How We Met
Just 1 year prior to our engagement I had returned home from serving an 18-month mission for my church in Perth, Australia. I was kind of out-of-touch with technology and didn’t know what this “Tinder” app was that I kept hearing about. There was this guy that I loved and had been great friends with since 4th grade that I really hoped I would more seriously date (and hopefully marry) once I returned home. Things weren’t really working out as I’d hoped, to say the least. Crushed, and not knowing what to do, I took the advice of many people and tried Tinder to get my mind off things. I hated it! Seemed like I only went out with creepers. So what did I do? Got rid of it.
Fast forward a little bit. School got out for the summer and my family decided to move down closer to where I was at, so I decided to stay put for the summer instead of move back to where I am originally from. Now, the town where I go to university is pretty dead in the summer, so my social life was kinda “bleh”. I kept having a feeling to try Tinder again. “No way!” I thought, and kept pushing it aside. Well, that feeling kept coming back until I finally gave in. I started getting asked out on many dates.
Ty and I were talking for about a month before we actually got to meet in person and go on a date. Our schedules just seemed to clash, and I also left for a few weeks of that month to go on a service trip with Nursing school to the Dominican Republic. Since we had been talking and just getting to know each other for almost a month, I was anxious to meet him!
The day of our first date I nervously waited inside. I kept peeking out the window when I’d hear cars out front. Finally, his truck pulled up and he got out. “Wow! He’s even cuter in person!” I thought as I quickly closed the blinds and moved away from the window so he wouldn’t see me. We enjoyed some Dairy Queen ice cream and a beautiful 6-mile hike through a river for our first date. He was a very polite and respectful person. I really enjoyed myself. I wish I could say that I knew from the very start how I felt about him, but I was still confused….
Ty and I went on a couple more dates, and then he went on a family trip for 2 weeks. I was beginning to like him more and strongly considering dating him. The only problem? I was still in love with the other guy, my best friend, from 4th grade. One weekend I went to visit my grandma and this guy wanted to get together and catch up. (Since things didn’t really work out after I came back from Australia we had not really talked for months). While I was up visiting him, the night before he left on a research trip out of the country, he kissed me. This was something we had not yet shared together. I was thrown for a loop! How could this be happening right now? My heart felt so torn. I was still so in love with him, he just didn’t know what he wanted. Yet, I was falling for Ty….fast. He would be home the next week and we had been talking on the phone every night and we Skyped once or twice, and I was very anxious for him to come back.
I realized I had some choices to make, and I had to make them pronto. Was it worth it to wait around until my childhood friend made up his mind that he, too, wanted me? Or was I going to pursue dating Ty, who had made it pretty clear that he wanted me to be his girlfriend, maybe even more? I just hadn’t felt ready to date him. I wanted to be able to give my all to him and not leave him in heartbreak if I chose the other guy. He deserved that because of how wonderful he is.
Ty really was very patient during this period of confusion for me. He stayed by my side and didn’t give up on me. He hadn’t even held my hand or tried to kiss me or anything. He completely respected me and my feelings. He cared about me so much that he wanted whatever made me happiest. That really meant the world to me! But – he knew what he wanted and he was going to do all he could from losing it. This whole time I would pray to God to ask Him to help me know what to do. I strongly felt that I needed to let go of childhood and the dream to marry my friend, and that I needed to date only Ty. This was something Ty had been waiting to know for a while: if I was going to decide to date him or leave him. I was super excited to let him know I finally knew my answer!
“If you love two people at the same time, choose the second. Because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second.” -Johnny Depp
how they asked
Once I knew I wanted to date Ty, things just progressed really well over the months. We knew it was right for us to be together. Eventually we went ring shopping and I narrowed it down to 3 that I loved. At some point later he went and picked out a ring for me. Even though we knew we wanted to be married, Ty still wanted to keep the proposal a surprise, as most guys do.
During the time we had been dating we had a special spot we liked to go. In that spot is where Ty first told me he loved me (and I said it back!), and where I told him that I wanted to date him and was completely letting go of the other guy for good. Our spot is a beautiful place, sort of a lookout up on a desert mountain overlooking the beautiful red rocks of Southern Utah. When the sun sets, it is breathtaking!
Ty has a good friend, Bubba, who was starting to get into photography and he wanted to practice. So he asked if we could take some “engagement” photos, even though we didn’t have a ring yet and weren’t engaged. He told us to bring a few different outfits and we would go a few different places. Sounded fun to me! Somehow, it didn’t even register that Ty could be behind it all.
We found some beautiful scenic spots and got some photos, then eventually made our way up to our spot. I suggested we go up there (or so I thought), because I wanted to keep some of the photos to possibly use as engagements. We mostly waited until the sun was setting so you couldn’t tell as much that I was ring-less. Bubba kept positioning us and taking photos in different spots. There was a certain place that he and Ty had gone and pre-picked so when Bubba had us go there, Ty would know to pop the question.
It was windy that evening, so there was a time when my hair was blowing in my face. I turned around to try and get it out, and when I turned back, Ty was down on one knee with my ring. Even though I knew we were going to be getting engaged at some point, I was still in shock! There is something about that very moment that is just magical. I love all that it symbolizes. Ty says that I said ‘yes’ after what felt like an eternity! I remember I was taking a minute to take the moment in and just trying to process, but in the end, I did say ‘yes’.
…and ‘yes’ was the best decision I have ever made. I love you, Ty!!!