It’s finally Friday! I hope you all have pushed through this week, and made it a good one. Today is really special to me because it marks NINE months since I have started dating my boyfriend, Hayden. So in honor of our nine months together, I wanted to bring him onto the blog today with me to answer some questions about dating, faith-based relationships, and our relationship specifically. He’s a total gem, so I know you girls will appreciate reading this post.
Hayden has truly changed my life in all the best ways. He’s a passionate man of God, a friend to all, and the love of my life. I consider it such a blessing to get to go through life with him, and be loved by him. I always tell my single friends, “If he doesn’t treat you the way Hayden treats me, you don’t want him.” I stand by that firmly. Another one I say a lot is “Everyone needs a Hayden. But, not my Hayden. Because he is mine!” Haha! But, I really mean it.
Without further ado, let’s hop into this Q+A!
1. What is your first memory of each other?
Hayden: I remember seeing her at church as early as elementary school, but we didn’t really interact. My first real memory is when we first started talking on Instagram in 2018. We talked about to our jobs, she was working in the Kennesaw State Football office, and I was working in the Illinois Men’s Basketball office. We both talked about the similarities of our jobs, and then started talking about our life and career plans, and became friends from there on after!
Mazie: Hayden and I grew up in church together, so I remember seeing him around at events as a kid. We never really talked in person that I remember, but I know we had followed each other on social media for quite a while. I remember following him on Instagram because I loved seeing the things he created as a graphic designer for work. When I was working in college as a graphic designer for Kennesaw State Football, I loved to look at his work for inspiration or ideas. I wanted to message him for so long to ask about his work, but I was worried it would be weird so I didn’t. I ended up getting gutsy and messaged him on Instagram about work, and that is my first real memory of our first real interaction.
2. When did you start realizing you had feelings for each other?
Hayden: I think sometimes it doesn’t really happen all at once. There’s not necessarily a defining moment, but I will say you start to realize that you care for someone when you take interest in their life and want to be a part of it. We started talking on the phone, and I think we both realized that we wanted to be a bigger part of each other’s lives than just being close friends.
Mazie: I started realizing I had feelings for Hayden when I would get so excited to see his name pop up on my phone. My heart would skip a beat when I would hear his text or Snapchat come in. Once our friendship reached the point of talking on the phone as often as we did, I started realizing how deep my feelings were for him. Hearing him talk about life, the world, and Jesus’ love was like listening to my prayers being answered.
3. What is your best advice for the “talking” stage before dating?
Hayden: I don’t really like to think of it as a “talking” stage because people use the term loosely. Some people mean different things by talking. I would say just get to know the other person, and see how close the two of you become. You don’t need to put the pressure of being in a certain phase or timeline with somebody. With Mazie and I, it happened naturally from us being super close friends for over a year, and as we grew closer we realized that we wanted a relationship with each other.
Mazie: I don’t really feel like Hayden + I were ever technically in the talking stage. But, in the time before you do decide to start dating, really focus on taking time to learn the ins and the outs of the other person. I would also make sure you see how they deal with all types of emotions before agreeing to be in a relationship with them. Do they get mean when they are mad? How do they treat you when they are overwhelmed or stressed? How do they react when something doesn’t go their way? Really get to know them. That is why I will always recommend being friends first.
4. How did you know it was a good idea to date when you did?
Hayden: I just felt that I was a better man the closer I got to her, and I wanted to help her be the woman she wants to be! So it was pretty easy to make the decision to start dating her for me.
Mazie: Hayden asked me to be his girlfriend, and I told him I needed time to think it through. I wanted to be sure I was going into this relationship with the MOST pure intentions. I wanted to be sure I was not entering into a relationship with him just because I was lonely, or wanted a boyfriend, or liked how he treated me. After about a week of a lot of prayer, I felt such peace and clarity from God that I was ready for this relationship, and I knew in that moment I was meant to be with Hayden. I am thankful I took that time to be sure I was really intentional about our relationship.
5. Is long-distance hard?
Hayden: It’s challenging for sure, just not being able to see each other at any given moment. However, I wouldn’t say it’s hard in the sense that our relationship is a struggle.
