a letter to young single women

note: i would write this to all young single adults, but i'm not sure how boys feel, so fellas, take what you can/want to from this.

to the girls sitting next to me:

today i overheard you talking about dating. the struggles, the creepy and clingy guys, but what caught my attention were the comments you were making about staying single, dating just to date, and not understanding why or how anyone gets married. 
six months ago, i was you. i wanted to "just date around" because i didn't date that much in high school either. i didn't understand how people actually got married either because none of my dating escapades were panning out. i didn't understand how people chose who they chose to marry. dating scared me. i didn't like it. and i wanted to quit.
but i'm glad i didn't quit.
and here's why.
six months ago (almost to the day), i started talking to one of my guy friends. one that i hardly ever talked to, but we were still good enough friends that randomly talking to him wasn't weird. over the next few weeks we talked almost every day. just as friends. we didn't talk about dating because we lived in different states and that just didn't seem plausible to either of us. he continued to go on dates with other girls and hang out with his friends and i tried to go on dates and be social in my area too. and then one day he came to visit me, as a friend. he stayed for a weekend and during the entire weekend he didn't make any moves to change our relationship status. and neither did i. we were able to talk and laugh and joke and continue to get to know each other without tons of pressure because neither of us had mentioned any feelings for the other. [however, i should let you in on the secret that my family had PLENTY of questions for him-- all to which he answered pretty vaguely] 
about two weeks later, we went on some dates and then we had a "dtr" and determined that we liked each other enough to date exclusively. and then three months later after lots of dates, serious conversations, prayer, and personal contemplation, we decided that we liked each other enough to get married. 
i'm not telling you that this will be your story, but i can tell you something that was different about the way i dated him instead of the other boys i dated or just went on dates with. we were friends first. i didn't worry about anything because i already knew what kind of person he was. to be completely honest, i worried that he wouldn't want to marry me because he impressed me that much. he made [and still makes] me want to be a better person. 
throughout my life i've been pretty aware of my weaknesses. and so has he. we have both tried to be good people. but when we are together, we work better. his strengths compliment my weaknesses and fears. and vice versa. we just fit. 
this was from when he first visited me.
after dating for a while... (we might have even been engaged at this point...)
engagements. photo by Debby Leavitt Photography
engagements. photo by Debby Leavitt Photography
girls, i know it is hard to date and be in the stage of life that you are at. i know. but you're there for a reason. keep learning. keep progressing. don't let anyone--including yourself-- tell you that you aren't pretty enough, talented enough, you aren't old enough or you're too old, or you need to finish _______ before you get married. 
don't give up. you ARE enough. you are beautiful. but continue to develop your talents. continue to learn. continue to go on adventures. be good. do good. trust that God has a specific plan for youand then trust me, it's worth the wait.

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