On with the story of how Dan and I met.
So anyway, like I said, one of the guys of the group asked me out, but it wasn't Dan. We went on a few dates--one super fun one that involved jumping off a thirty foot bridge into a river--but decided to just move on. All the while I continued to hang out with the group of guys. Then one day Dan called and invited me to a group activity. I didn't think much of it.
When the three guys picked me up, they insisted I ride in the front seat (Dan was driving, but not the cool truck). Dan said "hi" and NOTHING ELSE for the entire two hour drive to the lake cabin for a day of boating (and yes, more swim suits for me).
Anyways, to make a monstrous long story a little bit shorter, more and more of these group things went on.
Then one day Dan called and asked me out. I thought this a little bit odd since I had kind of gotten comfortable in the group setting. But I said yes. We did a double date to the fair with a couple who was really lovey dovey. Then a few days later Dan took me mudding. Or, if you're from Washington, you would call it "four-bying." Psshhh. Either way it means tromping around on huge hills and muddy backroads in a truck. I had a BLAST! In fact, I hadn't had so much fun since Wyoming. Still, Dan barely talked and when he kissed me that night he was so nervous he almost fainted-- no joke!
We went on several more dates over the next couple of weeks, but not much changed. Finally, I couldn't handle the sitting in silence (I'm pretty social) and I told Dan the dating thing just wasn't working. I broke up with him and went back to the roster of potential datees.
But guess what? Dan didn't give up.
We went back to hanging out with the whole group. We started hanging out alone--as JUST FRIENDS. And you know what? As soon as the pressure of being a boyfriend-girlfriend was off, Dan opened up. He speaks!!!
Over the next six months, Dan and I became best friends. We weren't dating (at least in the regular sense). We didn't kiss. But we hung out every single day and I had the time of my life. The non-dates Dan and I enjoyed included: smashing pumpkins off of bridges; going on super long drives to nowhere; riding bikes; camping (don't worry, these trips were supervised people); and just hanging out. And talking. And talking. And talking.
One night after a super fun mudding trip, I walked in my door and said to my Mom "I'm going to marry him someday." I immediately covered my mouth and backtracked "No, I'm not. It's Dan!"
Dan was an awesome best friend.
I graduated college and took a few months off and started needing to figure out a life plan. I signed up to join the Americorp (think Peacecorp in America) and began getting ready to move to Maryland in January. Something in my heart told me not to go over and over and over again. But I had no real reason to stay. I didn't have a job. I didn't have a boyfriend. I was ready to move on in life. My plane tickets were on their way for me to leave in less than a month.
It was December and Dan offered to pick me up for the Church's annual Christmas Devotional broadcast. I told him he didn't need to and I rode with my Mom. After the program, Dan asked if he could drive me home. Again I told him he didn't need to I could ride with my mom. Talk about a major plan foiler! I went home and about an hour later he called and asked if he could come over.
Remember we were not DATING (in fact I was still going on dates with other guys although I didn't have a boyfriend). Dan came over to the house and we were down in my room talking but he was acting weird. He was so freaking nervous for some reason, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was.
He kept saying stuff about how much fun we had together and everything like that. Finally, exasperated with what he was trying to get across, I said "Are you trying to say you want to try dating again?" (Remember I was planning on moving across country in a matter of weeks).
Dan went down on his knee pulled out a gorgeous ring and said, "Actually no. I'm saying will you marry me?"
Yes. Talk about a shocker.
Now, most of you kind of knew when your proposal was coming. Right? Me? Not. A. Clue. We weren't even dating! Beat that for shortest Mormon relationship!
It sounds corny, but with absolutely shaking hands I just said a silent prayer and asked Heavenly Father if it was right, and I knew it was. I really, really knew.
And I said yes!
We kissed. Told everyone else. And were married four months later.
Crazy huh? I love the behind-the-scenes story of our engagement though. On one of our nights tromping around in the backwoods I guess (I don't remember this) I described my dream wedding ring to Dan. He remembered. He bought it for me.
Also, during singles ward that morning, he had snuck out of Church and went and asked my Dad's permission to marry me. You know what my Dad said? "Don't feel too bad if she says no."
But I said yes.
It was a different route to marriage than most people's, but it had to be that way for us. It would have NEVER worked out the first time around (when he was still Mr. Silent), but becoming best friends was the perfect natural progression for one of the shyest guys in the world.
Dan is still a pretty quiet guy. Not at home, of course, but around new people. He is the most wonderful man I know. I am so blessed that he picked me. I love him with all of my heart. And I am so lucky we get to be together for eternity.
Share your real-lief love story. The long or the short of it.