Our evening was lovely: sushi and a glass of wine, walking through the twinkling streets of downtown with my arm in his, stopping for an espresso at an artsy cafe. Laughter and starlight and music and warm summer air. He was the perfect gentleman. I felt like a queen. At the end of the night, he kissed my forehead, saying he was glad to know there were girls out there who who were beautiful and smart and not afraid to be themselves. We hugged goodbye and parted as kindred spirits. We remained friends for a long time after that.
This is such a contrast to the rules of dating I've been taught: A girl alone with a guy all night? Dressing up? Wine? Going out on the town? And if he was so perfect, why didn't I end up marrying him? Girls should not lead guys on like that!
I have a better idea. Why not teach our young men how to treat a young lady like a princess? Why not teach our young women that they are treasures worthy of respect? And by respect, I don't mean sitting on the opposite side of the room with eyes downward!
Of course, there's always wisdom involved. Our friends and family at the wedding knew where we'd be and what time we'd be back. And we each knew that it was just a date (we lived 12 hours apart. He was going to med school. I was finishing ministry school.) But we wanted to enjoy each other's company just a little while longer. It was freeing. It was fun. And no one's heart was broken in the end.
Ladies, may you know the quality of woman you are, so you may attract the quality of man that deserves you--without shame, without fear, without pressure. May your relationships be the kind that you will remember with affection for years to come.