How I Met My Husband

Happy Wednesday, which also means happy He Said/She Said day. Today is the day we diverge from our usual broadcasting to talk about men and women.

In my time writing here on Modern Reject, one thing that people thank me for more than almost anything else is for talking so openly about my marriage. And more than that, people always thank me for painting a picture of a healthy, fun, rockin’, Christ-centered marriage.

I mean, occasionally I have someone tell me to quit bragging and sounding so prideful because, hey, not every marriage is awesome and I’m just pouring salt on others’ wounds. For this, I apologize, if this is the case. I never want to sound prideful, but truth be told, I am proud of my marriage.

I chose wisely and God hooked me up with an amazing man. Today, I thought I’d share the story of how I actually met my husband. Now, I know some might not be interested, but I also know that others will. I’m sharing this because I love to hear people’s love stories. They inspire me, encourage me, and bring a smile to my face.

I hope the story of how I met my husband does the same. I hope it inspires people to look for love and seek marriage. Why? Because a good–heck–amazing marriage is possible. Jonathan and I are proof.

Here’s our story…

Our Eyes Met

I was invited to a college church group by a guy I had recently met. His name was Matt (his name has been changed to protect everyone). I agreed to come along, as I was in search of a new church at the time. I walked into the college group room filled with about 100 people.

There, across the room, I saw Jonathan and our eyes met. Uh. No. That so did not happen. This isn’t the movies. Come on…

Instead, Matt introduced me to Jonathan, who happened to be one of his closest friends. Jonathan was vivacious, outgoing, a little annoyingly loud, and super high-energy. I thought he was a little weird. Fun, funny, and cool…but weird.

Soon after meeting Jonathan, he told me about how much he loved his girlfriend and how he couldn’t wait to marry her. He had a plan and he was going to propose to her in one year. I remember being impressed by how genuinely enamored of her he was–how fully devoted.

Friends First

Before I knew it, Matt and I were dating. He was a great guy, in love with Jesus. We had a fun and light-hearted relationship. And wouldn’t you know, I found myself spending lots of time with Jonathan, too. The two guys were great friends, after all.

Matt and I, along with Jonathan and his girlfriend, even took a trip to Disneyland.

Jonathan also became my home group leader, where we met with about 20 other college students, to share our faith, edify one another, pray, and hang out. During that time, I was able to observe more of Jonathan’s character and heart for God. I grew to admire and respect him greatly.

And I’ll be completely honest, I never had a single thought about him as “more than a friend.” That is, until…

The Break-Ups

Jonathan and his girlfriend broke up. Months later, Matt and I broke up. Still, no obvious lovey-dovey feelings on my part (I can’t speak for Jonathan because, to be honest, I think he was jonesin’ for me). Anyhoo…

I had to move out of my apartment and recruited a few guys from college group to help me. Jonathan came to help, of course. He was my friend and home group leader, after all. But that day, something was different.

He seemed flirty. But could it be? Was he flirting with me or just being reaalllllly friendly? I wasn’t sure and it was freaking me out. I tried to not act all weird around him during the move. Later that night, he showed up at my new apartment with a housewarming gift. Then I really started to wig out.

The next day was college group, which Jonathan helped run. Each week they would show funny Jackass style videos starring our own college guys. There, up on the screen, I saw Jonathan’s face and I think I actually said out loud, “Oh, crap, I have a crush on Jon Cottrell.”

I felt sick to my stomach. Confused. Nervous. I thought for sure that if he looked at me, he would know. So, I did what any normal person would do: I avoided him.

Except that we couldn’t really avoid one another. That same night, our group hit up our usual restaurant for late night grubbing. Jonathan and I chatted like normal, but as I was leaving, he invited me and a friend over to his house.

I was slowly starting to see what was happening. And so, I went to his house, hung out for a bit, and headed home. Later, I realized I had left something at his house. I texted him, asking him to find my lost item (which was a cool candy gadget thing I had just bought). Thus began a barrage of flirtatious text messages.

The next morning he texted me telling me he had sent me an email. I was sure the email was going to say, “Nicole, you’re a nice girl and all, but you’re Matt’s ex-girlfriend. I can’t date you. Have a nice life.”

Little Did I Know…

But that is not what his email said. I’ll spare you the cheesy details (unless you ask me in the comments), but he basically told me he thought I was awesome and he wanted to date me. Pretty much the opposite of what I had suspected.

And little did I know, that Jonathan had already talked with Matt and told him that he had feelings for me. He had asked Matt, as a brother in Christ, for permission to pursue me. Matt was a solid brother and agreed.

