A Group Date – Kinda. Date 25.

You can tell a lot about a person by his/her friends. One of my-coworkers recently had a quote on her classroom door that said, “Show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.” That is especially true in middle school and high school because young adults are influenced greatly by their peers. However, I also realized that it is true in your 30s as well. And maybe even for the rest of your life? You can tell a lot about a person by the people they choose to hang out with.

This weekend I met Mr. Knows Just What To Say‘s friends. So even though we had less than 3 minutes of alone time total this weekend, I am counting this as my 11th date with him, the 25th date overall. I think it really helped me get to know him better.

I had been wanting my best friend to hang out with Mr. KJWTS for some time now. I had recently read a blog post titled, “Waiting for a Christ-Built Man,” which was written by Leslie Ludy, a well known Christian author who often writes about relationships. Here is what she said,

…Recruit some “teammates” who can observe him along with you.  If you are willing to humble yourself and submit to their wisdom, God can work through them to give you caution or assurance as you decide whether to move forward in a relationship.

http://setapartgirl.com/leslie-ludy/blog/02-17-15/waiting-christ-built-man

She mainly talks about using your parents, but really it can be anyone who knows you well and wants the best for you – someone who you respect and know will state the honest truth.

I realize that I should be careful whose opinions I am letting influence me and my decisions, because in the end it is important to just follow the Lord’s leading. Notice I didn’t say it was important to follow my own heart. That could be dangerous. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things.” I know that society tells us to follow our hearts or to go with our gut instincts and therefore I am going against what is the norm. Those clichés are used almost every single episode in The Bachelor and in most movies that come out of Hollywood. And we all know how those relationships turn out – both from The Bachelor and in Hollywood. I have a feeling that following our hearts have led us to a 50 percent divorce rate, both inside and outside of the church. If I followed my heart (my feelings) in high school and the years after, I would have dated guys and possibly married one that would not have resulted in God’s best for me. If you want to follow a heart, follow God’s.

Finding someone to enter into a serious relationship with is a big deal, especially for me with going for so long without one. So in the midst of trying to figure out the Lord’s leading, why not get my best friend’s opinion as well? If someone truly has your best interest at heart, why not ask them what their thoughts are about the relationship? Many times, friends or family may notice some red flags that you are blind to in the beginning “butterfly” stages.

My best friend, of course, had heard all about Mr. KJWTS, but had only spent less than 30 minutes actually interacting with the guy. And hanging out with a person takes it to a new level. In the past whenever I liked a guy, my best friend knew him pretty well, but because of the circumstances and living almost two hours away from Mr. KJWTS, this situation was different than any before. I wanted them to get to know one another, since Mr. KJWTS had become a pretty important part of my life. And if I could introduce my best friend to a couple of Mr. KJWTS‘ single guy friends while I was at it, then why not get this party started?

So about a month ago, I mentioned this idea to Mr. KJWTS and we set a weekend for it. He made sure a couple of his friends were free that weekend and our plans were set in motion.

My best friend and I left our house around noon on Saturday. Shortly after arriving at Mr. KJWTS’ house, he took us to The Billy Graham Library. We all really enjoyed the next couple of hours walking from room to room learning about Billy Graham’s life and legacy and it was the perfect way for the three of us to spend the day together.

date 25 billy graham library

On our way home we stopped by the grocery store to pick up ingredients for dinner that night. As we were checking out, my best friend and I picked up a few things from the cart (or buggy as the Southerners would say) and told him that we could go in the next aisle over and pay for a few items ourselves. Without hesitation, Mr. KJWTS said, “No, it’s okay, I got it.” I immediately put the things that I grabbed back in the cart/buggy but my best friend looked at me with the items still in her hands and said, “I don’t know what to do.” I told her that if the man said he had it, he had it. “Put the things down and let him get it,” I whispered. We are just not used to people paying for us. We can credit that to the past decade of singleness.

