I haven't "known" Kevin long but in this short span of time, he's never failed to make me laugh. Which apparently means I'm smart. Thanks, Kevin! Don't miss out on his free e-book, details at the end.
I was 28 and single. At that point in my life, I felt like I was at risk of being alone for the rest of my life.
A year or two prior, I’d resorted to messing around with a couple of girls who I knew were not only “not marriage material,” they really weren’t even “dating material.” I learned what I wanted by discovering what I didn’t want.
I’ve often heard that God withholds blessings, sometimes, until you’re ready to receive them. I don’t know if that’s always true, but I can tell you; it was true for me.
At 28, I was done fooling around. I’d sown my wild oats. They were all gone. The bag was empty. I was ready for something real. I wanted depth and a connection with someone who really “got me.”
I knew of Kim, but never really knew her. She went to the same church I did when I was in High School, but she was five years younger than me, and we didn’t hang out. She went to the same college as I did, but, again, she was younger, so our paths never really crossed in any kind of meaningful way. Kim’s younger sister was one of the students in my very first sixth grade class. We shared countless connections, but we never got together. It was as if we lived in parallel universes that continually came close to converging, but just never did.
Until it happened.
I was friends with Kim on Facebook. We’d never talked. We were acquaintances in the way that many people are, via Facebook. (Sidenote: Be honest. How many people are you “friends” with on Facebook, yet you have never spoken to them in real life?)
One fateful afternoon, a little box popped up at the bottom of my screen. It was a Facebook chat message from Kim. I remember being confused. I thought to myself, “Why is she messaging me?” We’d never had a conversation, ever. Not once. But she was saying hello.
The conversation was totally innocent. We talked about her sister. We talked about commonalities that we shared. It was surface chit chat, but I enjoyed it. She was smart and witty. She got my jokes and made me laugh.
However, I tried not to make too much of it for two reasons:
I’d been hurt in the past and had grown a thick skin over my heart to protect against future damage. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. It may have been totally random and meant nothing.
and more importantly
She had a boyfriend.
Yep. You read that correctly. A boyfriend. The kiss of death, right?
You’d think so, and at the time, I did. But she kept coming back. Eventually, it transitioned to conversations on AOL Instant Messenger. (That’s how you know things are getting serious. Ha.)
I was cautious.
We continued to talk, all online, for a period of a few weeks. I was getting the impression that things with her boyfriend were not good, based on things she would tell me about their relationship.
He seemed like a tool.
I may have been biased by the fact that I was developing a crush on his girlfriend. I’ll let you be the judge.
One day, I logged onto Facebook. There it was. The letters were no bigger than any of the other text on the page, but this message stood out like fireworks in a broom closet.
Her relationship status had changed to “single.”
I wanted to jump up and down. I wanted to have a party and invite only her. I wanted to do a lot of things, but I knew the wise thing to do would be to wait and let her tell me about it. I was excited about the news for selfish reasons. Regardless of if he was a good guy or not, she still had just broken up with her boyfriend. She deserved space and for me not to instantly impose upon her with my desire to date her.
So I waited.
I didn’t hear from her for a few days. Finally, she got online and messaged me. “So, I guess you heard…” was the way the conversation began. We talked. I let her spill her guts. I left my feelings alone.
But I couldn’t do it for long. I was deathly afraid of falling into the “friend zone.” I wanted more than that. Eventually, I let the cat out of the bag.
It was a tough conversation. I put myself out there and she kind of left me hanging. We both knew that what had been going on for the last month was more than platonic, but it was awkward exposing that.
I think she was afraid to admit it, because she felt like she would be admitting that she had been, in some way, unfaithful to her ex-boyfriend. Ultimately, she had to come to terms with the fact that her relationship with him had been over for a long time before they officially broke up.
After about a week, I convinced her to let me call her on the phone. She was finishing up school in another city, three hours away. It was the best we could do, but an acceptable “level up.”
She finally caved. I remember the night like it was yesterday. We talked for hours. It wasn’t awkward at all. We clicked and connected deeply like I hoped we would. I was excited, but she still was not ready to let go just yet.
I couldn’t blame her. She’d just gotten out of a long-term relationship. She needed time before she committed to someone else. I got that, but it didn’t make it easier on me.
After about a month of talking online and on the phone, I was able to convince her to come home for a visit, and to go out on a date with me. A real date. Not as friends.
I took her to “The Olive Garden,” and it was there, at that table, that I knew. I looked at her, and I just knew I was going to marry her. I’ve never been any surer of anything in my life, before or since. It was like God had softly placed her down in front of me and said, “Here she is. This is who I made you for. Take care of her.”
The rest of the story is not without rough patches, but the abridged version is that we dated for six months, got engaged, were married six months after that, and we’ve been married now for over two years. We’re expecting our first child (Aidan Robert) in August. God is good. I love my wife!
Kevin Haggerty is a 32-year old husband and expecting father. He runs and writes for a humor blog called TheIsleOfMan.Net. He’s also the author of the book, An Idiot’s Guide to the Galaxy, a fun, satirical take on society that can be downloaded for FREE here. For his full-time job, Kevin is a middle school teacher and basketball coach. He also writes for a mixed martial arts (MMA) blog called MMAMania.com. He’s the oldest of seven children, a continual skeptic and smart people think he’s funny (at least that’s what he tells himself).