Mazie: Long distance is hard. I am a very physical person. I love holding hands, and giving him little kisses on the cheek, and stealing hugs any chance I get. But, when you live over 2,000 miles away from each other, that is not easy. Long distance itself is hard, but our relationship is certainly not hard. It is worth every single mile. I cannot wait until we live in the same place!
6. What is your best advice for long distance dating?
Hayden: My best advice is to make time to communicate every day. Mazie and I talk on the phone every night. Some couple may not have a schedule that allows for that, but I would advise to talk when you can. Obviously communication is key, and if you can afford it, try and see each other as often as you can. Sometimes it’s fun to FaceTime each other and watch the same show or eat the same food for dinner, it helps keep things fun from a distance!
Mazie: My best advice for LDR is easy. Communicate. Find out each other’s love languages and RUN with it. It would be so difficult to do long distance if we did not know how to love each other best. Both of us are really passionate about quality time, so we are intentional about making time for each other no matter what. We FaceTime every night, we play games from a distance, we eat the same foods for dinner sometimes, and we love to have a show we watch together at night. It kind of just makes it feel less like “long distance”, and more like… “just doing life together”.
7. What types of resources would you recommend couples use to create a healthy relationship and connection?
Hayden: Mazie would have more answers than me, but she was reading a book about faith-based relationships at every stage, whether you are dating, engaged, or married. That was helpful and reassuring that we are on the right track.
Mazie: I love finding good resources for relationship advice. We like to read faith-based books about relationships, sometimes Hayden joins me in my therapy sessions, I listen to podcasts about relationships, and I love listening to sermons about dating the right way. I think investing in resources is so crucial for a healthy relationship, and it shows the other person that you care about them and what you are building enough to work on being the best you can be.
8. Is it important to share faith in your relationship?
Hayden: If faith is important to you, then is has to be your first priority in a dating relationship. You want to be with somebody who shares the same beliefs and values as you. The purpose of a relationship is to encourage each other and support each other in your goals and dreams, and if you don’t have the same set of beliefs, you are going to have little to no chance of making it work because you will both be pursuing different ideals.
Mazie: Yes! So much of our relationship is centered around our beliefs and our dedication to God. Our relationship would be different in basically every way imaginable if we were not brought together through faith. If we were not on the same page or “equally yoked” we would have a super difficult time dealing with real life situations, and maintaining a healthy relationship. We have the same views on sexual immorality, finances, family, and the world.
9. Do you study the Bible together?
Hayden: Yes, we do study the Bible together in a couple different ways. Sometimes, we will read a daily devotional. Other times Mazie has read a book about faith based relationships, sometimes we read the verse of the day on the Bible app. And of course, prayer is another good way to pursue a faith based relationship together.
Mazie: We sure do! Studying the Bible together has been such a beautiful way to grow in our faith, and our in our relationship. We have so much fun breaking down scripture, relating it to modern day, and learning how to serve the world, each other, and God better. We spend time in prayer together every single night, and those times in prayer are some of the most precious moments of my life.
10. How do you show love to each other?
Hayden: It’s important to listen to the other person, down to the smallest details. (which is hard for me lol) It’s important to make sure the other person knows that you’ve been listening to the things they’ve told you about their past and present life, because it shows that you are invested in them and not just yourself. We also show love to each other through gifts, fun activities, and being able to put the other person before ourselves.
Mazie: I mentioned learning each other’s love languages earlier, and I feel like that is SO important to mention here too. Luckily, Hayden and I have almost identical percentages in the love language categories, so it is pretty easy to show him love. And to be honest, he is just easy to love. It does not take hard work to love him, but showing him love is where the work comes in because of long distance. When we are away from each other, I always make sure to spend time with him on FaceTime, and send him mail. When we are together, I like to cook him dinner, go for walks, and hold hands, and spend time together with no electronics. Another way I show love to Hayden is by really investing in his life, and his world. I make an effort to build relationships with his friends, and family. I learn about the things he is interested in, and I listen to the details about things he is passionate about.
11. How do you avoid jealousy in your relationship?
Hayden: We have never had an issue with jealousy. When people in relationships deal with jealousy, I think it’s because they don’t communicate. Sounds simple, but when you look at couples that deal with jealousy, it usually comes down to a breakdown in communication. If you aren’t talking to the other person or keeping them in the loop consistently, it leaves them wondering what you’re up to or if they’re hiding something.
