Lessons Learned

Lessons learned from funwith31

#1  A date is just an opportunity to get to know someone better. I put too many expectations and interpretations on a single date. It is so much more fun to just relax and get to know someone than to analyze everything and anything!

#2  Be confident in who you are! It is so much more fun to get to know someone who knows who they are. And it makes a person much more attractive!

#3   No one is perfect, not even you, so don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t look for perfection in others.

#4  There are good men out there and they want to find that “someone” just as bad as we women do.

#5  We have to give people the opportunity to get to know us. Sometimes it’s hard, but we have to.

#6  God’s hand is in our lives, and how thankful I am for that.

I love figuring out all of the factors that brought Josh into my life.

First, the degrees of separation: My friend (Andrea) told me about this project and talked me into doing it, my sister (Collette) put it on her blog, her best friend (Carolyn) told her sister-in-law (Anna) about it, she served the same LDS mission as Josh’s sister (Melanie), Melanie randomly checked Anna’s blog and emailed Josh about it. Josh emailed me!

Had I met Josh even a few years earlier or even at the beginning of the 31 dates, I’m not sure how it would’ve worked out. Josh is a quiet guy. I have a tenancy to play off of other’s personalities. AKA…when I would go on a date with a quiet date, I would be quiet. But by date #31….I had the dating thing down! 🙂 And I was so excited to be done, but also, I had found that dating is fun. I was having fun getting to know others and just enjoying other’s personalities and their company. So, I was much different than I was on date #1. We had a good time, and Josh got to see a better representation of me…and it worked!

Sometimes I wonder if Josh and I lived in the same city if we would’ve dated. Being in different states we had to decide relatively early if this was something worth pursuing. Sometimes when things are easy it is easy to do nothing. We had to work a little bit to make it work. I kinda think that was important.

I can’t help but think, God had his hand in this. He knows the intricate details of my life. He loves me and wants me to be happy.

I love that Josh was the final date, #31. I remember the last week of  the project thinking that I was interested in a few guys, but I didn’t think any of them were going to go anywhere. I was a little disheartened, but I was still having fun. Who would’ve known in just a few days, I was about to meet my future husband? I’ve thought this for a while, but things happen when they are suppose to happen. In so many aspects of our lives we try to control our lives. We read books and listen to other’s advice on how to manipulate situations to find Mr. Right. We do all that we can, and then get frustrated when nothing comes out of it. Of course we need to do our part, of course we need to put effort into it, but sometimes I think the hardest part is having the faith to trust in Heavenly Father’s plan. We need to learn to let go of our plan and trust in His. I think back of the many times my plan has been changed. How thankful I am for Heavenly Father’s plan for me. He knows the beginning and the end. I am the one with limited vision. He loves me and knows what is best for me. Oh, how thankful I am for His love for me and his plan for me!

#7 Last the best of all the gang.

There is a value in patience and waiting for the right one. This could be a life-long lesson for me, but I appreciate the lessons I learn about this Christ-like attribute. There is a beauty in enjoying each stage as they come. Each stage has valuable lessons and opportunities that might not be present in other stages. I am thankful for the knowledge and experience I had to make the right decision for me. Sometimes I think, especially in today’s world, we rush into so many decisions and we rush to have so many different opportunities. There are definitely some pros in slowing down, learning what we need, and enjoying each stage.

#8  Take some risks in life!

I could have easily talked myself out of this whole project, and I thought about it several times. Continue to take risks while dating. It is really hard for me to appear vulnerable, but I have had many vulnerable moments with Josh. Some I chose to take, some just happened. But I think that is what makes the difference in dating. For me, I had to see how a guy would handle my vulnerabilities and if he would continue to love me and protect me through them. Men need the same thing. And so while we are always trying to put on our best front in dating, it truly is a facade if you aren’t willing to risk a little and give a little of your true self to your date. And if your date doesn’t handle it well, you don’t want ’em anyway!!

#9 Just have fun!

Dating is fun. It took me 31 years to figure that out. But it doesn’t need to be analyzed and critiqued. A great friend gave the analogy, she compared a relationship/date to a plant in the ground. So many times in new relationships/dates we think, “Oh, that is a beautiful plant!” And then we proceed to pull the plant up out of the ground to see its roots and to analyze what it is made of and if it is going to last the test of time. By doing that we’ve just destroyed our plant. Just have fun! And WAIT and WATCH the beautiful plant grow. You’ll know by its fruits if it’s a long-lasting good plant.

One Response to Lessons Learned

  1. Corinne Barton says:

    Janelle,
    I (and Richard too) am sooooooo happy for you two!!
    Your Mom told us at Christmas time that you were getting married, so I knew, but somehow today I found your blog again. I had been reading it when you were first doing the 31 days and then lost it. I have been reading it today and I have to tell you how wonderful it is to read your words. Josh is a very lucky guy to have you for his wife!! I wish I would have been reading your blog last week. Richard is in a BYU bishopric and we were given the assignment last Sunday to teach a combined 5th Sunday class on “dating”. Define it and give help to these young people. I WISH I could have just used all of your words!! How insightful!! How ’bout if I point all of those Young Adults to read this blog?!! Thank you for sharing! Thank Josh for playing along and for winning the Prize! I wish you two all the greatest happiness in the world!!!! With Love, Corinne Barton

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