Now we were officially a couple! I still couldn’t believe that I had a boyfriend! It was the first time either of us was in a romantic relationship and we were really excited.
Most of our following Skype calls were spent “interviewing” each other. We both wanted to be intentional about what we talked about and use the time to figure out whether it was God’s will for us to take the next step in our relationship.
The funny thing, we even started hypothetically talking about getting engaged once we met, before we even met in real life!
Looking back that just sounds absurd. But we were actually talking about engagement and getting married in like the first month of us being a couple.
But we didn’t rush things either. We just talked about the possibility and asked one another a lot of questions. We talked about things like the number of kids we each wanted, where to live, whether I would work full-time or stay at home with the kids, what career or vacation goals or dreams each of us had, how we wanted to serve God.
We then tried to analyze each other’s answers to see if we were both wanting the same things and whether we could work as a family if we got married, if it was indeed God’s will.
Reflecting back, it was really great we talked about all those things as we were able to agree on crucial things beforehand and avoid conflict.
Some may find it unromantic to talk and agree on things beforehand. Some may say that if you love each other, then you will just figure it out. But I get more and more convinced that it’s way better to over-communicate in a relationship than not communicate enough.
And I think that hyper communication before marriage (each Skype call was like 3 to 4 hours of us talking) is what really helped us to determine whether it was God’s will for us to marry and avoid a lot of the conflict down the road.
One thing I wish we communicated more about was our churches. We did tell the other what church we went to. And we did determine that it was the same type of church.
But we didn’t talk about the style that each of our churches had in terms of music and preaching. Sure, style may not be as important as the doctrinal statement of the church, but it still can create conflict of preferences in marriage.
My church was modern, his – more traditional. My church had contemporary Christian music, his – traditional Christian hymns and songs. My church had topical preaching, his was expositional.
Now we did make it work for both of us, but it would have saved a lot of conflict or even just the element of surprise to have talked more about it during dating.
Now, back to where we were. James and I just got into a relationship (officially) and we were planning our first meeting in person.
James proposed I fly to the US to meet him. But my dad had reservations about letting me go by myself to the other side of the world to meet a guy I met online that may not even exist in real life. I could understand where my dad was coming from.
So instead, James proposed he fly over to Germany first. My dad agreed to that plan, but under the condition that James would stay at a hotel and not with me. At the time, I lived together with an older German couple and there was room in the house to host James. But just in case, my dad really wanted that James stayed at a different place.
So we agreed to the plan and James booked a ticket to come meet me in Berlin! Yay!
We both were really excited!