4 months ago I married my tall, dark and godly husband. 16 months and a day ago, Ryan and I met for the first time. And I have to be honest, I was pretty annoyed that he didn’t kiss me on the first date. I mean the date lasted 5 hours! We laughed, we talked, we walked, we enjoyed a meal. It was one of those amazing Santa Barbara days that wasn’t too warm or too cold. The day was wonderful! He held my hand and I thought that this tall, quirky man would at least kiss me good-bye. But no. He told me that he wouldn’t kiss me until we were in a committed dating relationship.
So I had to respect that. He was straightforward and told me what I should expect and then he followed through. On this side of things, I really do appreciate his honor but at that point I was a little miffed. My mind went crazy with explanations. We had talked a bit about past relationships so I knew that he had been on lots of dates so I thought, well maybe he has a checkered past and is trying to set good boundaries for himself now. I also thought that maybe this was a midwestern thing. And I wondered if it was maybe a ‘holier than thou’ stance not out of honest reflection but because “it’s what Christians should do”. I thought also just for a brief moment that he might have never kissed a girl but then I pushed that right out of my head because that was impossible, right!?
Well, we went on a few more dates. No kiss. I left for Atlanta and we talked regularly on the phone. I came back to California. We met up again. No kiss. And then one day it happened. We were in the backyard of the house where Ryan was living at the time and he went inside to grab something so I stood up on this little ledge across a bridge that goes over the koi pond. By that time I knew he was honorable and wasn’t going to kiss me until he asked me to be his girlfriend so I was just waiting for that moment. And because Ryan is so tall, I liked standing up on a step so I could be closer to him. The ledge was a great spot, overlooking this beautiful yard, listening to the running water from the fountain and shaded by the pergola. So I stood there and waited.
Ryan came back out, stood in front of me and read me the rest of the poem he had written and had been sending me stanza by stanza. And then he bent down and under one of the boards on the bridge, pulled out a rose that he hand hidden earlier. He handed me the flower, asked me to be his girlfriend and once I said yes, he kissed me. And. it. was. terrible. The kiss was sloppy, uncomfortable, awkward, strange and everything else that you don’t want in a first kiss, or any kiss for that matter.
We retreated to the hammock and I tried to pull my thoughts together. At this point I really liked the guy. I thought there was great potential for something more but the kiss was really, really bad. Kisses are important and intimate and should be wonderful. So what happened!? Well, it was indeed Ryan’s first kiss. And as we talked, I realized that it wasn’t a midwestern thing. Ryan wasn’t trying to redeem anything from his past and he wasn’t thinking that he was better than anyone else because of his choices. He had just been convicted by the holy spirit a long time ago and knew that he wanted to save even his kisses for someone more than just a casual date. At that point he wasn’t proposing marriage but we both were dating with the future in mind.
I am happy to report that the kisses improved very quickly and I couldn’t be happier with my husband’s lips. I feel loved, honored and cherished each day because I married a man who made a choice to save his kisses for me. I had mixed feelings about it at first and wondered for awhile what was wrong with him. But then I realized that nothing was wrong, he was just so counter cultural that I had no category for this amazing man. He elevated kisses to something even more beautiful, intimate and lovely. I know that he has amazing self control, after all he waited 33 years for his first kiss. And I’m so glad he did. He will tell you that it wasn’t easy but it was worth it. And our first kiss as husband and wife, oh yeah, it was beautiful, fun, amazing, fireworks and wonderful.