Early love is like playing poker. You know exactly what your cards are, but you have no idea what your opponent might be ready to lay down. Sometimes, your position may not be very strong, but you can bluff your way through the game and still come out on top. Either way, it's always fun and exciting.
When I started playing poker....er, I mean courting...with Jenny, I hadn't been dealt very good cards. I had been home from my mission for almost three years and my actions in prior relationships had been much like a bull in a china closet. Needless to say, although I felt I knew how to play poker, I wasn't very good at it.
I'm sure Jenny is good at playing poker. For whatever reason, though, she always decided to show me her cards before I could even place a bet (in other words, she had no problem telling me exactly what she was thinking about "us"). I remember sitting with her on the couch at my apartment one afternoon before we started dating when she said something to the effect of, "Gosh, I really want to cuddle with you, but just don't know if I should!" Interestingly enough, I had been thinking the same thing, but certainly wouldn't have laid my cards on the table like that. With Jenny constantly showing me her cards and letting me win, our relationship progressed throughout the year.
That's not to say we didn't have stumbling blocks and disagreements, though. We even stopped dating for a short period of time because of our petty differences. But when you truly fall in love, you fall in love with the person, not just specific attributes. You love the whole package with all its beautiful imperfections and potential for divinity. Something I learned is that, if for no other reason, I should always love Jenny just because she puts up with me and my weaknesses like no one else can. She obviously has much more to offer (energy, humor, incredible beauty, love for everyone, fun-going personality, etc), and I appreciate every little part of her in my life.
Jenny also has very strong patience. Through showing me her cards early and often, it became pretty clear she was ready for marriage and only needed me to pop the question. I pretty much knew I was going to get there, but wanted to really be 100% first - something that, in hindsight, I probably already felt, but didn't realize. When she left for Peru and we had an over-dramatic goodbye at the airport, I knew we were going to be together forever. So, on April 16th, I made one of the biggest purchases of my life and, on April 17th, asked her dad if I could be the one to take care of her from here on out. On May 15th, I popped the question, and the rest is history.
As a very special woman, Jenny intuitively knows what's going to happen before it happens. That's probably why she never had any problem showing me her cards before the game even began. It turns out, Jenny is always right.