Eight years ago to the day, my husband and I went on our very first date. Leading up to it, I’m not sure Caleb was 100% certain that that’s what it was, but I sure had it in my head that it was absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt a DATE.
After he asked me out, I told my closest friends that I was going to marry him. Some called me crazy, others romantic. Mostly crazy, though. But I just knew. It wasn’t love at first sight, love definitely took time to grow, but I had this peace about the situation, and I really felt like it was being laid on my heart. It’s important to note though that I did not vocalize this to Caleb – we probably wouldn’t be married today because he wouldn’t have been able to run away fast enough, haha! I mean…what 19 year-old guy wants a chick telling him they’re going to get married on their first date? #creeperalert
Moving on to the date though…
Caleb and I are both devout Christians, so you may find it a bit strange that our first date was actually at a Muslim Ramadan dinner. Yup. A multicultural program at our university invited students to attend to learn about this sacred Muslim tradition. Caleb and I both have very inquisitive minds, and while we are devout in our faith, we’ve always enjoyed educating ourselves about other people and their belief systems. I was a religious studies minor at the time, Caleb found this out, and he invited me to attend, thinking I’d enjoy it and could learn something. Ironically, I didn’t end up getting that minor due to scheduling conflicts (it was a brand new program), but it’s cool to see in hindsight how God orchestrated everything through some small but important details.
After we attended the Ramadan, we decided to attend another campus event being held the same night. When it was over, Caleb offered to walk me home. On the way, we passed a Starbucks. We decided to pop in for a quick drink and to chat some more. Right as we walked in, a girl who I recognized but didn’t know much about spotted us and shyly said hi to Caleb. We walked up to the counter, and Caleb paid for my order. This may not seem out of place for a first date, but, if you know my husband, you know he is FRUGAL. He got the cheapest thing on the menu (a tall black coffee), and, while I can’t remember what I ordered, I can imagine it was not cheap. Plus, as I said, I’m not sure he was as convinced from the beginning that we were actually on a date. Paying for my drink made the trajectory for the night clear, though. A $5 cup of coffee was a big deal to my budget-conscious, poor college student of a future husband. Of course, I didn’t realize this at the time, but, again, it’s those little details that I love.
Months later, I found out that the girl who had said hi at Starbucks had been interested in Caleb. They had hung out, and, long story short, things got weird, and Caleb was not interested. Essentially, my drink was purchased more so to make a statement to someone else than to actually affirm the date to ourselves. So thank you girl who weirded out my future husband. Had Caleb not paid for my drink that night, I probably would have been irritated and let down and perhaps moved on because I like my Starbucks drinks paid for on dates, darn it.
From there, the rest is history. He walked me home and politely bid me goodbye. (Side note for the inquiring minds: it wasn’t until one month later that we had our first kiss!) We had repeated dates…mostly free university events and $1 movies at the campus theater. And, of course, we fell in love and have now been happily married for over five years and have a beautiful little girl. In case you’re wondering, Caleb is still a
cheapskate budget-minded person. It’s a good thing I enjoy a good date night in. 😉
It’s funny to look back on that evening eight years ago. We were so young and had no clue what life was going to unfold, but there’s no one else I’d rather have as a partner on this journey. We’ve grown and experienced life and change together, but one thing has never changed.
I knew Caleb was my forever then, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that he will always be my forever.