Setting the scene, dating before marriage

Growing up it was always easy for me to get along with people, both guys and girls. I was social, athletic and enjoyed being competitive in sports, but at the same time I didn’t want to be just “one of the guys.” I dated a few different guys in high school and eventually had a long-term relationship when I went to college. When I moved to Hawai’i for a semester of college, I broke up with my boyfriend. I wanted to embark on this new journey and have a full experience without feeling like I was held back or tied down.  Although we weren’t together, he still had a way of controlling me.

My dad really liked this guy, and I really did too, but our relationship began to change before I left. It went from being something beautiful to something controlling and unhealthy.  I felt like I couldn’t be my true self and that my spirit was crushed because I couldn’t be me. I tried to explain that to my dad when I was in Hawai’i, but we are both stubborn so there was no agreeing on that situation. That relationship caused more tension in my relationship with my dad than anything else in my life. Thankfully we have a great relationship now.

When I got back from Hawai’i we got back together. Our relationship at that time had several ups and downs. While I was gone he ended up doing some things that absolutely crushed me. I did forgive him, but eventually we broke up for good.

I later moved from Mankato to Lakeville to complete my student teaching assignment. I joined a small gym at that time which is where I first heard about figure competitions. For figure competitions you compete in a similar manner as bodybuilding except you only have four poses.  A guy at the gym, Nikko, who was training for a bodybuilding competition, approached me. He asked if I had ever thought about competing and I didn’t have any clue as to what he was talking about. He explained it to me some more and showed me pictures of what a “figure girl” looks like. I had always been curious as to what my body could look like if I trained consistently and had an impeccable diet. I accepted the challenge and began training for my first figure competition in 2009.

I’ve been in love a couple of times.  There was one guy in particular I met at a girl friend’s wedding. I had heard about him long before I went and knew he would be there. We shared similar passions and interests and ended up talking late into the night. I was leaving for San Diego in the morning and I was bummed that I couldn’t stay with my friends and hang out with him the next day. I ended up locking my keys in the car at about 3:00 am, but thankfully made it back to Lakeville in time to get on the plane the next day.

We kept in contact and ended up dating long distance. He lived about six hours away from me, but he was worth every minute of that drive. He also drove to see me several times and he was great at surprises. He drove all the way to Minnesota to surprise me on my birthday once. He made me melt. I was in love with him but he wouldn’t have ever known because I never told him. We actually never had the relationship conversation about what we were either. I never really cared for the relationship status conversation because I didn’t want to appear to be that overly eager girl that needed to “define the relationship.” I was dying for him to call me his girlfriend, but the conversation just never went there. I adored him and was totally in love with him. There was no way I was ever going to put myself out there and say,  “I love you” first, especially if he’s not my “boyfriend.” That was scary. What if he never said it back?  Before I knew it, a switch was turned and it was as if he just shut his feelings off. He just came here and surprised me from my birthday and now we’re done?

I was completely crushed. Was I talking to a different person? Was he not present in our conversations? I felt I was either lying to myself about what went on or he was lying to himself about how he felt but I knew he was lying to himself.  Sure long-distance relationships take work, but if you want it bad enough and it’s in God’s Will, it’s totally worth it.

After he ended things, I held on to the hope that he’d come to his senses and realize he couldn’t live without me. I waited for a long while, but that never happened. I kicked myself in that situation for not taking more initiative, although it might not have mattered.

If you asked my sister she’d tell you I’m a “commitment phoebe.”  Me, have a boyfriend? Probably not.  If there was a guy who wanted to date me, I was very skeptical of them. If I was out with my girl friends and was approached by a guy, I would drill him with all kinds of in-depth questions; my own screening test. I certainly wasn’t going to waste my time and I didn’t want to waste his if I didn’t see any sort of compatibility.  The main question I’d ask was, “what are the three most important things in your life?” For me, Jesus is and always will be the must have answer. If Jesus wasn’t even mentioned in their response, it was a no-go.  I was also hoping to hear health and family as the other two responses.

This wasn’t a flawless system because some times I’d let the conversation continue and would go on a few dates with guys that didn’t pass my test. I’m not going to say I haven’t ever dated someone I shouldn’t have, because I’d be lying, but I can say I’ve learned my lesson from dating the wrong people. I’m thankful God steered me away from those situations and helped keep my head on straight. Some times we lose focus of what we truly want and what’s best for us; we just need God to adjust our lenses.





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