(I’m not sure who would read this who needs parental supervision…but I’m going to talk about [blank], so consider yourself warned.)
I was a senior in high school taking an acting class with one of my crushes.
She was smart funny and turns out, had a crush on me as well.
So after hanging out with her at a couple of parties, I did what any suave confident 17-year old king of the school would do in 2003…I chickened out in asking for her number, looked her up in the paper directory, waited until my evening minutes kicked in on my brand new flip phone, called, hung up when she answered and then called right back blaming her for hanging up.
After a few minutes, I confessed my like for her and told her that I thought we should start to date…like officially.
I had a girlfriend.
Life was complete.
20 minutes later…I was single again.
Here’s how it went down:
Her: So now that we’re boyfriend/girlfriend…like, what are we allowed to do? You know, since you’re Mormon and all?
[Side note: I was the only Mormon in my school…ever. I also was the only Mormon that most of my friends had ever even heard of.]
Me: What do you mean?
Her: Like, you can kiss and stuff right?
Me: Yeah [giggle—cough—manly laugh] of course!
Her: What else can you do?
Her: Yeah, like can you [blank]?
Her: Can you [blank]?
Me: I don’t think so. [I wasn’t really sure what that second “blank” was, but assumed it was similar enough to the first to get the gist.]
Her: I mean you can at least [blank]…right?
Me: That is a definite no.
Her: [sigh of frustration] Well look Zack…this just isn’t going to work.
Me: Wait…seriously? Why?
Her: I just will never know that you truly love me. It’s too old fashioned.
And just like that, my 20-minute relationship was over.
It is a “relationship” that I have thought about over and over again. Her last words have been etched into my mind as a view of physicality the world holds to be sadly self-evident.
While I wasn’t sure what love was, exactly, and I’m just barely starting to learn what it is now… I am pretty sure what it is not.
And it is not blanking, blanking and certainly not blanking.
Love, indeed, is when you are willing to wait until you can have that blank space in your heart filled forever—not with the dissolvable glue of selfish satisfaction, but the cement of celestial charity.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can be fulfilled with anything other than true love. Everything else will leave you feeling…blank.
And know that there are those reading who might have had things happen in their past from their own or another’s agency that might make them feel uncomfortable reading this—to you I say: the Atonement leaves no trace.
But I’m so grateful for the shortest and most frivolous relationship ever, which has helped me better prepare for my marriage—the longest and most meaningful relationship ever.