Despite Jonathan’s Godly and mature move of talking with Matt first, we still hurt his feelings once we began dating. Jonathan’s ex-girlfriend also felt hurt (although truth be told, she had no reason to feel that way if you ask me).

Still, we faced some scandalous talk in our college group. There were whispers and rumors. But those whispers and rumors became quite a bit louder when only 6 short weeks later…

He asked

That’s right. We were engaged after 6 weeks (which is another story in and of itself). People disapproved, even Jon’s dad. He cautioned us to postpone engagement. We didn’t, but we did pray and feel with complete certainty that the Lord wanted us to make it a longer engagement.

And once again, little did I know just how awesome of a marriage God had in store for us. From strangers, to friends, brother and sister in Christ, to dating, engaged, married, and 3 children. Sheesh…

We still look over at each other sometimes and tell each other how we can’t believe that we got married.  That Jon chose me and that I chose him. And really that God chose us for each other.

So tell me your love story? If you’re married, how did you meet? If you’re not married, do you hope to be someday?

36 thoughts on “How I Met My Husband”

  1. He showed up at the dinner table at college one evening (I think another girl had roped him in…our dinner table was fairly open). A few weeks later he accompanied mom and I to the farm when the doctors sent me home to die surrounded by my family. He was to be mom’s muscle if anything happened on the trip and to accompany me back if the doctors were wrong and I lived longer than a week. Already on that trip Mom said we’d be a good match and should date. I told her she was ridiculous.
    A year later we all (the entire table) rallied around him as his best friend, and a dear friend of all of ours died prematurely from lupus.
    He began to date one of my best friends and whatever college girl crush I had on him was pushed aside in pursuit of their happiness. Eventually they broke up and I still didn’t consider him dating material.
    A year later (3 years after the initial trip to the farm), we started talking seriously online. By this time we were living in different states, going to different schools. We started a long distance relationship. Almost 3 months later I took the last week of my Christmas break to go visit him. Towards the end of the week he was down on one knee with my great grandmother’s engagement ring in his hand.
    We’ll be getting married in August, Lord willing.

  2. First, great story! John made the successful jump from the “friend zone” which almost never happens! Second, as far as six weeks goes… it was exactly as long as it was supposed to be. I remember him back in the old days. I used to go to his house for church meetings and we’d play Smash Bros. until my thumbs bled.

    1. Joey,
      Oh yeah, you know old school crazy Jonathan. He’s still crazy, but a wife and kids have tamed him a smidge. As far as him being able to make it out of the dreaded friend zone, it’s funny because he was the only person I dated who was a friend first. I think that’s what I needed and God knew that. I made my decision with eyes fully open. I knew exactly who he was…and I scored.

  3. How many months from engagement day to wedding day? (Just curious.)

    That’s a great story. Martin’s and mine is sort of similar, in that we spent a lot of time with mutual friends, and even went on a double date with others — I mean, he was with someone other than me. He’s 6.5 yrs older than me, and since I first met him when I was in high school, I really didn’t ever consider HIM as a marriage prospect. But I did think, “When I get married someday, I’d like it to be someone just like him.” Hahaha! About five years later, it *was* someone remarkably like him… :)

    And, similarly, even though it was longer than six weeks, my mom thought it was too fast, and I was too young. I was 21, which in retrospect seems AWFULLY young. But, it worked!!

    1. Karen,
      21 is so young! I originally wanted to be married at 21 and I don’t say this to be meladramatic, but if I had been married then I would have divorced I think. The amount of change God did in me from 20-25 was tremendous. I was 25 when Jon and I married.

      I love your and Martin’s story. I’ve heard him tell a version of it too. He thought you were so beautiful and interesting, but so young when he first met you. So funny.

      As for our engagement to wedding day it was 9 months, which still isn’t terrible long, but considering we were wanting a 5 month engagement… Jon says he believes one of the reasons we have a great marriage is because we obeyed the Lord by having a 9 month engagement. We both heard the month so clearly. Weird to think if things would have been tougher for us if we hadn’t waited those extra 4 months (which we needed by the way).

  4. Love this! My husband (of 19 years!) and I started in the ‘friend zone’ too…. suddenly it all changed! Neither of us can really identify why (though the fact that he’d seen me in a swimsuit for the first time a few days earlier is a bit suspicious!!!) but things definitely changed! He recalls praying that God would tell him if I was ‘the one’ early on in our relationship (having been burned once or twice!) and God replying ‘No – not telling! Test it out like everyone else has to!’

