Stories of Love: It Wasn’t Love at First Sight



In the year 2000, there wasn’t text messaging. I didn’t have a cell phone at all, actually. I hadn’t ever heard of So this here is an old-school story, how two (VERY) young people met and fell in love…slowly.

The first time I remember meeting my husband, we went to church together. As he will remind you, I let him stand outside in the December cold waiting for me, because at our college, boys couldn’t use their card to get into a girls’ dorm (although it worked the other way around). I had sent an email to my fellow freshmen in the Baptist Student Union asking if anyone wanted to visit a church with me, and Adam was the only one who responded. I didn’t know him, but I figured he was safe enough, and so we checked out a church together.

And then we didn’t really talk for a couple of months.

Yeah, it wasn’t love at first sight. You see, Adam was still pretty stuck on his high-school girlfriend, and I had a pretty big thing for one of our mutual friends. (Who did, in fact, end up being a groomsman in our wedding.) 

We had a lot of mutual friends, though, and our paths kept intersecting. We were both involved in Christian organizations on campus, he played saxophone in the band next to my best friend, and our campus wasn’t all that big to begin with. By that spring, we had a core group of friends we were hanging out with on a regular basis. 

That May, I had a big meltdown when I realized it was the one-year anniversary of the death of a high-school friend. Adam was the one who came to my dorm and comforted me. I should have known then that he was the one for me. But I didn’t.

Jessie and Adam

Our sophomore year found us hanging out with our group pretty much every day in his giant triple dorm room. We all watched movies until the wee hours of the morning, played Euchre, and took online personality quizzes. (The Internet was still exciting, people.) We found that Adam and I pretty much had matching personalities despite our vastly different interests. (He was a Math and Computer Science double major with a Physics minor; I majored in English with a minor in Chinese.) It was when I planned his 21st birthday party outing that October that I started to realize maybe I felt more-than-friendship things about him. We had known each other for almost a year at this point; I’m a slow learner.

We started “dating” on November 5, 2001, while watching Toy Story 2 in my dorm room. By that May, I was pretty sure he was the one I would marry. We were engaged on February 22, 2002, when I was still 20 years old. He proposed publicly, at our junior ring dance, in front of my friends and family and everyone else’s, too. It was magical and I was shocked. 

Our relationship was certainly not always perfect. I started struggling with depression before we were ever married. Neither of us likes conflict, so learning to argue without one of us fleeing was an issue. Despite our personality similarities, one of us is definitely a thinker and one a feeler — I’ll let you guess which way that goes. 

Jessie and Adam wedding

Still, our love and understanding has carried us through. We got married on July 31, 2004, in Richmond, Virginia — where we met at the University of Richmond, and also where I grew up. We went on our honeymoon, were in Richmond for one day, and then moved to Nashville so my husband could start graduate school. We faced married life knowing no one, 10 hours away from my family and farther from his, and without my having a job, either. It was challenging.

Twelve years and four kids later, we’re standing strong. We’ve lived in two cities, in five different homes, gone through foreclosure and depression, loss of grandparents and loss of dreams. 

Jessie and Adam 2
On our tenth anniversary trip in Savannah, GA.

You won’t always feel super-duper-in-love in marriage. But when you marry your best friend, you will usually at least like something about your spouse. When I’m sleep-deprived and cranky and feeling my full 34 years, I’m so glad I married someone who makes me laugh and has known my quirks since I was 18. We’ve grown up together, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.