When Bobby tweeted something about the anniversary and his and Kristen's first date, I had a feeling there was more to the story and shamelessly asked him to send me something for TIHWM. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Want to submit your TIHWM story? Check out the guidelines here.
When Kristen moved back to her Southern Indiana home in August 2009 after stints in Louisiana, New York City and Texas, she joined my community group and changed my life. In that order, separated by a few months.
She took our group – and church – by storm in the way passionate Christians sometimes do. Within weeks she had taken membership classes, joined the worship team and volunteered for many service opportunities. She brought delicious snacks to our weekly Community Group meeting and actively participated in group discussions.
I learned more of her story and I grew in appreciation of her each week, but didn’t initiate anything because I had just started seeing someone else. As summer turned to fall and fall turned to winter that previous relationship ended, but by then Kristen had begun dating someone herself. As they say, timing is everything.
In May 2010 that relationship ended mutually. When I heard the news, it took me (by my best estimate) 0.0007 seconds to decide I would ask Kristen out. First though – and maybe this had to come first since we’re both songwriters – I reread an email she had sent our community group earlier in the week. It contained lyrics to a new song she’d written, and an mp3 demo she’d recorded.
After studying the song I replied with some encouragement and several suggestions for how she might improve it. I’d led many songwriting workshops at my church and often mentored younger songwriters, so I told myself that this is all I was doing here, with no ulterior motive. Of course my Self knew I was lying about that ulterior motive thing.
I awoke early the next morning to find that she’d not only answered my email but she’d already rewritten and recorded her song, based on my suggestions. This reply sparked a five-day series of friendly, flirty emails, phone calls and text messages that culminated in me asking Kristen if she’d like to have lunch with me after the next Sunday service. She said yes.
During that lunch I confessed my attraction to her and said I’d like to date her, lest she be confused and think I wanted to hang out as friends. Again she said yes, although this sparked what has come to be known in our house as the First Date Question:
- Was this lunch date our first real date (a position I maintain)?
- Was our date two days later the actual first date, since it was the first one she agreed to with the open understanding that I was asking her on a date, and not on a lunch trip between two friends? (Kristen takes this position)
Let the people debate and pontificate. In any event, it didn’t take either of us much longer to decide this was “It” than the 0.0007 seconds it took me to decide I wanted to ask her out. We were looking at rings within a month, officially engaged a couple weeks after first looking at rings, and married exactly four months after our First Real Date Option #2.
Now when I critique her songwriting or she critiques mine, we don’t always acquiesce as quickly as that first encounter. But that’s okay. I wouldn’t trade a minute of our experience together. It took a little while for the timing to work out, but once we got together there was no doubt, and no more time to waste.
Bobby and Kristen live in New Albany, IN and are involved in the worship ministry at Louisville’s Sojourn Community Church. They display their songs and blog together at mysonginthenight.com.