This post is a part of an ongoing series. To read the rest of the series, click here to check out the list on my about page.
So. It was the summer of 2010. I was in the middle of a season of working through some things with my therapist, I had just gotten back from a trip to Europe, and my roommate, Karissa, told me about a guy she’d been matched with on eHarmony that seemed totally normal and fun.
His name? Travis Austin.
I was so excited for her! She and I had spent a lot of time together talking about dating throughout the previous few years, and it was fun to see her get matched with someone that she was enjoying getting to know. As they began to email, they realized they had some mutual friends. Karissa went to church with a few people that had known Travis in high school and from EV Free Fullerton -Tim and Alli, Anna, and Kristin. It was nice to have some context for this random guy she’d met on the internet. They emailed back and forth a few times with what felt like weeks between each one, and in my ever so humble opinion, I thought they needed to speed things up a bit.
I probably said something super sensitive to Karissa like, “We’re not getting any younger here, people! Let’s get this show on the road!”
So, with Karissa’s permission of course, I contacted Alli to see if she’d be up for having a little party at her house so that Trav and Karissa could meet. She was all for it. The particulars are a little fuzzy to me now, but somehow it ended up that it was me, Alli, Tim, Karissa, and Trav getting together for dinner. I think a few other people were invited but were unable to come. I remember totally feeling like a fifth wheel as Karissa and I drove to dinner that evening, but I decided to just try to enjoy myself.
I can’t quite picture the exact moment that I met Trav, but I know it was in Alli and Tim’s living room. And I do remember that from the moment I met him, I liked him.
We all sat down and started chatting, and I remember feeling like I really liked this guy. Like a lot. And I was so confused by that because I had just met him. Normally I was a slow mover when it came to deciding I liked a guy. But not this time. I felt drawn to him, and I really wanted to get to know him. But he was there to meet my friend! My really dear friend! What was I supposed to do? I opted for my previous plan of just enjoying the evening, and that seemed to work, especially since Alli and Tim are incredible hosts. We all had a really nice time together.
Trav called Karissa the next day, asked her out, and took her to lunch a few days later. I had successfully helped set up my future husband with one of my best friends. High five to me.
But (spoiler alert!), they didn’t end up together. Their first date was fine, but didn’t lead to a second date. Meanwhile, I had spent the better part of a week acting totally chill and calm (yeah, right) and doing lots of Facebook
stalking research to see what this Travis guy was all about. Oh, how glad I am that I have no recordings of my prayers from that week, because wow. I was a hot mess. I couldn’t stop thinking about Trav, but he was going out with my friend! It all felt so full-o-drama and unlike me.
I decided to talk to Karissa about how I felt, because at that point, her friendship was way more important to me than some early-stage crush I had on a guy I’d hung out with once. Guess what she said when I brought it up? “You want to like him? Go ahead and like him!” with a huge smile on her face. Because she’s awesome and incredibly gracious like that. Now, it turns out that we found ourselves in a “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” situation, because that same September that we met Travis, I invited Karissa to come with me on a wake boarding trip with a high school friend of mine named Carolyn. And Carolyn brought a couple of her friends from college. One of those friends was named Doug. He asked Karissa out soon after the trip, and by the end of the following summer, they were married. Yay!
This part of the story reminds me of some things Amy (dating coach) said to me early on when I was working on meeting new guys. She kept telling me to just chill out and go out with any new guys I met (i.e. I didn’t need to determine if I was going to marry a guy before saying yes to a date) because first off, it was good practice. And secondly, even if I didn’t end up wanting to go out with the guy again, maybe I could introduce him to one of my friends. That felt like a weird suggestion at first, but then I figured out that it makes sense and works if you’re keeping it low key and more casual as you meet and go out with guys in that early stage of dating. And Karissa had been doing just that. She’d been doing some practicing of her own, and I will forever be thankful for how God was teaching her to take risks in her dating life. Because the risks she took and the growth she experienced were the means through which God introduced me to a guy that I still to this day have not been able to get off of my mind. And I think that is just the loveliest.
I thought I might see Travis at an event that October hosted by one of our mutual friends- the annual YouTube Oscars. I drove to the event feeling excited because Trav might be there, and another friend was bringing a guy she wanted me to meet. Two options! What a night! And then neither of them showed up. Ugh. Sometimes guys are lame. I know girls are sometimes lame, too, but that is not applicable to this situation. Anyhow, I cried on the drive home. Dating is way fun like that. One minute your hopes are up, and the next minute they’re down. It’s exhausting really. Which is why I took an intentional break from dating for the next few weeks. Not an “I give up” break. Just a little time where I put dating on the back burner, including the interest and feelings I had for that Travis guy.
It was a good thing that I gave myself some time to rest, because as it turned out, I needed to gear up for some major risk and change in the new year (2011) that involved Travis Austin moving from the back burner to very much front and center in my life.
(Oh, snap! The good stuff’s a-comin’…)
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