If you ask my husband Nate how we met, he’ll say, “Nicole called me a wimp.”
And that is partially true.
During my sophomore year, I transferred from the college I was attending in Florida to a college much closer to home in New England so that I could focus on journalism. Being close to home meant that I could come home on the weekends (thank you, Dad, for picking me up each weekend) to catch up with family and friends. The group I hung out with mostly consisted of my brother’s friends, as the majority of my friends were away from college. We’d all get together to play football or volleyball… and then usually headed out to see a movie.
Nate was attending a community college, so he was around to hang out with us as well. He and I had attended the same church since we were nine, but eleven years of conversation added up to “hi” and “hello.” Now that we were playing sports together, our conversation deepened to “Throw it over here! I’m open!”
After one afternoon of playing football in the hot sun, someone suggested that we go see a movie, as usual. Nate looked down at his sweaty, muddy clothes and said, “Hmmm, I really think that I should go home and shower first.”
I laughed, kicking a clump of mud at him, and said, “What’s the matter? Are you a wimp?”
Everyone laughed and Nate ended up joining us to see the movie. But that night, back at college, I felt really bad. I couldn’t believe I had made fun of a guy in front of his friends. And I barely knew him! So I called one of my girlfriends and was able to obtain Nate’s email address. At which point, I emailed him an apology and said that I was sorry for having made fun of him to get a laugh.
Nate thought it was the cutest thing ever, instantly forgetting that I had called him a wimp. Soon enough, we were emailing each other every other day… every day… sometimes twice a day. We loved the same books. Were into the same music. Were both excited about the future. Had a desire to get to know the other person better.
I found myself going home on the weekends, just so I could see Nate. We always hung out in group settings, but it became completely obvious to everyone that he and I had a crush on each other. It was especially obvious to my dad. 😉 One time, Nate stayed at my house after all my other friends had left and my Dad just happened to come into the kitchen to make himself a snack… until Nate left. What can I say? I have a dad who loves me. 🙂
I was still determined not to date, but I knew that Nate was probably going to be more than a friend in the future. So even though I told him I wasn’t ready to be in a dating relationship, we put a lot of effort into getting to know each other. We went on hikes. He took me to the Wang Theater to see a play. We continued to play sports with friends.
By the end of the summer, he was my best friend. He was easy to talk to, and I found that while I had fun teasing the other guys and playing sports with them, Nate was on a whole other level. He understood me. I could have honest conversations with him, and he would really listen. We had fun doing things together.
And then, two years later, just one week before I graduated from college, he asked me to be his girlfriend. And I said YES!
And that’s when everyone stopped asking us “So when are you going to date already?” They started to ask, “So when are you going to get engaged?” Although that wouldn’t happen for another two years, that next step still revolved around the same thing. Football.