Advice,  Couples

3 Rules for Dating: A Conversation with Micah + Ravyn

If there were ever two people at King’s that I would entrust my life to, it would be Micah + Ravyn.

And I’m not just saying that because one February night many moons ago Micah saved my dumb crop-top-and-jean-jacket wearing self from freezing to death on a LES bench in 30 degree weather (that’s a true story, by the way).

I’m saying that because – in my opinion – these are two of the most wonderful, thoughtful, + good-natured souls that you’ll ever meet at this school. And – as would be expected from such souls – they have a wonderful perspective on relationships. I’m so so glad I had the opportunity to talk to them + I’M SO EXCITED TO SHARE! Ugh. My heart.

Meet Micah + Ravyn.

Graduation Year(s): May 2021 (Micah), December 2021 (Ravyn)

Majors: Humanities + Business Management (respectively)

Houses: Lewis + ten Boom

Total relationship length (so far): 2 years

I started with the obligatory, “How did you meet?” The answer was the production of Professor Pike’s original song cycle, Songs for Women. A conversation between the two sparked an interest (at least, for Micah), + prompted Micah to ask Ravyn to Red + Green Affair.

Ravyn’s thought process = as friends!

Micah’s thought process = as friends (+ more) (?)

He properly asked her out afterwards + she said no. But the rest of the year held many surprises. Micah ended up getting her a job at his place of employment +, as Ravyn began to see him in different contexts, she began to trust + respect him more.* They eventually started dating that April + this past November got engaged!

*Getting to know one’s partner in multiple contexts seems to be a pattern among the couples I’ve talked to. Make of it what you will.

Ravyn felt the experience was unremarkable but Micah said, “It was horrible. I got turned down so many times. I got turned down even when I wasn’t asking her out!”

Interestingly, Ravyn mentioned that she felt that she + I had very similar experiences: at first, it was a hard no, but as time went on, she started considering it more + more. She mentioned that the first month especially was scary. But I love what she said about the situation: “I prayed that instead of me getting what I wanted, God would make me love what I should love.” Luckily, that ended up being Micah! And her comment reminded me a lot of Psalm 37:4.

One thing that I found especially intriguing about the conversation was the way that they approached dating. “We were dating to see if we were marriageable but that didn’t shape the relationship,” Ravyn said. To take the pressure off of having everything marriage focused, they set a different goal for themselves: they wanted to get to know each other well. And here’s how they measured that goal: they would know that they knew each other well when they could predict what the other would do in a new situation.

Additionally, at the onset of the relationship, they created three rules that would guide them through their time together (this is just so them, it’s so great, I love this).

Micah + Ravyn’s 3 Rules:

  1. Be open + honest with each other + themselves
  2. Be growth-minded
  3. Have fun, don’t make it weird, + don’t put too much pressure on themselves

Of dating, Ravyn remarked that during the beginning of the relationship when she was unsure, she appreciated having the official title: “Because we had the label + a little bit of pressure, I was more willing to wait it out than just give up quickly.” I think this is striking in an age where a lot of people seem to be unsure about labels. Some are unhelpful, for sure, but some keep us in line, some remind us of who we are, + some give us the courage to tough things out. Reflecting on the beginning, Micah added, “Most people expect to love the other person before they fully trust, but that’s not how it works. You have to hope it’s going to work out + then see the fruits of that labor.”

Throughout the course of the conversation, we happened upon a couple of pretty unique topics that I would like to highlight including doubt + ambiguity.

First we discussed doubt + how it’s not necessarily a negative thing. Ravyn said, “If people feel doubt, they assume the relationship’s going downhill. In reality, you’re probably experiencing it because nothing in the world is perfect; your partner isn’t perfect. Doubt is an indicator of imperfect realities. So you ask, ‘How can I work on this with my partner?’ Opening up about doubt is good.” As somebody who experienced a lot of doubt at the beginning of their relationship, I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. While doubt can obviously be an indicator that things are just plain bad, but it can also be indicative of the realities of living in an imperfect universe with lots of imperfect people. Relationships aren’t perfect + things are going to go wrong no matter who you’re with. Ravyn also mentioned that it’s often through these moments of imperfection that a relationship grows stronger: “One of us messing up is what propels the relationship forward.”

Ambiguity is another topic that came up, + we talked about how it can both help + hinder the dating process. Micah observed, “People are really afraid of treating something like it’s a date so they hang out in awkward ambiguity, + then they complain about it!” I think there’s a lot of truth to this statement, especially at King’s. I’ve heard people complain about someone not being straightforward about their intentions + then turn on a dime + shoot people down because they explicitly asked them out on a date.

Their advice? There’s a time for ambiguity, but you need to know when to make it unambiguous. We all know that relationship that fizzled out because they just never sat down + talked about what was happening. Ravyn added that she thinks that guys should be more open about saying something is a date + girls should be more open about going on dates that they’re not sure about unless they feel unsafe (obvs, be safe out there laedis + gents!). Because the truth is, you don’t really know what you might or might not like unless you give someone a chance. “Basic attraction is so mendable,” she said, “You have control over it to some extent.” And she’s right.

And this is only the tip of the interview iceberg, people! Unfortunately, if I typed out every good nugget these two wonderful sunshines had to say, we’d be here all day. But I’ll leave you with this piece of advice that they shared (+ which I absolutely love): Let God use the other person as a tool in your life to make you better. Ravyn said, “We’re a two person team but we’re not the coaches. God’s the coach.” Can you see why I admire them so much?

God’s the coach, friends 🙂

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