    We got engaged on my 19th birthday and married just under a year later (yes – I was a teen bride!). We now have four children 18 and a half years later.

    I feel SO blessed to be happily married. I know that many many women (and men!) are not.

  5. Okay, what I want to know is from dating to engaged in 6 WEEKS? My husband and I were 3 months so I get it, but THAT sounds like a great story. Do tell! :)

  6. I love reading other’s love stories. Thanks for sharing yours.

    My husband and I meet through a mutual friend. I was in the friend’s small group and my husband was a really good friend of his. Along with several other friends, we went to several of our colleges’ football games. One Saturday night, he and I started chatting on facebook. After that night, I remember telling my roommate that we might end up good friends but I had no attraction to him. Well, we kept chatting on facebook. Til over fall break we decided to go to dinner and then go back to my apartment to watch a couple of movies. That night we started dating and a year 1/2 later or so we were married.

  7. Just my boyfriend (for now, but we are gunning for the marriage thing) also met at our college aged church group. We had known OF each other for well over ten years because we knew many of the same people.

    One day I called him out “You know Cat, don’t you?” and that was it.
    A couple months later, a group of us went on a day trip- and afterwards he stayed at my house well after everyone left to do my taxes (he’s an accountant).

    I had a thing for another guy at the time and he waited patiently until I was over it. Another Sunday, in church, I was getting my Jesus time on, by myself, and admitted to God that it really sucked being alone. I felt tons better and thought that meant I was going to be a happy, single girl. By Thursday, he blind sided me in the parking lot and asked me if I’d like to go to dinner with him sometime. EVENTUALLY I told him yes and that was about 14 months ago :) We have been through a lot already, but he is pretty cool and I think will be a kick @$$ husband!

  8. Australian boy born in India comes to America for work and meets Swiss-born American single mom of 3 new Christian at a church singles group. He says that he knew he’d married her the first time he saw her. She says he’s crazy. They became friends. His parents come from Australia to visit and first time Dad shakes her hand the Lord whispers to his heart, “this will be your daughter-in-law.” She’s still in the dark. A few months later nice Aussie boy tells girl that he loves her. She says “thanks but no thanks.” She prays diligently for the Lord to change his heart because she doesn’t want to hurt him, and besides he’s a single professional guy and there are a lot of single professional girls in the singles group that DONT have kids. And she knows best, dough-cha-no. A couple months later the Lord pulls a fast one and changes the girls heart, while she’s contemplating life sitting in a parking lot of a post office. And 4 months after that the boy asks girl to marry him. So 21 years later, living in Australia, 3 more kids later, the two are living happily ever after!

  9. Ahem! Just to set the record straight….

    Jonathan’s father disapproved only of the speed of the engagement, not the girl. Here’s a little more of the story, Modern Reject fans.

    Jon called me rather late one night and asked me to come to a restaurant, unwilling to tell me what it was all about. Although at first it seemed that Jon and Nic were asking for advice concerning whether they ought to get engaged, in fact, they later revealed, they were already engaged. I decided that a demonstration of their unreadiness was in order, so I asked Nicole a question.

    “Tell me three things about Jonathan that annoy you.” I was waiting to hear a particular word that I was certain would shortly follow.

    She thought about it for some time, then finally said that she couldn’t think of anything at all about Jonathan that bothered her. And then she said the word that I knew was coming. “He’s perfect!” Although I fully believed that Jonathan was outstanding, exceptional, godly, and wonderful in so many ways, I also knew that perfection was not yet in his grasp.

    Jonathan similarly could not think of anything questionable or bothersome about Nicole.

    Love. Ain’t it wonderful?

    I assured them both that I believed God had brought them together and that they would make a fine married couple, but that the glow of their infatuation was obscuring some of the realities that they both needed to recognize before making the final commitment. In other words, they needed some more time in order to see each other’s zits in the light of day.

    It wasn’t too long after that night that the Lord helped them both see each other more starkly, able to recognize that the one each loved still had foibles that would require the patience and grace the Holy Spirit provides. And they both wisely decided to stay on course.

    There was no concern that night about the quality of Jonathan’s choice. Nicole was and still is an awesome blessing to all of us. I could not have been any happier about the partner my son selected. The only disapproval expressed concerned their timing, which they later recognized as well and extended their engagement to compensate.

    Thank you, Jonathan, for bringing an incredible woman into our family! We all entirely approve!

  10. Thanks ‘rejectdad’ for your comments!

    It’s so hard to counsel a ‘in the first flush of true love’ couple because they simply don’t believe you when you gently suggest that life won’t be a series of sunset walks and flower strewn meadows!

