As a teenage girl, I dreamt about the kind of guy I wanted to marry. I pictured my love story happening just as my parents' had. My dad walked into a college class, saw my mom, and knew he wanted to marry her. Boom. They were married several months later. I was sure this would happen to me too, and I loved envisioning the man I wanted to marry.
That man was tall and muscular with dark hair, dazzling blue eyes, and a pearly-white smile. He was the high school quarterback and point guard. He sang in the drama production (thanks Zac Efron) and aced his homework. He could fix cars and build houses. He was charming, well-mannered, and smart. He was successful and wealthy. He was perfect.
I went through life imagining this guy and waiting for him to show up.
But then something happened.
One evening I was sitting on a wall talking to my best friend, a guy I had every class with. We hung out almost every night, but this night was different. We talked about our serious life questions. He looked me in the eye like no one ever has before, as if he really cared what I had to say.
And in that moment, a scary realization struck me – I liked him. A lot. And he liked me too.
And in that moment my entire "future spouse list" fell to pieces.
Because this guy was not the perfect guy, but somehow he was everything I didn't know I wanted.
He wasn't an athlete. He was never the star quarterback or the musical hotshot. He was loud and opinionated and obnoxious. He didn't look like my perfect guy either. He was blonde-ish and taller than me, but not that tall. I had never really looked at my friend until that night, and suddenly he was perfectly attractive.
Although I had never considered a relationship, I loved our friendship. We valued the same things. Religion was a priority and family always came first.
I also loved who I was when I was with him. I didn't have to be the perfect girl. He saw me at my worst – when I had the flu, when I was stubborn and opinionated, when I cried about my own insecurities – but he still liked me.
Throughout our relationship this best friend of mine taught me something hugely important: there are so many things that don't matter when seeking a future spouse. Hair color, musicality, athleticism, height, food preferences, wealth, and popularity – it really doesn't matter.
Alyssa graduated with a degree in Middle East Studies & Arabic and continually adds to her list of random life experiences as she faces one adventure after another. With too many hobbies to count she especially loves hip-hop, soccer, and photography.