HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU'RE IN LOVE?
After our talk That Tuesday, I started to think about it. What were the important things? Hobbies in common? Interests in common? Similar childhoods? Religion? Financial or social standing of our families? Did we look like a couple? Should I get out the old Seventeen Magazine checklists to identify if Dee was the right guy for me?
The funny thing was that I didn't care about any of that. I knew. Deep in my heart I knew I loved him. I wanted to always have him in my life. None of the questions mattered a bit. I loved his heart. I loved how I felt with him. I remember thinking I ought to pray about this, but I didn't want to. What if I got a "No" for an answer? (I later realized that Heavenly Father helped us find each other under the perfect circumstances. He'd said "Yes" before I even thought to ask the question. That's actually why it felt so right.)
At 19 I didn't even know what I liked, let alone what Dee liked. How did I know what kind of father he'd be? I'd never met his parents, and I'd never seen the house where he grew up. I didn't know a single one of his friends. Because we were living for 6 months out of one suitcase, and everyone cut each other's hair, I didn't really even know how he dressed, or what he looked like in real life. He didn't know anything about me, either. We had none of the props that people usually judge each other by. We just walked and talked. I got to know how he thought and how he felt, what his values were. That's what we shared with each other, and that's what we fell in love with. Winter became spring and we blossomed, too.
I've often thought that shared interests and hobbies are overrated. So what that you both like tennis? Real life happens in the kitchen. If you can have fun together on the tennis court, that's awesome, but a marriage takes place in your hearts and home. It's based on how you support each other through life's ups and downs, how you show the other you're on their side, and what you do to face problems together. We love to travel together, but sickness, money woes, flooding basements and wrecked cars are faced on a more frequent basis than planning a trip. The trip is the reward for getting through the day-to-day. A great quote says "Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." Love can make life enjoyable and happy while we endure it's challenging moments.
The weeks after That Tuesday were mind and heart expanding to me. I was like a caterpillar who had just emerged as a butterfly. It was spring, and I had felt myself metamorphosis from a flighty girl into a mature young woman, with purpose and new-found wisdom. I was in love. I just knew.