    Making important decisions when you’re under the influence of such strong infatuation is a bit like trying to speak coherently when drunk (so I’m told!). Jonathan and Nicole are very blessed to have had such wise counsel at the start of their relationship.

    A church leader once said to our youth group, “If your parents strongly disapprove of your choice of partner (or I guess by extension the time scales your relationship is working on) then think twice because your parents love you, want the best for you and know you better than you realise!” Parental approval is not the be all and end all…. but parental disapproval should be considered carefully and prayerfully.

  11. Haha! Finally! Someone else who is happily married and got engaged after only 6 weeks.

    My wife & I met a month or so before we started dating and I popped the question 6 weeks later. We just celebrated our 6th anniversary.

    When you know you know, right? :)

  12. First of all, I have to tell you I really love your blog and your style of writing!

    Secondly. Such a wonderful story. Hearing other people’s love stories make me feel hopeful. I don’t have one, yet. Adding the word “yet” to that sentence isn’t easy because part of me feels like I’ll never find the right person. On the other hand, God has been working on my heart a lot on this issue lately and usually when I pray I see myself sitting at a dinner table with a husband and kids. I don’t see their faces though because God is a tease haha. I want a family, I want a marriage. But its not something I take lightly, my parents are divorced and I want to make sure that if I get married it will be for life. At least I want to be as sure as I possible can beforehand that it can last for life. Things can always go wrong of course. Therefore, I don’t see myself getting engaged after 6 weeks. But who knows, if it’s right it’s right.

    Also, I’m 22 and I’ve never even dated. In Sweden dating isnt something people do, in my circle of non-christian friends people usually hook up on parties when alcohol is involved, and my crhistian friends have met their spouses throgh bible-school, small grpuos ir conferences. And never really thought about what I want in a guy. Up until a couple of years ago I didn’t even think I wanted to get married, and I knew I didn’t want kids. But God have done a lot of work in my heart, and Ive realized that I thought I didn’t want those things just because I didn’t think I deserved them, that it was something I could have. I didn’t want to dissapoint myself.

    Wow..this became an essay. Sorry about that.

    1. Oh wow, I read this and felt like I was reading m personal profile lol. I’m 22, with divorced parents who’s never dated and believes God is doing some amazing work in my heart in relation to marriage and relationships. Mostly on the subject of selflessness.

      Thanks for the essay. I felt encouraged reading it :)

  13. I love your story!!! I also love that God pairs different people up in unique, sometimes strange ways. Makes me really take the limits off Him :)

  14. My husband and I met when I was a summer worker (aka lunch lady) at a camp, and he came down one week to serve as a counselor. The only problem was that he came with his girlfriend. We didn’t start dating until they broke up, but it was kind of messy just like your story. I hate that anyone was hurt. Everyone is happy now, and I’m so, so, so thankful for my amazing husband.

  15. That is an amazing story!

    My parents also got engaged quite quickly after meeting because of the call of God, and were actually married within 6 months of meeting. They were young at the time (19 and 20) but have now been happily married for 29 years!

    If I may ask your advice, I love God like mad, but I’m struggling with how really to go about making Christ a part of my relationship, or, more accurately, the most important part of it. I’m admittedly rather young and inexperienced in the dating world, but my faith is true, (though young like me), and so is my boyfriend’s. We talk a lot about whatever we discuss in youth group each week, but we don’t really know how to take it any deeper than that. I don’t know how, or even what to share or talk about most of the time…

    Is there any guidance you could offer me?

  16. Aww I loved reading yours and Jonathan’s story Nicole! And 6 weeks doesn’t sound too crazy seeing that you guys were such great friends beforehand. When you know, you know…and if you are willing to make that life changing commitment, I don’t think time is an issue. I know people who dated years and years and then didn’t last long after their “I do’s”.
    Matt and I met through missions at SBC. We both spent the summer in Czech (him the year before me) and had that as our initial connection. Long story short, he was engaged when we first met…engagement broke off (nothing to do with me- no scandal :))…we began hanging out a few months later…about ten months of dating, six months engaged and then we were married. That was 10 years ago and the best decision I ever made. I was 20 when we got married so he had to order my Mai-Tai’s on our honeymoon heehee. I relate a lot with the way you describe your marriage and am thankful for that!!

    1. Lauren,
      Thank you so much for commenting and introducing yourself…and for the kind words. I look forward to getting to you know you. Thanks for the link also. I love hearing about other people’s love stories. It is always so inspiring.

