When I was in high school, we used to always play this game during Valentine’s week. On the first day, every girl in the school had three paper hearts. If they talked to a boy between classes, at lunch or at recess, they had to give away one of their hearts. At the end of the day, the boy with the most hearts won. The next day, the boys would each have three hearts and if they talked to a girl they would have to give their heart away.
It was actually quite fun, although I cannot tell you how FRUSTRATED I always got because I always lost all my hearts and no matter how hard I tried, I could not get anyone to give me theirs!!! Arg. I so wish I had pictures of us playing that game.
Oh, high school.
When I went to college I thought Valentines Day was rather dumb. And not just because I didn’t have anybody special in my life. But because the US once again made a huge materialistic holiday out of something as simple as having a sweetheart.
But then I met Theo Hines and everything changed. Then I had a real heart to be won.
And win it he did. But not just on Valentines Day or with cheesy little chocolates in a disposable cardboard box. He won it by:
- Writing me notes. So many notes. Long notes. Short notes. Big notes. Small notes. Text notes. Email notes. So.many.notes
- Meeting me after class with a cup of chai
- Planning dates
This was a group date in which we all dressed up and went out. I actually think this was before we were officially dating and I was so incredibly nervous.
- Including me in all his family events and being brave enough to introduce me to his friends back home
The first time I met most of his friends. Yeah, that was nervewracking. I found out later that most of them really, really disliked me. I guess that is what happens when you are the first outsider trying to be brought in!
- Being intentional about hanging out in groups and not just excluding us as a couple
We worked really hard at this one! We didn’t want to be “that couple”, but instead we wanted to build our relationship in many different settings- one on ones and hanging out with all our friends. This was on a trip to NYC one summer during a break from camp.
- Cheering me on in my pursuits- teaching, my grades, working out, being in a leadership position
- Being adventurous
A different trip to NYC.
- Building relationships with my family and my friends
Respecting my family, building a relationship with my parents and my brother, and being willing to build friendships or at least support my friendships. That always meant so much to me. Theo with my brother (both in my Grandma’s hats) at a family Thanksgiving in CT one year.
- Laughing with me
Always having laughter. Laughing at me. Laughing with me. Letting me laugh at him.
- Planning the most epic proposal ever
I took Theo to visit my homeland, Niger. Before leaving he told me he would NOT be proposing to me there. Indeed, that was true, but when he saw how crushed I was, he went out and bought a ring straight out of the display box two days before we left for Africa.
We went on a picnic to the sand dunes:
He took me for a walk and asked me to be his wife!
And gave me this thing:
- And of course…being himself. A leader, a pursuer, an encourager, a Christ follower, a faithful, committed, good-looking man. I am so blessed to have this guy, and I always tell him that it was so easy to fall in love with him. But not because I was a foolish woman given to falling in love easily, but rather because it was so worth it and so right. I am one lucky lady!!!
Guys, if you need advice on how to pursue and date a woman…ask this guy right here. The amount of respect, adventure, and passion that he puts into pursuing his woman is absolutely admirable.
And while I’m at it, let me just say this: The most impressive part of all this is that he has continued to pursue me even after he already won my heart. He has continued to be the man of my dreams. Sure, things look really different and it’s not all that easy to do many of these things with kids and a job. But he does it, and he continues to learn how to do it well.
I’d love for you to join tomorrow in our Outside the Frame link-up! We will be continuing this little subject by talking about our love languages and the ways that we feel most loved. Winning my heart was one thing, but continuously loving me? That is another matter entirely! I’d love for you to stop in tomorrow to read that post and to link up yourself in our Outside the Frame series!