Late in our sophomore year of high school, I started dating another friend of Steve's, and the two of us actually helped to set Steve up with a close friend of mine who really liked him. Apparently the exceptional beauty of my friend overcame Steve's reservations about the pointlessness of teenage relationships, because they started what would become a fairly serious long-term relationship. In the early months, I spent many phone calls and sleepovers lending a sympathetic ear to my friend when Steve was a thoughtless and insensitive boyfriend. He really wasn't trying to be a jerk; he just didn't have a clue :)
My sophomore relationship was short-lived, and soon after it ended, I read a new book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. It was a lightbulb moment for me. I saw how misguided that relationship had been and gained a vision for something much better. Of course, the guys weren't exactly beating down my door, so it's not like dating was really a viable option for me to be able to kiss goodbye...but that's beside the point. Meanwhile, Steve was still dating my friend (they stayed together for about a year and a half).
Fast forward to senior year. Ever since I'd been a freshman, my best girlfriends had been older than me--which meant they kept graduating and leaving me behind. Once I was a senior, there were no older girls left, and I felt a little lost! But that year I became "one of the guys."
As seniors, Steve and I were also paired together as show choir partners. I was absolutely thrilled--not because I had any feelings for him whatsoever (I didn't yet; besides, he was still dating my friend), but simply because it meant I no longer had to be partners with my ex-boyfriend (it's not very much fun to dance with someone who acts like he hates you).
That fall, I hit a little speed bump in my whole "proud to be single" mindset (my best friend Julie affectionately refers to this period of my life as "the Dating Nazi years" :) Right before school started, Julie had introduced me to a friend of hers. There was definitely mutual interest, and all my ideas about kissing dating goodbye flew right out the window as I got to know him. But the more real the prospect of a serious relationship became, the more I freaked out, and I revisited I Kissed Dating Goodbye.
I know a lot of people mock Joshua Harris's book, but I have to say I absolutely believe it was used by God in my life. I can clearly remember how He led me to it, and it really was the message I needed at the time. I solidified my convictions about remaining single during this season, and had a great talk with this guy about needing to stay focused and not even having time for a relationship in the midst of a chaotic senior year (deciding where to attend college, for example, was DRAMA, to say the very least).
As I processed through all that with my two close friends, Kaleb and Steve, I talked about I Kissed Dating Goodbye. To my surprise, Steve asked to borrow the book...and then the next thing we knew, he broke up with his girlfriend. He didn't even want to or plan to, but felt that he needed to.
[to be continued...]