So I went fishing with my girlfriend yesterday on Lake Sylvia, MN.
Our relationship is only two months old, but it already feels very deep and meaningful. Neither of us are looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend to just occupy a role. We’re both looking for a life-long partner to enjoy this journey of life with.
Her and I met at a bonfire earlier this spring, and the sparks began to fly a few days later. We had lunch and took a long walk, and when we got home, we were both looking at each other differently, and everything felt so natural and easy. The relationship started there.
Now two months into it, we share most of our best adventures together. Our most recent adventure was this fishing trip, and with the sun setting behind us, I looked at her, and she looked at me, and it got me thinking about my relationship and the reason we commit to them…
Why do we spend the time building life-long relationships? And how do I know if this is the right relationship to commit to?
My thoughts weren’t going anywhere, and at that point, we ran out of bait. The sun began setting and the sky was looking darker, like a washed-out rainbow overhead. My shirt was off and I had my sunglasses down to block the sparkles off the lake.
I drove the boat off of a weedy reef and into deeper water. There was a hot dog in the cooler, and Amanda put it on her neon green jig. A fish nibbled, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw her set the hook.
It was a big one. I knew right away. She couldn’t even reel it in at first. The rod bent over the boat. I grabbed the net. We both looked amazed into the water because the line kept running further out no matter how fast she reeled.
“You’ve got a big one on,” I said, “Keep your rod tip high until it tires out, and then reel it in.”
I prayed the fish wouldn’t break the line. The worst thing is having a big fish on, and then you never even get a chance to see it. Fish like these don’t bite every day, and we had to switch sides of the boat because it was pulling so hard.
Amanda pulled back on her rod, but the fish was so heavy on the bottom it felt like a snag. I drove the trolling motor over the reef to where the line was heading. If it was a huge northern, I didn’t want her to pull too hard and have its teeth snap the line. We’d come all this way, and I didn’t want to be let down at the last moment.
When we were right over the fish, she pulled up on her rod. The fish fought back and felt like an anchor. We both looked over the edge not sure of what to expect – a northern or muskie? – And then in the water, we saw this giant bass swim up from the bottom.
My arms were shaking with excitement by the end. I unhooked it, showed her how to hold it for a picture, and we shared that moment together. That’s when I realized – Not if this is the right girl for me – she may be – but on a deeper level – on a more basic need level – it is worth committing to a relationship to try to build a loving relationship for life.
I remember reading a book called Into the Wild where the main character’s last words before he died alone in the wilderness were, “Happiness is only real when shared.”
We both enthusiastically went on this fishing adventure together. We were rewarded with this trophy catch. I feel good about this commitment. My happiness feels more real now. Onto the next adventure – where we’ll become an even better team to find more happiness and make it real together.