After arriving back to the house, my best friend and I began preparing the meal and Mr. KJWTS’ friends started arriving shortly after. Altogether he invited four people. Two were a recently married couple and the other two were single guys. We spent the rest of the evening eating tacos, playing a game and getting to know one another. I was impressed with how easily they all held conversations with us. At one point, one of the guys asked me how I met Mr. KJWTS and at that almost exact moment my best friend walked up and changed the topic. I didn’t know if she had done that on purpose or if it was just a coincidence, but I breathed a sigh of relief and left the conversation, silently thanking her. I was unsure if Mr. KJWTS had told his friends how we met and I wasn’t sure if I should be the one to break that news. Later I asked him if his friends knew that eharmony introduced us and he said he thought he told most of them, but maybe not the one that asked me.

His friends began to leave sometime after 11. They initiated hugs goodbye and I watched them walk out the door. I was surprised at how intelligent and genuinely nice they all were. He had great friends.

After they left, Mr. KJWTS took my best friend and I to a nearby hotel, where we had already dropped off my car. He had bought us a room for the night, so we didn’t have to sacrifice staying on an air mattress in his office. My best friend was impressed. He bought all of the groceries and now a hotel room. He is very generous and made us feel very well taken care of all day long.

In the morning, I drove my car back to his house and we piled in his car to go to church. Usually when we are in the car, he will place his hand on my knee or grab my hand, but with my best friend in the backseat he refrained out of respect for her. I admired him for that. I had explained to him before what it felt like to be a single person in the midst of a dating couple that was constantly touching one another. It wasn’t always very fun on my end and many times it would leave my heart aching for the day that it would happen for me. It usually just reminded me that I was alone. He understood, he had many single years under his belt as well, so he knew what that felt like. However, he has dated way more than me, but then again, who hasn’t?!

This was our first time attending church together and it felt so good to be sitting next to a man who I had feelings for. When we stood up for worship, he placed his hand around my lower back and he was close enough that I could hear him singing. It’s always been such an attractive quality to see a Christian man that is not too timid or shy to worship Jesus through singing in a public setting. While we sat during the rest of the service, my coat covered my legs and his knee was touching mine. I placed my hand under my coat on his knee and he grabbed my hand with his. We hadn’t held hands all weekend and at that moment I got butterflies in my stomach. I remember thinking how happy and content I was at that moment, sitting in church, with my hand in his.

After church, Mr. KJWTS introduced me to the wife of one of his other friends. He had talked about this couple quite a bit because the husband had been very influential in Mr. KJWTS’ understanding of exactly who Jesus was over ten years ago. He told me that the wife was one of the sweetest people he has ever met. I told her I had heard a lot about her and she said, “I have heard a lot about you as well and meeting you today has literally made my day!”

We walked out of church with her and met her husband in the lobby. After a few minutes, we said our goodbyes and the wife came over to hug me and said that she would love to get together with me sometime. She was just as sweet and awesome as he described her to be.

Our after church plans consisted of eating brunch at the same couple’s apartment that had come over to his house the evening before. They cooked us an amazing brunch and we had such a good time listening to their love story.

After we left their apartment, Mr. KJWTS took us to the heart of the city where he works.

date 25 city pic

He showed us around the building, up on the 32nd floor, where he spends his week days. It was really neat seeing the city that high up. We walked around for a bit longer and then headed back to his house for some left-over tacos.

We left his house around 4 and began the two hour trek back home. On the way home, my best friend looked at me and said, “I really like him, I really do.” I don’t think she could have said anything better than that. I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face because I knew how genuine she was being. It felt so good to hear her say that. I was so grateful for her to spend the weekend with us.

As we drove home, I couldn’t help but wonder when I would get to see him again. We hadn’t talked about it while I was there. Later that night, I sent him an email thanking him again for his generosity and for giving us both a great weekend. I asked him when I was going to see him next and his response was, “Well, I could drive down to you next weekend if you want.”

Yes, Mr. KJWTS, that is what I want 🙂

What?! Three weekends In. A. Row. I am in trouble…

5 dates and counting down. Until this weekend.

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2 thoughts on “A Group Date – Kinda. Date 25.

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