It wasn’t love at first sight.
Or the second. Or the third.
After maybe the twentieth time we hung out together (and 3.5 years later), Mr. Wonderful took an interest in me because I pretended to smoke a french fry at a group dinner with mutual friends (classy, I know).
By the time we went on our first “date,” I still wasn’t interested in him. To be fair, I thought we were going on a date as “friends.” If I had known better I would have declined altogether instead of leading the poor guy on.
But he persisted. And even though I was not attracted to him, I eventually decided to give the potential relationship a try. I let my brain win over my hormones. He was a good guy. My last boyfriend treated me badly. Why not?
This is where most people whom I have told this story to get confused. You mean you dated and then eventually married someone you didn’t feel any initial chemistry with? How does that work?
It works because I felt comfortable with him.
For some people, feeling comfortable means boring. They want sparks, they want fireworks. They expect butterflies in their stomach as they look deeply into the other person’s eyes. One friend told me how she had met this guy, and was sure he was “the one,” because she literally felt electricity when they first held hands.
They broke up a few months later.
In my teens and early 20s, I looked for those things too. I only dated men that I thought were attractive, or at least ones that other women thought were attractive. I compromised myself in ways I now wish I hadn’t. The worldly motto is to live a life without regrets, but I do have a few. I made mistakes, because too often I chose a book by its cover.
With Mr. Wonderful, I found someone with whom I could be myself. I never had to worry about putting on makeup, because even though he complimented me when I did, he also liked it when I didn’t and told me so. He was the first man in my life who thought my artistic endeavors were admirable and not a waste of time. I never had to pretend to be someone I wasn’t, or hide parts of my life that I was embarrassed about. I was encouraged to speak my mind, and to stand up for my opinions even if I was the only one who held that opinion.
With him, I was free to just be me.
The attraction did come later. Some days I get heart flutters when I find him smiling at me (like now). And some days we just watch Netflix at home on a Friday night. There are even days we don’t have much to talk about, and that’s ok. Because to have someone who loves me as wholly me is a precious gift, and I would be an idiot to throw that away.
When Mr. Wonderful proposed, I knew I was given the choice to continue searching for my idealistic dream man, or to marry my best friend.
I chose the latter.
Love this!! Thank you Mr. Wonderful for letting this be shared! I love stories like this because you know that it is a relationship that had God at the heart and center, and not the world’s ideals. Love you both!!
I loved this. Beautiful story, beautifully written. My parents are also best friends, and I agree that it’s what, at the end of the day, ends all arguments and makes a marriage last. Hope you’re doing well, Jen!
Megan @ Lush to Blush says
Beautiful post! I appreciate you sharing your experience and I love reading other people’s love stories. I’m kind of the opposite of you. I always went for nice guys that I thought were very sweet and would treat me right. Somewhere along the way, I lost the belief that I needed passion and fireworks in a relationship. I guess I equated that spark to dumb hot assholes. I always thought it had to be one or the other. That is, until I met Johnny. I experienced that electricity your friend felt and the heart flutters you mentioned from the first moment I met him. Never have I been so fulfilled in a relationship, nor did I know this kind of love was possible. Finding that special someone is different for everyone and I’m glad you found yours!
xo Megan, Lush to Blush
That IS kind of opposite! Thank YOU for sharing your story, and I’m glad Johnny proved you wrong. I certainly don’t want to dissuade people from dating those they find attractive, but to encourage others who think they might have found a really great person and yet don’t feel the chemistry in the beginning. In my case, I would have missed out on marrying my husband!
You know…from these few pictures of your hubby and you….I think your hubby is way good-looking compared to some guys (like the ones in my dating world right now, haha!) Anyway, glad to know relationships can work when it’s based on something much better than physical desire! Loving you for YOU is the best!
Aww thank you Olyvia! Wishing you the best in the dating world…may you find someone who loves and treasures you!
You two look really happy together! I can say I’ve definitely experienced the same – I’m rarely initially attracted to the guys I date, but as I get to know them, I find myself starting to get those flutters. I like it this way. It saves me the time of having to put on my best self, and then wondering what he’s going to think when he finds out I can be super nerdy, or what he’ll think when I’m not in makeup etc. You just get to be yourself, if that makes sense.
