I didn’t blog much when I was dating Dan, because (1) I knew he was reading everything I wrote and (2) I like keeping some things private. Now that we’re adopting and unable to share all the details here, I’m remembering so many memories before and during dating Dan that were never shared here. And, since the beginning of the adoption process is chock-full of other people digging into your childhood, morals, marriage, etc., I’ve been thinking even more about the nearly two years I’ve known this man I now live with.
I love telling people how we met. (Though it’s not nearly as cool as our friends from church who met at a train station in Europe while studying abroad, though!)
My roommate, Meredith, and I made the decision to join a Bible study at church. We made the decision a little late, though, so most of the Bible studies were filled up. We browsed the open groups on our church’s social network (who knew so many churches have those nowadays?!), and there seemed to be a great shortage of groups with single men in them. And, being honest: We really wanted a good number of single men in our future Bible study. We got so desperate, that I convinced Meredith to call the woman who coordinated the groups and ask about groups with single men. This kind woman opened up one of the full Bible studies with lots o’ single men, just so we could join. And again, being honest: We looked up some of the guys on Facebook out of curiosity. One young man, Dan, had a mostly private profile, but in his really cool profile picture I saw curly hair and plastic-frame glasses.
The first night of Bible study everyone was standing around awkwardly in our leader’s small city apartment. I clung to Meredith’s side until eventually two guys came in. One of them I recognized as the curly-haired boy from Facebook and the other one I recognized as…. someone from my undergrad, Iowa State! I’m sure I freaked out Luke that first night, and it’s not a surprise, because I regularly remember people I’ve seen when they have no idea who I am. Luke and I didn’t know each other at all, but I definitely knew he had gone to Iowa State and my previous church. And he now lived with curly-haired Dan! With the Iowa connection made, the four of us talked the rest of the night about life as social work and med students in St. Louis.
My first impression of Dan was that he was far more goofy than I would expect from a med student. He was kind of loud, too, and he always wore Chacos, which I think are kind of ugly (sorry, Chacos wearers!). But he was way cute, and his personality and stories and jokes and conversations continued to reel me in. Generally, when I meet people, I search for a common interest that we can connect over. With Dan, there was no searching. We talked about bands, Conan, Europe, and photography right away. And within a few weeks, I overheard him mention that he was going to a 6 a.m. men’s group to learn about life from older men in our church. He’s disciplined enough to get up at 6 a.m.? Check. He likes Conan? Check. He wants to explore St. Louis with me? Check. He loves God? Check. The more time we spent together, the more I understood him. And the more I understood him, the more I knew I didn’t want him to be just another guy friend.
When Christmas break came, he awkwardly hugged me outside of a restaurant we’d gone to with friends… with all those friends watching. He went to Indiana and I went to Iowa. But, I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder. It wasn’t long before we found ourselves on a first date in Chicago. That will have to be a post to come.