I was a freshman in college at Oklahoma State University when I met Jon. I was hanging out in a mutual friend’s dorm room, and Jon lived down the hall. He briefly came into the room while we were all watching a movie, but I barely noticed him.
Soon after, he found me on Facebook, which creeped me out a little. I’m such a private person and, as a Facebook novice, was surprised that he could find me so quickly. We started exchanging messages, and it didn’t take long for me to notice how nice he was. He always asked about my day and seemed genuinely concerned if I said it was a less-than-great one. Eventually, he asked me to have lunch with him in OSU’s Student Union.
I’ll never forget our first lunch. The conversation flowed much more smoothly than I anticipated, and it seemed like I had known him for years. But when we had to leave to get to our next classes, Jon ambushed me with a goodbye hug. I was not a “hugging person,” so it’s an understatement when I say that his hug caught me off-guard. I awkwardly hugged him back and secretly wondered if I should nix future communication.
After exchanging more Facebook messages and realizing how much I enjoyed conversation with him, Student Union lunches became a weekly tradition for us. We were both in a relationship at the time, so our lunches were always just friendly and innocent. I noticed that he was a great listener and that we had a lot in common, but I never really looked at Jon in a romantic light. We were good friends, but that was it.
I transferred to a different college about two hours away, but Jon and I remained in contact. We would spend hours on the phone or instant messaging each other about our lives. He always made me laugh, and he had the ability to make me feel better about everything in an instant. I referred to him as “my best guy friend.”
Finally, after two years of friendship, we were both single at the same time. He suggested we try to “be more than friends.” I was skeptical but willing to give it a shot for him.
The relationship moved quickly, even though I resisted at first. I was still hurt from my last relationship and unwilling to experience that pain again. But Jon’s perpetual kindness and patience finally wore me down. The night we started dating, our conversation went something like this:
Jon: “You just let me know when you’re ready to be an official couple. I’ll wait.”
Me: “Maybe we should have a code word. When I say the code word, that means I’m ready.”
Jon, laughing: “Sure.”
We never decided on our “code word,” but twenty minutes later....
Me: “Elephant! Yellow! Oklahoma! Whatever our ‘code word’ is, I’m saying it!”
I feel the beginning of our romantic relationship fits us perfectly; it is a little weird and awkward, just like we are!
We met at O-State, had our first date there (at the on-campus steakhouse), got engaged in front of the Student Union (during homecoming 2010), and got married on campus on June 11, 2011.
It has been a blissful (and orange!) journey, and I am so joyous to spend the rest of my life with my better half. I call him my puzzle piece because I can think of no other person who “fits” with me as well as he does.
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