For the words: I met my husband

Some shoes I was wearing the day before the date.

A year ago today, I went on my first date with my husband.

We went to a Thai restaurant down the road from my house. It was sunny. I remember looking at the sunlight on our table while we talked about things. It was easy to smile in that sunniness. I'd been on so many first dates—I was so good at first dates, and I could tell this date was going to be easy and relaxed.

I didn't expect to go out with him more than a few times because I was moving in two months, so after dinner when he suggested we get dessert, I suggested we go to a grocery store and buy a pint of ice cream. We ate it in his car in front of my house with two spoons and talked about dating. The topic broke one of my rules for first dates, but I was moving and 31 years old (so, who cares)—and it was clearly something fun and funny to discuss on a March night with a skinny moon.

It's super embarrassing now, but somehow in that conversation I had the audacity to say, Don't worry, your wife is going to love you. You will have such a good life. (We had just met! Hi let me be your older sister!)

He had the audacity to read me this quote:
"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure to keep it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of our selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. 
The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from the perturbations of love is Hell." —C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
We'd been talking about the never ending merry-go-round of vulnerability and dating. (It never ever ends!) One of his friends had emailed him the quote a few days before, so he looked it up on his phone right there in the dark of the car for me. I don't think I've ever told anyone that part of the story because it just happened, and it felt ordinary. But, it was one of the best first date conversations of my life.

Usually, I mitigate the anxiety of a first date by pretending my date and I are already good friends, but it was so unusually lovely to be treated as a good friend.

He walked me to the front door, and I walked into my house and up to my room feeling like the prettiest girl in the world (I wrote this post). Everything felt full of possibility.

I really thought we would go out a couple more times and then realize we weren't a match. Which makes the feeling of prettiness he left me with more significant.

Perhaps, because even on that first date, I knew he gave it to me for free. 

To celebrate this little one year anniversary-- If you're married: share your first date story—did you notice anything different? If you're single, you know I want to hear your best first date stories (because real life is always better than the movies...or The Bachelor :)


  1. Loved your story, Emily! My comments seems to be posting as "anonymous" but this is Lexie Kite :) I got married last year and had a very memorable first date with my now-husband, Travis. Two weeks before we went out, I had been dating a guy who broke up with me. It hurt. And I resolved to get over it by forcing myself to go on my first ever blind date. I asked one of my friends to set me up, and he told me he would. While most people never follow through with set-ups, my friend did! Travis and I got set up exactly two weeks after I had been broken up with by my last boyfriend. I had zero expectations, but just needed to rebound by going out with a new guy. And guess what?! From the moment he showed up at my doorstep and I said, "Oh wow, look at how cute you are!" everything was pretty amazing. We stayed out really late talking for hours, I broke one of my rules I had tried to implement by letting him kiss me on the first date (and it was awesome!!), and I got home thinking I must just be having a really good dream because he was too good to be true. But he wasn't too good to be true! He was the most miraculous answer to my prayers. We got married 11 months later. I think he's the most wonderful man I've ever known. Now that I really know what being in love is like and have experienced it so strongly, I love love so much! I want everyone to experience it. So thanks for sharing your first date story and letting me share mine :)

    1. Oh Lexie! this is the best story! I think there is something about being really relaxed that helps you notice when someone brilliant has come along. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I feel like all these stories are little poems. I feel so lucky!

  2. when randy asked me out the first time, he didn't have a specific plan. he asked if i was free saturday night and told me that he would come up with something to do. thinking i was being helpful, i told him that there was a BYU football game that evening and suggested that we could go to that. he said that would be great.

    before the game, we made ham and pickle sandwiches together and ate them in the dugout of a baseball field behind my apartment complex. after dinner, we walked over to the football stadium. randy kept commenting on the sensory experience of the football game in general, but didn't seem that into the game. i soon learned that he has no interest in sports whatsoever. thankfully, his interest in me had outweighed his disinterest in sports and we started going on dates better suited to our mutual interests.

    1. Debby! My favorite part is where you ate sandwiches together in the dugout of the baseball field by your house. It confirms my belief that real life is so extravagantly better than "reality tv". Some movies get it right. But the bachelor has nothing on that date. Love you!

  3. I flew to Portland for my first date with Brian. We had actually met a month earlier online (nobody knew this, though we just told my family last summer...and now anyone who reads this. Did you know, Em?) and we were crazy about each other. We spent hours and hours (sometimes all night) talking on the phone and knew each other quite well by the time we actually met. After a month of talking, the moment of actually seeing each other for the first time was mixed with crazy excitement and a little nerves. But, I knew that even if he was 400 pounds and bald I would love him. He wasn't though. He was perfect. It was a Sunday and I was supposed to pack church clothes, but somehow forgot, so I ended up wearing my flight attendant uniform to his singles ward. The lady I sat next to thought I was his cousin. We left early from church and he showed me around the Columbia River gorge and his beautiful town (where we now live). We had our first kiss that day at a stop light about a mile away from our home now. Everything about that first date/weekend affirmed what we already knew from hours of talking, and I don't think either of us ever looked back!

    1. Lucy! hahaha! I love that you guys met online. I remember you talking to Brian while you weeded the front yard at the grandma house. I knew you loved him, and it made it so happy to witness. I also loved that you guys were such good friends. Thanks so much for sharing this gorgeous part of the story. I never knew about that first meeting! and your flight attendant uniform!

  4. OMGoodness, Em, he read CS Lewis on love to you on your first date??? I guess I'm glad David didn't do that, or our engagement story would be even shorter.

    Beautiful words--as always!


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