Totally makes sense to me! Finding someone who will truly and completely accept you is key.
Thanks for sharing Jen. A good reminder for me with my hubby too. Thankful for my best friend too. Relationships are not easy, but they are worth it ( including non-romantic friendships too!).
Thank you for sharing your story. Recently, an auntie of mine told me wise words about not always giving the attractive guys a chance. Looks really aren’t all that valuable. I replied in pure honesty, “but auntie, the cute ones are so much easier to initiate with!”. This article of yours really fleshed out the logic and a story of success behind the sage advice previously given. Thank you!
aw. this is such a sweet post, and i understand where you are coming from
Trendy On A Budget says
this is the sweetest post !!!
I know everyone else said this but that was so so so so so beautiful and it made me realize some stuff like a few months ago in my youth group the teacher was talking about marriage and how God gives you who is right for you and not always someone handsome and rich and this story really prooves that.
Sarah Jenik says
I just LOVE this post and it is so true! If only more people understand what you know!
Jen Weaver says
Such a sweet love story. Kudos to you for choosing to let love grow even though it didn’t have the initial “sparks.” I’m so happy for you and your Mr. Wonderful.
Angela G says
This is beautiful, there should be more people in the world who think like you do. Im going through a sim alarm situation with a wonderful guy who is patiently persuing me but I’m just not physically attracted to him! I feel like an awful person because he is an amazing guy and basically exhibits all of the qualities I have been wanting in a husband but I just am not attracted to him. I keep thinking maybe my mcdreamy is out there… I feel selfish and confused. So thank you for this post it is quite inspiring. Especially how you state that you chose your best friend over your “idealistic dream man”. Does your husband know that you weren’t attracted to him?
There is no doubt physical attraction is part of human nature! But physical beauty will fade for most of us…and then you are left with character. I believe if this man you speak of is truly amazing, you will learn to value that over anything else. But if something in you is saying that this just isn’t the right guy, then you do need to listen to that. And yes, my husband approves all my posts before it goes public. The issue of attraction was something I was upfront with him about from the start, but of course now he knows I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else! Thank you for sharing, and best of luck to you.
Hello. I love your story, it gives me hope. My bestfriend has been waiting for years to marry me and I love him but I’m not in love with him. I’m not attracted to him at all, he’s not a bad looking guy. He’s good on paper and the checklist, however the thought of sleeping with him grosses me out. It could potentially be because I feel so close to him and looked at him more like a brother. I’m so confused, I feel like if I don’t marry him this year he will go and get an arranged marriage. I’m in my early 30s and now want to settle down and gave a family. The reason I’m considering his proposal is because I know I’ll regret it if he marries someone else.
That’s kinda how I feel now that I’m 39. My best friend was 13 years older and wanted to get married, but I didn’t even want to kiss him. It just sucks because now I don’t know if I will ever find anyone I get along with as well who I actually am attracted to. It seems like I am only attracted to those guys who are so good looking that their choices are endless…and of course I’m not one of them. I have yet to find anyone attractive who has been interested in me. I just want my best friend back, but he has needs I have no desire to fill outside of maybe trying for one kid. Sad…I know.
thank you for this post.
I’ve been struggling with this for quite some time and I’ve been thinking about breaking up with my boyfriend of 2 years. I still don’t feel that chemistry, but I am very comfortable with him and he loves me so much. I don’t know if i should give that up for… who knows.
I’m just happy to see that someone who felt something like me had a happy ending. cheers!
Thank you for sharing! I’m married to a man who was first my friend, and when we reconnected I was drawn to him physically. I hope that as your love for him grows, you also find him irresistibly sexy, as I do my husband.
James Bell says
This is just a beautiful story! Writing from a man’s perspective…and one victim to the opposite situation…this is a hopeful and uplifting romance. My ex-wife and I were together 4 years, married two, and she left me because she claimed that never had been attracted to me. I was shocked and confused at first…because i think i am not unattractive (no russel crow or anything, but good enough!). We were very close friends and our relationship was (i thought at least) once passionate. But she had little experience with men and was scared to tell me the truth. I am the typical “nice guy” and have had more rejection in my life than I wish to recount…so it’s good to see not all of us finish last! Thank you, truly. Good to know there are wonderful women out there.