Did she ask out a guy who was too young or just right? Read on to see how Alison's story unfolded.
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My husband Adam and I met the very first day of college… because I thought he was someone else!
On the hall of my freshman dorm lived a guy. Stefan. He was tall—really tall. His pronounced nose and distinctive accent marked him as clearly Eastern European. Not only was he a tall, dark, and handsome stranger, but he also played the bass guitar (like me!), stunt biked for fun (not like me at all, but awesome), and rode horses on a Colorado ranch every summer. What a guy, right?
That night, I saw a tall—really tall!—Eastern-European-looking guy standing outside on the street. I invited him to join me for dinner. Over sandwiches at a French bistro in Georgetown, I learned that he was a brilliant, well-read person and a man of faith. I thought I had found the perfect man.
Let me explain now that when you are only 5’ 3” you don’t look always crane your neck up to look at tall, dark, handsome strangers in the face. That’s why, as I found out later, my dinner date wasn’t Stefan at all!
I’d asked someone I had never met to dinner, something an old-fashioned, Southern girl like me should never, ever do. To make matters worse, it turned out that Adam was only five months older than my little sisters—and they were only high school sophomores! As far as I was concerned, we clearly weren’t meant to me.
Adam wasn’t so sure. Between the day we met, August 28, and the beginning of Christmas break, Adam asked me out at least once a week. That’s at least fifteen invitations to dinner at my favorite restaurants (which he researched), shows at the Kennedy Center, and homemade meals in the dingy dorm kitchen. And at least fifteen times I turned him down flat. He was just too young for me.
Events finally came to a head one night when we went out to the movies with a group of my friends. I thought I was I was being gentle when I said, in front of everyone, “I just don’t think I could date a younger man. It’s too weird.”
Adam was heartbroken and humiliated, but he never gave up being a perfect gentleman and a loyal friend. He was there when Stefan and other guys rejected me. He stayed up with me at night when I had a terrible cold. He tutored me in philosophy, Spanish, and physics. (I said he was brilliant!) But he never made me feel guilty to refusing him again and again and again.
His patient affection finally paid off. Over Christmas break in Atlanta, I found that I couldn’t live without him. He asked me out again at the end of January and we’ve been together ever since.
In retrospect, we’re both grateful for the challenges of our courtship. In those first four months, Adam learned patience, understanding, and hopefulness in the face of seemingly-impossible odds. And I will always feel blessed that I was the one worth fighting for. Our six-year courtship spanned three continents (North America, Europe, and Asia), three countries (the U.S., England, and Tawain), and seven states (Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, DC). For our long-distance relationship to survive, we had to learn to trust each other completely and communicate even when we were far apart. The distance severely tested us, but, when we married in August almost three years ago, we both knew we were marrying someone worth the wait.
I hardly ever think about Adam’s age anymore—except when I marvel at the responsibility of a twenty-four-year-old father in a city where many twenty-somethings can’t even stay in stable relationships. I have no idea where Stefan is today, but I am so glad he looked at a little bit like Adam—at least from the neck down. Adam is the perfect man for me and I couldn’t imagine life without him.
Alison Solove is a wife and mother of one living in Washington, DC. She blogs about being a better woman and wife at ExperimentalWifery.