      Blessings to you!

  17. Somehow missed this post until now, but what a delight. I never get tired of hearing about your marriage, even though I’m permanently single. It renews my faith in the institution. Thank you for that. I hope you will keep sharing with us in this area.

  18. A couple from my college (star quarterback, Heisman finalist and women’s basketball player) have an incredible story, too. They had mutual friends but didn’t know each other too well, them God spoke into their lives, leading them together. Within a couple weeks of talking and dating, they were engaged and married 5 months later. They’re such an incredible couple.

  19. Awwww, geez….it was like a chick-flick but it didn’t make me want to run out of the room. ;)

    Great story, to be sure. 6 weeks? Heck yes. I didn’t even flinch at that, because I firmly believe a long engagement or even courtship is designed to plan the perfect wedding and nothing more. But I’m kinda all Old Testament about that stuff.

    I met my wife through her writing letters to me in prison. Or was it on Christian Mingle? I get those two confused. Ha!

  20. You wanna talk “stuck in the friend zone” ? I crushed on her when we met, in high school, at 14 years old. but she (very) politely demurred. Good thing too, I was just a jerk adolescent, but who isn’t at that age? We stayed friends, even though I basically stayed a jerk for 6 or 7 more years; didn’t finally outgrow that until after a failed college attempt, a failed marriage (but two beautiful daughters from that) and a failed contracting business. Meanwhile she (still just my friend who didn’t judge) had her own two failed relationships, both horribly abusive, with two sons of her own at the other side of the storm. One year after we both became single again, still friends, we were hanging out and…sparks! We denied, avoided, ran away from it, but it wouldn’t go away…we finally decided that God had put us together because her baggage went pretty good with mine, and we were sparing two other people a world of misery! So it was 8 years of friends, 11 years co-habitating, and then circumstance brought us back to God (away from Him since I was 9 years old, sixteen for her, and those are two other long stories) and we were convicted to marry, so we could join a church and offer ourselves for service to Him in good conscience. That was ’05, we have since “grandfathered in” the pre-marriage years and will claim our 19th anniversary coming up in April. God has sent me a fabulous, supportive, loving, and stern companion…just what I needed!

    1. She just checked this, said either my memory or my math stinks…it was 12 years friends, and that’s why I’m not allowed to comment about her before I click “submit”…sorry!

  21. So I’m Jewish. Nicole’s description of Jonathan, “Matt introduced me to Jonathan, who happened to be one of his closest friends. Jonathan was vivacious, outgoing, a little annoyingly loud, and super high-energy. I thought he was a little weird. Fun, funny, and cool…but weird” is identical to my description of a young man I met on a feature film I am directing. (I am a movie director, and a girl.) When we met, I heard a small quiet voice inside me say, “Ha ha. Surprised? You should be. This is your husband.”

    I am certainly surprised. I am also trying to push him away because he is everything I wished for but nothing I expected.

    He has too much high energy. He bounces all over the room. He makes impulsive, sometimes thoughtless comments. He shows off. He’s vivacious and annoyingly loud. And he’s half my age, which is the worst factor and a sure turnoff.

    Yet I did hear that voice.

    Years ago, I wrote out a little prayer list describing what I wanted in a future guy and gave it up to God. The list fits this young guy to a T. But he’s too young and not my generation, he has habits that sometimes irk me, and I have a personal rule you’re not supposed to date actors when you’re a director. I’ve been burned by that badly – one time – and don’t want to be burned again. So I am not sure what to do.

    I want to congratulate you all on your stories of how you met. I am not sure I ever want to be married, but a cute romantic friend would be great. Whether this youthful bouncing rubber ball of energy will become that person remains a question mark. I’m scared of being hurt by him and am becoming borderline cold and mean to try to chase him away.

    So very, very not sure what to do :/

  22. I am reading this years later. Immediately i woke up today,i remembered i had broken up with my now ex-boyfriend in my quest for salvation. Then all my friends having been talking all matters marriage of late which makes me want to settle. So i told God to tell me if i have already found the one or should i be steadfast with my childhood dream of marrying a pilot who is a man of God. I have always thought i would get married to a pastor. I am super specific about the man i want to marry,clearly. After asking God i searched for a ‘random bible verse’ which was going to at least give me an answer. I got two(both to do with temptations) which didn’t quite give me an answer then i decided to search for love stories and I do that all the time and this blog is not usually my first ‘answer’ but today it was. Reading through everything i feel like God has answered me. I am happy i read this and i am happy for you. I hope you are still together

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