Hopefully you all read Tayler’s account before mine. I will have you know that my account is the most ‘accurate’ depiction of our romantic journey.
I first met Tayler at our apartment complex. She was passing by the hallway to drop something off to someone. My first initial thoughts were along the lines of, “Pretty girl, red hair, volleyball shirt”. I felt bold and decided to ask across the hall “Hey, is that just a shirt, or do you actually play volleyball?”, to which she responded, “I played in high school” and left. *This is very similar to Tayler’s account, however, I had to remind her that this interaction took place. A while ago she asked me what my first impression of her was, I told her this story, and she had no recollection that it even happened.* But alas, I digress.
My second encounter with the red-haired beauty was at our ward’s opening social. Just a large get-together with the people in our apartment complex. There was food (1 reason why I came), sports and games (another reason why I came), and a likely chance of pretty girls (probably the biggest reason why I came.) I had seen her across the field a couple of times, but never made an attempt to get her attention. I figured she wouldn’t remember me, and based on her reaction to my previous attempt at a conversation, she likely wasn’t interested or already had a boyfriend. Regardless, I noticed her. My roommates and I were looking to recruit some females to play for our Co-ed Intramural Kickball team. We were very competitive, and were scouting for athletic women to invite to play. During the scouting process, I began to play volleyball, my favorite sport. I noticed the red-haired beauty come and play. *Contrary to Tayler’s account, I recall we were on different teams, not the same team. This allowed me to get a better look at her and to try to impress her with my volleyball skills.* Following the social, my roommates asked her and her roommate Danielle to join our kickball team and they accepted. I was excited to have her on the team, plus, it allowed me access to her house to “talk about kickball business”, and I took full advantage of this.
I would go over to her house and discuss with her kickball information, they would host group movie nights to which my roommates and I would join in on, we even joined together and started a dinner group (which my roommates accused me of coming up with for the sole purpose of spending more time with Tayler….guilty). One time while I was over, she and her roommates started chatting a bunch about who knows what, and eventually the conversation lead to talking about relationships. Tayler was very adamant about not having one. She had had too many bad experiences and was no going to even think about dating until after she graduated. My heart sank, here I was getting to know this physically and personalty-wise attractive woman, and she wasn’t going to go any further than friends. Somehow, I didn’t believe it. There was something about her that made me believe that she didn’t really believe that. So I tried to call her out on it.
Tayler: I’m through with boys, if one comes my way, I’ll just ignore his advanced and focus on finishing my degree.
Justin: So, your telling me that if some Knight in Shining Armor comes to your door and whisks you off your feet, you’ll just ask him to put you down and close the door?
Tayler: Justin, are you trying to imply something?
Her roommates roared with laughter. She caught me. *For a moment, I hadn’t a witty comeback, until one came. Tayler cleverly omitted this from her account*
Justin: That depends Tayler, do you want me to imply something?
She blushed. Roommates laughed again. Caught her. She was in denial. But I was in a standstill. Aside from Tayler, there was another girl that I really liked, and now I had to figure out what to do.
The decision would have been easy if Tayler had just cooperated with her feelings. Instead, on the various walks and every date we went on, she kept bringing up how she didn’t want a relationship. Initially, I thought ‘Then why even go on a date with me?’ but i had to remember she wasnt being entirely truthful with herself. However, the more she resisted, the more I thought about this other girl. I didn’t feel the same way about her as I did Tayler though. Man was I confused. Finally, I issued myself an Ultimatum. I was going to go hang out with this other girl, and depending on how she treated me, I would finally figure out what to do. In the next interaction with the other girl, she really didn’t pay me much attention, and that was that. Time to win over Tayler.
After hanging about a bunch, I invited her over to watch some funny youtube videos. Roommates were gone, and it was just the two of us on the couch, watchin’ videos on my laptop. We were sitting pretty close. The entire night my mind argued with itself about what to do. Finally, after about an hour and a half of slowly inching to wards to her, I held it. Within the next 10 seconds, my roomates busted open the door, I dropped her hand, and felt scared for my life. I can’t go back now. She can’t just be a friend on my kickball team that I hang out with anymore. I walked her home, again holding her hand. I asked her if I was going too fast, or if we should be doing this at all (especially with her whole no relationship thing. I was kind of destroying that idea). She said she was fine with it. The next day we watched General Conference together. As the day progressed, we grew closer together. One of the talks (cant remember who) but it focused on faith, and how we should have faith in our actions and not be afraid to do what we feel we should. The only way it could have been more obvious is if the speaker announced over the pulpit that Justin Morrell should stop thinking and date Tayler Christiansen. My arm went around her shoulders, she leaned into me, and it was all over. We when left, I asked her what she thought about us dating. She asked me the same thing. I told her I would like to date her. *Her response was something along the lines of “Its about time, I’ve been waiting for a few weeks”.*
I had never felt about a girl the same way I felt about Tayler. I didn’t get bored with her around. She was very independent, very well grounded, realistic, and the list goes on. However, now the war in my head continued. Do I marry this girl?
I could tell it was on her mind when she asked me to come home with her to meet her family over Christmas break. I agreed to go, but I was scared. I was seriously thinking about marrying this girl. I loved her (*btw, it took her almost a month to say it back*), I loved her family, and they seemed to like me. The members of my family that she had met liked her. I started thinking about my future plans and planning them with her around. What was I doing? I was so confused. I loved her and wanted to be with her, but I didn’t want to make that step in my life just yet. Now I was the one in denial.
It took me a good 3 months of conversations with roommates, friends, family, her, her family, and myself to figure out anything. I wanted her to meet my family before I did anything, but as plans unraveling, it seemed that God and life had a different plan for me.
I went and bought the ring we had looked it months prior, set up the proposal, and dove right in.
And this, ladies and gentleman, is my side of the story.