Hey folks! Ben here. Not too long ago Aileen wrote a blog about how she and I ended up together. I thought that I would share my side of the story because it creates a broader perspective. About a month before I met Aileen I prayed that I would meet someone that I could get a little dating experience with, someone I could call my girlfriend and perhaps consider having a future relationship with. When I first met Aileen I had no idea that I would ever consider marrying her or that she was an answer to my prayers. In fact I didn’t even think she would end up holding the title girlfriend. She was a quiet shy girl that I enjoyed talking to at the school library on Tuesday mornings. I thought she was really cute. I’d see her every other day at institute and would sit behind her during class. I was too afraid to sit next to her though. I’d thought about it a number of times but never summed up the courage. Silly me.
Anyways, as I said before I talked to her on Tuesdays at the library. I always looked forward to that. I would see her sitting at a table by herself and join her. She would spot me coming and look at me with this face akin to embarrassment. So I’d go embarrass her. It wasn’t often that I had the courage to talk to a girl I thought was attractive especially when I couldn’t tell if she wanted me there or not but for some reason I didn’t care. I would talk and talk and talk and she would listen despite the fact I interrupted her astronomy homework. One particular Tuesday morning I talked really loudly and she shushed me. She was so embarrassed that I was as loud as I was that her face turned bright pink. I couldn’t help myself. I talked even louder. I wasn’t intending to be a jerk or anything of that sort. Her reaction was just so cute and funny that I had to see it one more time. She seemed to think it hilarious that I was so loud. It probably seemed innocent to her.
Later that day or perhaps later in the week I invited her to come to an activity I was planning. She said she would let me know but didn’t show. I was pretty disappointed. A week later I invited her to another activity I planned. Again to my great disappointment she didn’t show. But this didn’t faze me because she had sounded so sincere about coming that I had to assume the best of her. I figured she got lost or something. So I didn’t worry about it. One Thursday shortly thereafter, I was at the Rocklin institute building trying to decide if I should go to the Book of Mormon class or if I should try to get some homework done I was worried about. I decided to go to the class on the basis that the prophets had told us to. I told myself to have Faith. After class Aileen decided to wait out in the hall for some reason. It was the first opportunity I had to talk to her outside of the library or class because usually she would take off without a word. I talked to her for a couple of minutes about random stuff and then went to the restroom. Then I started kicking myself for not taking the opportunity to ask her out. She was quite pretty after all and I figured that though she had missed my activities perhaps she would be interested in going out with me. So I did a 180 out of the bathroom and then asked her if she wanted to join me for a movie. I was scared to death when I asked her. To my surprise (and great relief) she said yes! I booked it into the main room of the building where everyone liked to hang out and ran around the room excitedly shouting out my success. Don’t worry, Aileen was not in ear shot so she didn’t hear my excitement or see all the high fives I administered.
The next day we went and saw the movie and had Chick fil A. I wasn’t really sure what to think of her at that point except that she was really funny and seemed sweet. So I asked her out again that same weekend. I started asking her out over and over. She would come to my place and I would go to hers. She watched general conference with my family, helped me feed some cows, became the llama queen, and took pictures with me on the statue of Claud Chana etc etc. Finally there was the evening when I attended her concert. She played the oboe well enough that she was in the Sacramento State University Orchestra. We had a good time together. I went home that night quite in love with her. She texted me wondering where we were at as far as a relationship was concerned so I called her. I was scared to death because I wasn’t sure where I was at with the whole thing. But I couldn’t seem to get enough of her so I asked her to be my girlfriend. She said yes to that too! We dated for several months. Then I went off to BYU Idaho. I didn’t really think things were going to work out since there would be about eight months of time between the two of us. I remember the horrible knots that were in my stomach as I drove across Nevada. I believed that was the end. Once I was established in Idaho however we started Skyping. After three or so months of that I really thought I should go and date other people so I could find my wife. I didn’t think Aileen was it at that point. I wanted her to be but I thought Heavenly Father had other plans for me so on April First I broke up with her, in person. She came up to visit me and I broke up with her. Pretty cold right? Actually it was the most harrowing experience of my life. I loved her so much. But I thought it was the right thing to do.
I didn’t enjoy being separated from her. It was a lonely time for me. I took some other women on dates and I even got excited about one or two but I kept comparing them all to Aileen. They would remind me of her and it would make me sad. On occasion I would think to myself, “at least they don’t do such and such,” trying to justify my separation from her with anger. She had made me mad from time to time, but I missed her. I even loved her for being a pain in the butt on occasion. Well, after dating around and finding that most of the girls either thought they were too good for me or finding that others were not half as intelligent as Aileen was I began to question my decision. After a few months of this I got a random phone call from guess who! Months of not talking to her and suddenly out of the blue Aileen calls me. I couldn’t stop talking to her after that.
It took very little for me to fall right back in love with her, though when I think about it I can’t say I ever fell out of love with her. For those three months I missed her and was also angry at her. I was angry at her for not being “right” for me. I soon realized that was a false presumption. She was right for me. It took the separation for me to realize that. Not long after she contacted me I told Heavenly Father that I was done looking and was going to marry her if possible.
I remember saying to him, “I’ve decided I’m going to marry Aileen Carroll and I was wondering if you would support me in this.” To my surprise he said that he would. A few months later I asked Aileen to marry me and she also answered in the affirmative. I realized that I had to make the decision first before Heavenly Father would give me a response to that question. I had to choose her, then he would choose us. To anyone out there who is considering someone, decide, and then ask. Don’t expect to get a response from Heavenly Father when you ask, “Is she the right one for me” or “Who should I marry?” Those are for you to decide. Only then will Father in Heaven give you a response.
I love Aileen. I bear witness that it was God that brought us together. I will always be grateful for that, and for her.