I normally don't use this blog as a place to talk about my personal life. But I'm really upset and stressed out right now, and I don't know where else to put my emotion.
I'll start with a story to put everything in perspective.
I'm currently going into my 5th year of college.
The summer before my sophomore year of college, I went through some tough-ish stuff. Not super intense, but tougher than what I've dealt with most of my (sheltered) life.
There was a guy (isn't there always) who I was quite infatuated with. We had a few classes together during my freshman year, and we talked online a lot. I thought he was interested in dating- we had coffee a few times, even went out for lunch. I mean, we talked about stuff that people talk about when they are dating/engaged/whatever, like how many kids we would think about having, that sort of thing. I never really thought about the fact that we had different Christian beliefs, as I figured at the time that God was enough. Maybe he thought more about it then I did. (I am very openly and proudly Catholic. I believe he was Seventh Day Adventist).
As the school year wound down, I planned a trip to a theme park concert with my friends, and one of them insisted that I invite Brian. He said yes, so it was me, him, my friend and her BF, and 2 more of our girlfriends. So we enjoyed a cool May day at the theme park, even though my friends ditched me so I could spend time with Brian (it really didnt help. and was super obvious. to me at least.) At the concert, which was at the end of the day (approaching nightfall, etc), it was getting colder, and snuggling commenced. He put his arm around my shoulder to keep me warm, and we were holding hands under a blanket. Yes, scandalous, LOL. So I thought that meant something, and so did my 3 friends who were there.
But obviously not, as 2-3 weeks later, he's talking to me about this girl he wants to date who lives in a totally different state. Like all the way across the country different state. I was really floored. Like OMG, where did this come from?!?! He hadn't said anything before, so I was really surprised. I had a few angsty days with one of my close girlfriends, which helped.
Then some of my musical relatives were in town. We planned on having a jam session with some youth group people at my church. I made a whole facebook event and everything (you know, because that was a big deal for a while). I invited Brian, because he mentioned something about teaching himself a bit of the guitar and stuff. It was a couple days after my birthday. (Interjection: a couple days before that, I was hanging out at my friend's house cuz she had a pool. I was riding my bike home, took a really bad spill and nearly needed stitches. I talked to Brian the day after, and told him this huge fabricated story that was ridiculous hilarious, because he believed it. It doesn't have a lot to do with the stream of the story, just a random thought). I was still sore from the bike accident, but was determined to play my guitar at this jam session. My 2 closest friends, A and R, also brought their guitars, and some friends from church had their violins. (My musical cousins play a bit of both) This thing was supposed to start at 7 or something, and Brian hadn't shown up, so we just started. He came in later, acted all awkward, etc. He didn't stay very long, but talked to me for a little bit. He then gave me a birthday card, containing a Barnes & Noble gift card (In case you didn't know, I'm a huge fan of books). We hugged, and he left. Like totally weird.
Back at my house that evening, I explained the whole weird situation to my cousins, who thought I needed to be done with this guy. My cousin Justin (who is only a year or 2 older than me) decided that he needed to talk to this guy. So getting on my sister's facebook, he chatted with this guy and told him to leave me alone because I couldn't deal with not knowing what Brian wanted out of our relationship. From what I could tell, Brian acted like he didn't know he was leading me on. Either way, he was gone. He sent me this long, eloquent email that I forwarded onto Justin without reading, and I decided that I was going to focus more on school, and deal with guys when I was graduated.
God obviously had a different plan for me. I worked for a week in August at this Christian Summer camp like I had done for the past 3 summers, but I had been asked to serve in a different role (instead of counselor, like I had been before). We had a girl in a wheelchair, Tori, who needed lots of extra help at camp, so I was assigned as one of her personal assistants. Tori is one of the most cheerful children you will ever meet, and I loved working with her. But since there were 2 assistants, and neither of us stayed in a cabin with campers, our evenings after the campers went to bed were mostly our own. I hung out with a handful of other 'less-obligated' staff members (basically ones who were not counselors). I was grateful for several of them, who seemed to be doing the Christian thing and acting like brothers. (At this camp, the staff are to maintain brotherly and sisterly relationships, as to be good examples for the campers.) Or at least, that's what I thought. Except there was this one guy who always talked me. I was so inexperienced with relationships with guys that I didn't really think anything about it. And I was firm in my thoughts that I shouldn't date until I was finished with college.
But when camp was over, I couldn't stop thinking about this guy. I complained about him to A, who was also boyfriend-less at the time. He talked to me online, he called me- all the same things Brian had done. So I was reluctant to commit to anything. Until he asked if he could come and see me. (We lived an hour and a half apart.) I wasn't sure what to make of it, so I said yes.
He came and hung out with me for a day. Dinner at my house that night was weird, as a friend of mine from high school was going away to college, and had been invited over to dinner. So most of the attention was off me and E, and on Maggie. When he left that night, I wasn't really sure if we were dating (weird, I know, but I was so inexperienced). We saw each other maybe every other week.
By then, obviously, I knew we were dating. We are both Catholic, share many of the same goals, and seemed like a really good match. My friends really liked him, I really liked him. We went to his military ball in November. He told me he loved me. And I felt the same.
Since then, we've worked at Summer Camp together (the same camp, of course), endured part of a Lenten "fast" to discern the future of our relationship, made it through an eight month deployment nearly unscathed, and have come to the summer between my 4th and 5th years of college.
But my parents are stalling. We have talked about getting married, E and I, for 6 months or more. But my dad will not give his permission until I graduate college. At first, we thought this meant we could get engaged sometime in the coming year, and marry next summer after my graduation. So we've talked, and planned a little bit.
Now my dad thinks we talk to each other too much (twice a day is our norm), and thinks that we need to stop talking about getting married. And he's changed his mind, and apparently I cannot get engaged until after I graduate. All this on top of the fact that I am not allowed to drive down to see E because I was unfortunate enough to get into car accidents twice when driving to his town.
I really want to respect my parents' wishes, but E and I have been dating for nearly 3 years, we are not planning on getting married until after I graduate, and we have been very respectful of them up to this point. I am 22 years old, and have been making most of my own decisions since I graduated high school.
Am I totally missing something, or are my parents just nuts?