Melanie and Randy
They struggled with their physical attraction through high school, but read how "the wait" paid off.
I'm going to be honest... We were not "model" kids. We started having sex our junior year, and we were so into each other that both of us could care less about high school — let alone our future. Adults around us kept insisting these were the best years of our lives and we were determined to have as much fun as we could, despite the risks.
Sometimes, Randy would sneak out of his house at night and come to be with me so we could wake up together in the morning, just like we were married. I loved being with him and I never thought for a moment we wouldn't always be together.
That summer, we came face-to-face with our future when I missed my period. I was scared, but it seemed OK because I loved Randy, and I thought I was prepared to have his baby.
Randy was wonderful when I broke the news to him. He said he could sell his motorcycle and guitar to help with expenses and insisted on quitting school to get a job. Although it was noble of him to want to help, I realized how bad all this sounded.
All I could think of is "our baby" and how our young family would struggle. Randy was going to be a high school drop out and I was going to be a teenage mother living at home with my parents. All our dreams and goals were going to have to be put on hold...
But then I realized; we didn't have any goals.
Thankfully, the missed period turned out to be a false alarm, and life resumed. Only this time, with some major changes.
Randy and I talked and we agreed that we needed to set some goals if we wanted to insure a future together. We spent an entire evening writing them down as they came to mind, and with every new goal, both of us began to get excited about were we could go.
First, we knew a high school diploma was a necessity, and both of us still had a good shot at college.
Randy wanted to try his best at getting into a vocational school for auto body and I was excited about going to art college and becoming a teacher. We talked about where we wanted to live, the type of house we wanted to live in, and the age we be when we would have children. It was so much fun dreaming.
But here was the biggest surprise. Randy said something that totally swept me off my feet. He said that he wanted to start all over again — this time without sex. He shared things with me that I never imagined and I realized how important I was to him.
Both of us thought it would be really cool to have a "perfect wedding night" where everything was new to both of us. I know what you're thinking...¦ since we already had sex, how could we be virgins again?
Abstinence renewed our respect and commitment for each other, removed our worries about missed periods, and made our wedding night a beautiful, passionate memory we'll always remember.
Today, we're happily married and I'm teaching fourth graders art and music. Randy started a collision repair business with his uncle Mac and is doing really well. Sometimes I think about that summer and count my blessings when I think how different my life could have been.
Janice and Bryan
Janice went to college while Bryan went to Afghanistan. But true love survives the distance.
Janice and I were always goal-oriented people. We are both determined and always remain focused on the future. It comes as no surprise that we were able to hang on to our young marriage despite being apart for so long.
Shortly after the events of September 11th, I found myself in Afghanistan. I was using the Army to get an education and never imagined I'd be overseas fighting the war on terror.
Janice had just been accepted into medical school and her workload was about to get high. Nobody gave our marriage a chance... except us.
You see, Janice and I established the foundation for our marriage when we were dating. Our time together was always planned and meaningful and we went out of our way to make our time special — without having sex.
I used our time together to give Janice my undivided attention. Cell phones were always off, our work was left at school or the office, and we treated each other like every date was our first. Pre-marital sex would have damaged the foundation of our relationship and we made sure that "filling time" was never an issue.
Call me old-fashioned, but I always open doors for my wife, make sure she is served before me, and celebrate our time together with little treasures like flowers or chocolate.
Setting the bar high makes all else pale by comparison. As my girlfriend, Janice set the standard by which I measured all other women, and as my wife she sets a new standard for beauty every day.
When I got back from overseas, the first person to greet me was my lady. She had all our friends and family make signs and there were over 20 people waiting for me when I got home.
A lot of people give marriage a bad rap today. It seems there are too many disposable relationships in the world. My hope is that everyone can experience what I have in my marriage and realize that waiting has rich rewards.