk of STD’s, no unwed pregnancy, and no emotional baggage to deal with. Also, no getting into trouble with my parents.

Most guys I hung out with wouldn’t believe that I was a virgin by the time we were all in our late teens. Sometimes, a cute guy would find out that I wasn’t going to have sex with him and would immediately become interested in someone else. It was annoying, but I figured it was okay because that just meant he would have been a boy I would end up wasting three days on. I was going places in life.

Going against the grain and dating with a purpose isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Not wanting to fall into the trap of finding a guy I liked and molding him to fit my idea of what he should be, thus compromising the qualities I was looking for in my future husband, I bought a notebook. In it, I wrote letters to my future husband and in the back, I began a list of characteristics I wanted him to have. This way, I figured I would know him when I saw him and wouldn’t compromise what I wanted.

I was in love with my husband way before I ever met him. He was a lucky man.

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