This pic was taken 3 weeks after we first met in 1988. Greg and April.
I believe this was when I was a senior in high school and Greg was a freshman in college.
I have had a request to share how my husband and I met and a little more about our dating history.
There was a strong Christian boy in my class in 9th grade who had asked me to be his girlfriend that year. My twin sister and I had made a rule with our Daddy that we were not allowed to date until we were 16. I was NOT ready for a committed relationship at that age – and when a guy would act really interested in me – it freaked me out! So, sadly, this amazing guy decided not to talk with me anymore. He thought I wasn’t interested in him, I guess. That wasn’t the case. I just needed to take things REALLY, REALLY slowly.
So, the next year, at the first football game, when this guy wouldn’t look at me or talk with me – I felt very rejected and sad. And, I know you will all laugh so hard at this – I went home and cried because I just knew I would “NEVER have a boyfriend!” I know. 10th grade. Yep. I was totally convinced already that I would be an old maid.
My twin sister was sad about a boy she had “broken up” with, so our friend invited us to go to a local Christian rock concert with her youth group the next night.
OUR FIRST MEETING
The three of us girls were sitting in a gravel parking lot listening to a VERY LOUD Christian rock band – when, somehow, we could hear two guys behind us saying,
“Do you think they’re twins?”
“I don’t think they’re twins.”
“No, YOU ask them!”
Finally, my sister turned around and said, “We’re twins.” (we are identical – it causes a lot of confusion sometimes!)
Greg and his friend, Brett, talked with us for a long time. At first Brett was near me and Greg was near my sister. But after awhile, they switched places. Later Greg told me that he told Brett, “I like April. You can have Beth.” And Brett said, “Ok, they look the same to me.”
We talked and talked and laughed so much that night. When it was time to leave, Greg actually tried to hold my hand! I thought to myself, “WHO does this guy think he IS? Trying to hold my hand.” And I moved my hand so that he definitely could not hold my hand.
Greg asked me for my phone number. And I gave it to him. (I actually unknowingly did a lot of things right – not on purpose, but I didn’t pursue him and let him take the lead.)
He went home and told his friends that they had met some “knock-out twins.” And Greg began working on getting his driver’s license so that he could start to come visit me on the weekends. We lived 25 minutes apart.
OTHER GUYS IN THE PICTURE
At that time, there were several other guys who were calling me often. One guy I had met at band camp that summer was writing to me- talking about how he wanted to hold me and stuff. Yikes! That really freaked me out. I knew he wasn’t a Christian, so I told him that this wasn’t going to work. He got really upset.
Other guys were calling my house a good bit. I was SO naieve and clueless, I just thought they were all friendly. I truly didn’t get that they were romantically interested in me at all. One guy would call and tell me all the crazy stunts he did with his skateboard and his mountain bike. I didn’t know how to get off the phone with him. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. But my Daddy warned me not to fall in love with that kid, that he would probably be dead by the time he was 18. I wasn’t in love with him. I just had no idea how to ask him to stop calling me!
A RELATIONSHIP BLOSSOMS
Greg started calling me every single night. We would talk for about an hour every night. His calls were so different from the others. The other guys I mostly just tolerated. But I really wasn’t interested in talking with them. Greg was in a new league. He was intelligent and funny. He actually cared about my feelings and interests and it was a two way conversation instead of just the guy talking and me saying, “Wow!” “Uh, huh.” “Hmmm.”
Greg was responsible, kind, generous, compassionate, competent, athletic, strong, handsome, and much more acquainted with the world than I was. I was VERY sheltered and innocent. He was a strong Christian guy. He introduced me to Christian music and concerts. He made tapes for me with new music I had never heard before. He shared his world with me – a whole new world I had never experienced before. My world was mostly just studying for my honors classes and practicing classical flute and piano for an hour each every day.
I really looked forward to Greg’s calls. And I also looked forward to his visits with my family and me on Saturdays. He thought my dad was incredibly strict – not to let me date yet. So, he would come over every Saturday afternoon and visit with all of us. I would clean the whole house and cook for my family and for Greg every Saturday.
Greg was careful not to rush me to a deeper level of commitment than I was ready for. That is why I didn’t bolt with him like I did with some other guys. He was smart! One time, my friend told me that he was my boyfriend, and I laughed and told her emphatically that I don’t have a boyfriend! I even told Greg about it that night and laughed about how crazy it was that she thought we were a couple. He stayed very calm and agreed with me that we were just friends and thought to himself, “She’ll come around! She’ll come around!” He said he knew I was the one when he met me.
HE GOT A JOB
Greg started working cutting grass, then got a job at an insurance company after school so that he could pay for his gas and for taking me out to concerts and restaurants. He was SUCH a gentleman. He always paid for everything and treated me like a princess. He never complained about working or paying for our dates. He acted like it was such a privilege for him to get to take me out.
HE ALMOST BLEW IT
A few months later, Greg asked if he could kiss me one night when he was leaving. I panicked. I was NOT ready for kissing!!!! That was CRAZY! I told him, “No! Ummm… I’d probably pass out and then you’d have to carry me inside and explain to my Daddy why I was unconscious!”
He only heard me reject him and thought I didn’t like him the way he liked me. He thought it was going to be over after that.
We went to the State Fair the next day with my family and he had headphones on and was listening to his favorite college football team play the whole time. I thought, “Wow. He REALLY likes football.” And he was thinking, “She must not like me.” But then he saw that I acted the same as always and realized that I was really just that innocent and nervous about any kind of physical relationship.
After that, he never pushed me to kiss him anymore. In fact, he waited until I wanted to kiss him. And he wouldn’t kiss me until I asked him. When I finally decided I wanted to kiss him, I tried to ask but was so nervous that I kept backing out. But he knew what I was trying to ask so he wouldn’t drop the issue.
That night I saw my first shooting star. It was a cold, winter, starry night when I was telling Greg goodbye. I could smell his Brut cologne. I was SOOO nervous! He did kiss me – once I got the question out. And, I hyperventilated! I thought my heart was going to explode. Thankfully, I didn’t faint.
MY DAD APPROVED OF HIM
After Greg had been coming over for several months, my Daddy decided he liked Greg and trusted him and let him start to take me places by himself.
THE REST OF THE STORY
We dated for 6 years (with the exception of 3 weeks when I broke up with him when I was 18) and then got married 2 weeks after he graduated from college. I still had one more year of pharmacy school to go. Our dating relationship went REALLY well. I was actually quite respectful and cooperative with his leadership the whole time we were dating. We really didn’t have any major conflicts. It wasn’t until right after we got married that things began to get REALLY difficult.
The hardest thing about starting to date when I was 15 and he was 16 was the waiting for 6 years until we could get married and staying pure. We did save sex for marriage. I am SO thankful for that!
Would I want my children to date exclusively in high school like we did and to be talking about marriage when they were 16 or 17 years old? Mmmm… I don’t know!
But I am very thankful to God for my husband. I am honored to be his wife! I am especially thankful to God for the past 4 years and for all that He has taught me about His design for marriage, godly femininity, respect and biblical submission. These have been my favorite years by far!