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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Should He Wait for Her?

Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you for all your work with this blog and the other help you offer.

This is a really long and complicated story so I'll try to keep it as condensed as possible.

I got back from my mission about 5 months ago and I hit the ground running with dating and looking seriously for a wife.

I'm ready to be married and I'm willing to make it my biggest priority.

Anyway, I met a girl (I'll call her Jane in this email) after a few weeks of being back and I like hanging out with her but I wasn't interested in more because I judged women by a checklist of qualities I was looking for and she wasn't ideally compatible.

Also, complication number 1 is that she had a mission call.

I could tell she was really interested though, so I got nervous and accidentally friend zoned her kind of inconsiderately with a DTR.

Anyway, a few weeks later (about 2 months ago) I realized that I liked spending so much time with her that I thought we should just have a relationship because she was leaving anyway and she was really growing on me cause of how loyal and supportive she was to me.

So I took her out and sealed the deal.

I didn't write you until now because I knew you'd say some things I don't agree with (like that this was a mistake) and I didn't want to hear it.

Anyway, we grew closer and more in love and I stopped caring about many of the reservations I'd had about her from my checklist.

I at first was planning to have her in mind but date a lot while she was gone, but it got to the point that I asked her if she would cancel her mission if I asked and she had a hard time saying anything.

You see, she's terrified of losing me and thinks that I'm the best person in the world for her, and she plans on me moving on if she goes.

So to sum up the rest, the day before she was to be set apart I basically asked her if she was going on her mission no matter what.

She had always told me that she wouldn't ask me to wait, but it was really hard for her not to.

At this point, even my biggest reservation--that I found some other girls more physically attractive than her and I wasn't as turned on by her as I thought a husband should be--didn't seem like an issue to me anymore.

(Just to clarify, we kept the physical stuff temple worthy this whole time.)

She knew how bad I wanted to get married now though, and she was deep down concerned that I'd immediately be interested in other girls when she left.

So she told me how much she loved me and that she still will in 18 months and asked if I would agree that I'd be the same way if I really meant it.

I couldn't say anything to this for about 10 minutes cause I just don't see it that way exactly and I couldn't make her any promises.

She made it easier by saying that she doesn't think less of me for not being at that point yet, but she had to make sure that if we get married I really love her enough to be there in 18 months.

This was colossally emotional for me because I really do love her and it's a fair enough expectation, but I didn't think I'd honestly make it 18 months and I was super attached to her.

We agreed that we'd just be friends while she was gone.

A week ago she dropped me off at the bus right before she went to get set apart and we were both in tears and shocked by what was about to happen.

Then she went and became a missionary and I bawled for the next 3 days.

(I've never cried until I met her.)

The interesting thing is that the feelings I had right at that moment when we said goodbye will not allow me to have any desire to date other girls in the near future as I had planned.

At first I was just sad but then I started getting so, so confused and uncertain about everything; if I really would be there in 18 months, if she was really right for me, why I didn't miss her very much at some times of day, and it went on and on.

The uncertainty mixed with pure grief put me in massive emotional pain because of all the questions in my mind as I was seeing the next 18 months irrationally though a lens of my feelings at the time.

I've since pulled myself together and refused to let this drag my life down at all.

I've started gradually settling on waiting for her, which is my plan at the moment.

The thing is, I know that if I wanted to date around then I'd get a girlfriend before long and if I did that then she'd be a potential wife and I'd be married before long and I'd feel like my relationship with Jane really was lost and not just a temporary separation and the sadness of her leaving was felt in vain ESPECIALLY because I know how hard it would be for her if I were to move on, and I want to be her for her in 18 months so she'll be happy.

Anyway, I guess my questions at this point are:

How can I take advantage of being single and make the most of these 18 months in ways that I wouldn't have been able to if she had stayed?

What are the blessings and advantages that you perceive to this situation?

(I'm just trying to be positive and continue to progress in life.)

How can I get passionate about something other than finding a wife so that I can focus on and care about something productive in the meantime?

For now I'm going to basic training for 5 1/2 months with the army and then continuing school and officer training so that'll help, but I have really nothing else that brings me much satisfaction like looking for a wife and dating Jane did.

It was like a fire of desire in my chest that just made me want a wife so bad that I just had to stay moving always and make it happen.

I'm going to make the absolute best of this time and support her as much as I can.

Thank you so much,

- A Solitary Soldier

Dear Solitary,

I typically don't advise waiting for someone while they're serving.  But even if you test the waters by dating while she's gone . . . that doesn't mean that you'll find another "love of your life", get engaged and get married in the next year and a half . . . especially if you've got training during that time.

1. Focusing on your education, testimony, service, and your career; work and study impossibly long hours; that's what you wouldn't be able to do if she was still around.

2. The blessing is that, if you work hard enough, you'll be an even better man when she comes back than you were when she left.

3. See #1 & #2.

If it's meant to be, it will happen.

One thing to consider:  if you're as in-love with her as you think you are, you wouldn't be so convinced that you'll so easily replace her the moment she's gone.

On some level it does sound more like you're afraid of losing her than that she's the woman you're in love with.  Almost like you've talked yourself into it . . . which is too bad, because despite your initial indecision and superficiality, she really does sound like she's a Great Girl . . .

But let's see how you feel in three months.

One thing that may reassure you:  if you're not available, I'm sure a Great Girl like this one will have no trouble finding someone else when she comes home . . .

- Bro Jo

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