As our 5 year anniversary approaches, I want to share bits of our journey to marriage.
Part 1: School-age Romance
PART 1: SCHOOL-AGE ROMANCE
Daniel aka Wilber (as he was called throughout middle school and high school) and I met in September 2001 on the first day of middle school. We were in the same homeroom, but I don’t remember our first encounter. It apparently wasn’t “love at first sight”.
Coming into middle school was a big transition for me because 6th grade was really difficult on the friend front with mean things like friends deciding they just weren’t going to be your friend anymore for no reason or the ones you did have were going to a different middle school, so once I got to 7th grade, I only had a friend or two that carried over.
Daniel on the other hand seemed to always be surrounded by people, especially 8TH GRADERS! He was friends with the popular group, the nerds, the Christians, you name it.
I started to make some new friends in my GATE classes (~Gifted and Talented~) including many friends I’m still close with today. One of my new GATE friends was also in my homeroom and also happened to be Wilber’s neighbor which was an ice breaker. As the school-year progressed, I heard that Wilber had a crush on me, but I was too busy crushing on one of my friend’s cool older 8th grade brother and some baggy clothed 7th grade sk8r boi.
«Goofing in science class»
Daniel Wilber was in my science class and we had an assignment where all the boys had to bring a pebble and give it to a girl just like penguins (I’m pretty sure you can’t do this in a public school anymore…) and I just KNEW Wilber was going to give me his and guess what…. HE DIDN’T! (and I wouldn’t admit it, but I cared. WHY DIDN’T HE GIVE ME HIS DUMB PEBBLE!?)
8th grade came and was pretty uneventful for us. A few of my friends went to youth group and convinced me to go (this may have started in 7th grade, but wasn’t anything consistent until 8th). I was always interested in going to church (never went growing up) and I loved my new friends and wanted to hang out with them more so I went.
«Fun Fact: Blythe was my youth group leader!»
Wilber and I now had the same group of school friends and both went to youth group. He was always there, but he was my friend and it was hard to see him as anything beyond that and I was busy chasing boys who were not in GATE. He still had a crush on me, but it wasn’t anything serious. In middle school you kinda have a crush on a minimum of 3 people at a time. Almost all of my girl friends had a crush on Wilber though. He was the smart, funny, friends with everyone guy. Of course they did.
«8th grade boy»
After 8th grade graduation, me and a few friends flew to Texas to visit my best friend who moved out there. While out there, Wilber called my friend Amina who was the coolest and actually had a cell phone! I remember her snootily answering the phone and announcing that Wilber called her (love you Amina! We were such brats), but when she answered it, he asked to talk to me! ROAMING CHARGES! But ~he was just my friend~.
We went to different high schools and would only see each other at youth group and talk on AIM/livejournal/myspace. Not seeing him everyday like in middle school and not having the summer to distract me, I finally admitted to myself that just maybe I did like him more than a friend now that he wasn’t always around. Now that I knew I liked him, he was busy liking other girls at his new school. It just wasn’t the right timing.
Nothing really happened in 9th grade, then 10th came. I realized that I liked him. A LOT. I finally got a cell phone and we would text throughout the day. We’d see each other at youth group and now that we had our license we would hang out more socially. One night during a group hangout, we had our first kiss! Next day, we acted like nothing happened. Classic.
«Hanging in Ventura»
We both were unhappy at our high schools and transferred to this very small school (~60 people) that was on our local community college campus. It was only for 11th and 12th grade and we would take college classes for high school and college credit. Sweet deal.
«Not a bf/gf halloween costume photo»
The week before 11th grade started, we finally had a talk about what we were doing. I needed to know if this was going anywhere. Daniel (new school, no longer “Wilber”) admitted that he just didn’t want to potentially ruin our friendshipblahblahblah. So school started and we were friends and I wasn’t very happy about it. I talked to him a few months later before Christmas about us possibly dating and he said, “You are the most respectable person I know. You are the only person that doesn’t annoy me. Ever. If we dated, I think it would be it and I’d rather hold off on that and leave other options open.” As in, if we dated it would lead to marriage and I want to date other girls first. eyerollforever
We were together in the same room for hours at school and I had to see him start to date this other girl. I made him the saddest mix for Christmas. Like with any unrequited love mix, my dream was that he would listen to it while driving and realize how stupid he was. Sadly that didn’t happen.
