Last June, I went on my first date with Danny. I was a different person then. I was fickle, picky, and flaky when it came to guys. I had gotten so used to wrinkling my nose at hopeful suitors that it became second nature. I became emotionally cold to any guy who liked me that didn’t fit the bill of my perfect man.
I wasn’t immediately in love with Danny. I thought he was cute, but I wasn’t gaga for him by any means. It was obvious that he liked me, though, and I gave it a chance.
I had no idea that I was going to fall more deeply in love with him than I’d ever felt before about any other living being. Within months, he became my everything. As I shared my life with him and his life with mine, we grew closer.
I went to Arizona with him for Christmas, and I grew to love Danny even more as I fell in love with his family. The “M” word began to be mentioned. He actually admitted that he wanted to marry me as soon as possible. He would be moving to Oregon in September, and I committed to moving there with him as his wife. Even though I was initially unsure, I was ecstatic.
But there was something in our way that we couldn’t surmount, and that is that horrible thing called doubt. Doubt crept into our relationship in January. As we both seriously prayed to our Heavenly Father about whether it was right, problems started to surface.
The ear-to-ear grin that Danny got every time he saw me suddenly was replaced by a somewhat-forced smile. I noticed, but I refused to attribute that to our own relationship, instead thinking that he must have had a hard day. As I tried to pray about it, I was just feeling… nothing. I felt like I wasn’t getting any sort of answer.
Suddenly the word doubt began to emerge in some of his conversations with me. “I have doubts about whether this will work out…” He was worried that his busy schedule as a masters student wasn’t allowing enough time to truly make me happy. I would always try to ease those doubts, telling him that I was fine and that any problems we had could be worked out. But none of my encouragement seemed to help. I could see the uneasiness on his face between moments of happiness.
I was feeling apprehensive, too, but I am a professional at burying any unwanted feelings. I wanted it to work out. I wanted to move to Oregon with him. I wanted to spend forever with this wonderful man. It was a mind-over-matter situation.
As I shared with him my desire to be married one night, all I got for a response was that he wasn’t feeling good enough about it. I cried all night.
The next week, I was feeling like I needed some serious answers. As I was preparing for a Sunday School lesson, I watched a video about personal revelation. It explained that if you ask in faith, you’ll know exactly what you were supposed to do. Suddenly, I knew I needed to pray seriously about this.
I got down on my knees and told my Heavenly Father that I wanted to marry Danny. I asked to know whether it was right. But I got a very peculiar feeling. It was a feeling of unease.
I rephrased my question. I asked Heavenly Father if I should break up with him. I suddenly felt a calmness, as an assurance that I was going to be okay. Heavenly Father loves me and he wanted me to happy.
I felt like I had gotten my answer. It wasn’t right. Tears started to stream down my face. I began to justify what I had felt–maybe it was because Danny didn’t want to marry me right now. Maybe it was a timing thing, and in a few weeks, my answer would be a resounding yes. I hesitated on breaking it off with Danny, because I didn’t know the why. In my mind, it was still going to work, and I was going to ensure that.
But the unease I felt only continued. Things started to get a little weird. When people asked me about Oregon, I would get a knot in my stomach. I felt rushed to get married. I had a hard time even picturing us engaged anymore. But the relationship continued, and we did the same things we always did.
Then yesterday happened. My cousin became engaged and their date was set in September–a month after Danny and I had set our tentative wedding date in August. I went over to his apartment and explained how this was making me feel antsy about getting engaged, too.
He had a look on his face–a look I will never forget. It was devastating. He looked as though he was going to cry.
“We need to go somewhere alone to pray about whether we should get married.”
I knew at that moment what was about to happen. This was the end. I already knew the answer to the question, because I had felt it before, and I felt it as soon as he had said that.
It was the most awkward car ride in the world as we drove on campus to an empty classroom to pray. Neither of us was saying anything, and there was an air of mourning in the car. He still had that harrowing expression, but this time with a blank stare. I felt a million miles away from him.
When we got to the empty classroom, we sat down on the floor. I felt tears coming.
“I need to admit something to you,” he said quietly. “The other day, when I prayed about whether we were right for each other… I felt like we weren’t. But,” he added, “I felt like we were going to be okay.”
I lost it at that point. I finally admitted what I had been feeling when I prayed. “I felt the exact same way.”
There was nothing more to be said at that point–we both knew it was the end. We cried in each other’s arms for several hours, mourning the loss of an amazing relationship.
As we said our goodbyes, we told each other we still loved each other. Nothing was going to change that. We assured each other that this wasn’t then end of our friendship, only the relationship. But the pain was still terrible. We ended it with a kiss.
I don’t know why the Lord didn’t feel like we were compatible. It is a reality that hurts me to my innermost core when I think about it. I don’t know why the Lord works in the way that he does. But I am reminded of the promise that we both had–that we will be okay. This was the hardest experience of my life thus far, but I know that somewhere down the road the pain will go away. The feeling of wanting to curl up and die will one day ebb, and I can be happy again. I am going to need to learn how to live without him, and that will be the hardest part. But somewhere, down the line, I will find my happiness again.