Love Stories Countdown to Valentine’s Day #8:
Defining the Relationship…..twice

I met Seth at church when he started graduate school at Berkeley. One of my first impressions of him was actually the love story he told about how he and his then-girlfriend (now wife) Alexa got together.

They met at Ohio State. Alexa was looking for a Christian fellowship group and Seth was the president of InterVarsity. They met for an impromptu worship session with his best friend, and then the three of them had a Bible study together the next year. The trio hung out together a lot discussing philosophy and other nerdy topic, alongside daily prayer walks around campus.

It soon became apparent to Seth that Alexa liked him. As an honorable Christian guy, he felt it was only appropriate to give the dreaded “DTR” (define the relationship….as in, NOT romantic). He was gentle and kind in his first DTR to Alexa. And while Alexa respected the boundary, her heart was still tied up with Seth. In April, after Seth had chipped his tooth, Alexa came by to cheer him up. Seth had again sensed that Alexa hadn’t really let him go, and felt a second DTR was necessary. He was not as gentle this second time around.

From Alexa’s point of view the second DTR was a lesson in letting go and trusting rather than trying to control everything. She wanted Seth to like her very badly but there was literally nothing she could “do” to make that happen.

After this second DTR, Seth sensed a change in Alexa in that she gave him some space. He found himself attracted to her in a while he hadn’t before. So, now he had some wrestling to do with his feelings; included in this was also his acceptance to Berkeley for graduate school. He took a step of faith on the last day of senior finals:

Seth: I think I like you, would you like to start a relationship? I can give you time if you want.
Alexa [GASP]: Is it ok to say I have already thought about it and yes I’d like to start a relationship?

Seth had to break the news to his friends. HAHAHA! Alexa says that when she finally felt she was letting go of control that is when Seth turned around and chased her!

As Seth describes it, starting their relationship long distance had its benefits. They had to learn how to talk to each other and resolve conflict before hanging up. They discussed what loving one another really meant, especially in light of the Bible’s teaching about commitment. Another important conversation ensued:

Seth: How would I know that I’m ready to say ‘I love you’? I don’t know who I’ll be in the future?
Alexa: It’s an act of faith and grace.

After two minutes of silence on the Berkeley waterfront, Seth said: Alexa, I love you and by the grace of God I’ll love you all my life.

They got engaged that Christmas Eve, and Seth moved back to Ohio to get married while Alexa finished undergraduate. Two kids and at least 16+ years of marriage later, I still remember their love story, which is why I wanted to share it, and I just love them as a couple! They are always encouraging, thoughtful and faithful in their walk with the LORD and in loving one another.

Love, February