«Geochallenge team photo»
I finally agreed to go on a double Valentine’s date with this 12th grader and with his BFF and Amina. That night he asked me to be his girlfriend and I said yes. Daniel wasn’t very happy when he found out. Daniel and that girl broke up a couple months later, but I ended up dating that guy for a little over a year!
«How the double date should have been»
Jump forward to the end of 12th grade and I was still with my boyfriend. Daniel hadn’t dated anyone else and was pretty much in a funk since. I just assumed that he just hadn’t found anyone else to like or that he still had feelings for her. Idk, wasn’t my concern anymore I thought.
One day at school right before we were dismissed for the day Daniel, someone else and I were talking about me and Daniel’s friendship and they asked, “When have you guys been most angry at each other?” and I looked at Daniel and said, “Oh he knows.” and Daniel said, “Well mine is kinda an ongoing thing. Been ongoing for about a year now. You know.” And then we were dismissed.
As soon as I got in my car to drive home, I started bawling. I felt like it was so unfair of him to try and ruin my relationship! But then again, if I was really over him why did I care. My relationship was already going sour and I had kinda convinced myself that this relationship was it and that there’s no reason to get out of it because there weren’t any other options (so so so unhealthy and never ever true). Now that I knew that Daniel was unhappy because of me and still had feelings for me, I couldn’t let it go no matter how hard I tried.
A couple weeks later, Daniel called me on our drive home after school and was talking to me about the book we were reading, Love in the Time of Cholera. He said how he doesn’t understand why Fermina would stay with Dr. Urbino, who she never truly loved when she had Florentino who loved her so much and who she loved in return. I said that maybe she was scared to leave Dr. Urbino because Florentino had been so unpredictable and that I understood why she would refuse to be with Florentino and said something cynical about how she was lucky to have Dr. Urbino and that people don’t have Florentino’s in their life and he said, “Well maybe you have a Florentino.” Welp, I gotta go cry again. Byeeeee.
«Daniel and Wes djing prom»
Jumping ahead a month to senior prom (which funny enough was held about mile from where we live now!), I was still with my boyfriend but things weren’t going to well. Daniel and I hadn’t talked anymore about what he said, but we would give each other looks at school that we knew something was up. Daniel and Wes were the djs of our prom and they played only ONE SLOW SONG. Most of the night my boyfriend talked with the teachers and socialized with other people, leaving me dancing alone with my friends and I even danced with Daniel for a couple songs. I was so upset by the end of the night and on the drive to meet up with my friends, my boyfriend and I got into a fight and when we arrived to good ol’ Denny’s, he sat away from me at the booth leaving the seat next to me open which happened to be quickly taken by Daniel once he got there. After Denny’s, we sat in my bf’s car in front of my house and decided to go on a break. I said that I needed to figure out my feelings for Daniel before we could continue in this relationship. When I walked up to my front door I pulled out my phone and I had a few texts and missed calls from Daniel asking me if I was okay, because he could tell there was something really bothering me that night.
For the next week or so, Daniel and I met up pretty much everyday to talk about things. He even let slip to Blythe that he’s in love with me and she of course let that slip to me! He repeatedly told me to just be brave and trust that we were supposed to be together, but I couldn’t. I decided that I was going to give it another shot with my boyfriend because it wasn’t fair to let Daniel swoop in. Everything was always his way. His timing. His decision. And I was really scared of the risk. I realized that was the wrong choice pretty quickly, like right as I was driving away from Daniel after I told him.
A couple days later, my boyfriend and I broke up and a week after that was graduation and after that we officially were boyfriend and girlfriend.
We were finally dating after 6 years of waiting, secret kisses, passive aggression, carpooling, and friendship.