Mazie: I know this sounds like a big ole lie, but we just do not have problems in the jealousy department. We are both very confident in the other person. I know Hayden respects me enough to not force me into a position where I would feel the need to be jealous. I never feel jealous because Hayden communicates SO well with me, and we are always on the same page even from a distance. He never leaves me wondering where we stand, what he’s doing, or who he is talking to. We are very open with each other (unless we are surprising each other, hehe).
12. Is there a way to work on building trust in relationships or does it just take time?
Hayden: I think when you’ve been friends for a while before dating, at least for me, the trust comes easily. If the other person is your best friend, and they are consistently communicating and keeping you up to date with everything going on in their life, then they give you no reason to not trust you. For some people, it’s harder than others due to the toxicity in their past relationships, but I think that’s why it’s important to be friends before you jump into a dating relationship.
Mazie: It takes time to build trust with anyone! Not just in a romantic relationship, but in all types of relationships with all types of people. Luckily, because our relationship started off as a close friendship, we never dealt with the “building trust” piece of a dating relationship. We went into our relationship knowing that we were both trustworthy people, and now we get to celebrate that in our relationship! But, if you have dealt with a relationship previously where you couldn’t trust the other person, I would recommend focusing on yourself, and learning how to identify the characteristics of a trustworthy person, so you do not have to deal with that again.
13. Do you guys fight?
Mazie: Haha, nope. We always try to remember that we are always on the same team. It is Us VS The Problem. Never Him VS Me!
14. What do you hope the future of your relationship turns out to be?
Hayden: We believe that the goal of every dating relationship is to end in marriage. For some people, it may be different, but for us we would like to ultimately share a life together and that means being married. It’s very comforting to know that Mazie has the same intentions, and that one of us isn’t in it for different reasons than the other.
Mazie: I have been praying for this relationship since I was young. I look forward to the future of our relationship because I look forward to becoming Hayden’s wife, and his best friend for life! He is really my buddy, and I am absolutely thrilled to spend my life with him.
15. What is the best memory you two have together?
Hayden: My favorite memory of us together is probably the time we were in the Dunkin Donuts drive thru and Mazie cried because she thought her donut was so cute. Just kidding, I have a few memories though. The day we met as a couple for the first time was such a happy moment. I also really enjoyed getting to go see her house and family in Georgia. We had such a fun week and it was awesome to see her fam, neighborhood, where she went to college, and most importantly her dog, Sperry.
Mazie: My favorite memory of our relationship is probably the first time we met! I remember getting off the plane, and seeing him smile at me SO big from a distance in the airport. I rushed into his arms, and he held my hands, and kissed my forehead, and we just stood there hugging for minutes. It was so beautiful, and it was almost like I could hear God saying, “You’re home!” when I reached him. Another memory I loved was when I had the opportunity to spend the holidays with his family. That was my first time meeting them, and they were so welcoming, and kind. It was such a fun time, and I loved being able to see where he grew up.
16. What are some goals you two have?
Hayden: Some of our goals are to see different places around the world, to be able to serve God together, and ultimately enjoy a life full of challenges and adventures with family and friends!
Mazie: I know Hayden and I both want to follow whatever God’s calling is for our lives, and serve Him. We both hope that includes lots of traveling, having kids, and spending quality time with our friends, and family. We also really hope to have a home that we can invite guests to!
17. What is your best advice for having a fun, healthy, faith-based relationship?
Hayden: Be able to laugh at yourself and at each other a lot. Go do fun things as much as you can and find things you both enjoy. Communicate as much as possible so nothing is left to question, and be sure you are both pursuing the same things!
Mazie: My best advice for a healthy relationship, is to not take life too seriously. Life always goes a different direction than what you plan, so just be willing to make the best of it. Laugh together, communicate honestly about your feelings, and never stop trying to win each other’s hearts over.
Well, friends, I hope you enjoyed this EXTRA special blog post. I know this is one I will be able to look back on joyfully in the years to come.
I hope you have a super happy weekend. Remember if you have not yet signed up for my new email list, you can always sign up HERE. I will chat with you soon!