Today is Thomas’ and my 5th wedding anniversary. The last five years have just flown by, and when I look back at everything that’s happened in that time, everything we’ve done … I just think, “Wow.” You know they say that God can multiply time? Well, I just have to look back at our marriage and know that’s true.
But today I want to take you back to our dating period and talk about our couch time.
No, not that kind of couch time.
I was a single mum of two daughters when Thomas and I started dating . And when you’re a single mum, dating doesn’t look like it does when you’re just single.
Thomas and I could rarely go out places on our own. On weekends if we did anything it was with the girls. During the week, naturally everyone was working.
So all we really had were evenings. Thomas would often come over and have dinner with us. And it would be 8.00pm at the earliest before the girls were in bed and we had some time alone (these days that’s even later now that the girls are tweens/teens – but I digress!).
We spent many evenings on the couch. Both tired from the day’s responsibilities. But this was crucial time we had to spend together, get to know each other, and develop our relationship.
We rarely watched TV. Most of the time we’d have a cup of tea and talk. Talk about all sorts of things. From simple things like the day’s activities, to things from our childhood. We talked about what we were learning from the latest church service, books we were reading. Actually, sometimes we just sat there each reading a book, stopping to occasionally share something intriguing or amusing from the book. And occasionally one or both of us would zonk out asleep for 30mins.
This might sound boring to you, and maybe you’re even wondering what on earth is wrong with us.
Yes, sometimes I wondered why Thomas hadn’t tried to kiss me yet. But any insecurity that may have stirred in me was drowned out by the loudness of what I learned from the fact that he didn’t use the couch time to make a move on me.
Thomas liked me for me.
This was a mind blowing realisation. Sometimes I’d just look at him, flabbergasted that he was there spending time with me – not for anything he could get, but just to be with me. Because he liked my company.
In turn, this made me feel safe. And I’d never felt safe in a relationship before. It freed me to continue just being me. It gave me a safe space to share my thoughts, my feelings and my dreams.
As a Christians, we both wanted to follow God’s plan for us – which included not engaging in sexual activity before getting married. We knew that in our heads. But when we followed this we got to see why God has those guidelines. The trust that we developed of each other during that time was priceless. Our couch time was fundamental in building a strong relationship, and then a strong marriage. And we continue to carry the benefit of that to this day.
Did Thomas finally kiss me? Yes. We’d been together about 3 months when he did. Did we struggle with not taking things further? Yes and no. The desire was strong, but the struggle was not – because both of us were committed to the same path, and we knew why we were committed to that path. And when you’re true partners, you hold each other up. When one is weak, the other is strong.
This is one huge reason that Thomas is my hero. He was committed to my best, and to our best. He once said, “I could sit on the couch with you forever” – long before he’d ever kissed me, and so I knew it to be true. That is a precious gift he gave me that still blesses me today.
Here’s to many more years of couch time together!