Olivia and Alan are one of the quirkiest couples I know. They recently got engaged and will be getting married next summer! It was definitely a hilarious time getting to interview them. I hope you enjoy!
HMHW: What do you look for in a group of friends at this age?
Alan: Authenticity, and respect.
Olivia: I don’t really look for friends at this age because I’m not very good at it. But I guess it would be people who actually take an interest in you. I feel like it’s a lot harder when you don’t see each other every day in class and you actually have to work at it. I’d look for people who will be able to hear shocking things, the ones you can bare your soul to.
HMHW: Fill in the blank: I am a closet _____ fan.
Both: *at the same time* Anime!
Alan: We’re coming out of the closet now.
Olivia: Well most people think it’s nerdy but I love it!
HMHW: Do you believe in types?
Olivia: Well, he’s dated quite a few different people. I thought I had a type, I wanted them to look a certain way and act a certain way…
Alan: Basically, hipsters.
Olivia: Well, it wasn’t called that back then! But then I dated a guy who was like that and it was just really boring and stupid. So when Alan started trying to get to know me, I immediately put him in the friend box because he didn’t look like my type.
HMHW: Do you have career goals? Do you see yourself remaining in the same career for the rest of your life?
Alan: Yes. I want to do research and teach at a university and I can see myself doing that for the rest of my life. I love science. I’m a nerd, and in a month I can actually call myself a microbiologist and a human anatomist! And in a few years, I can call myself a preontologist and a pathologist.
HMHW: So much school!
Alan: I know, so much lack of sleep.
Olivia: I need to figure out what my goals in life are. I’m in a major that I do not want to be in, but I have to finish it out. And I don’t have the skills or knowledge to be able to do the things I want to do. There are so many different things that I would like to do, like go to seminary at some point or do something with animals. I kind of just want a nature show. *insert laughter here* But I think I’ll just figure it out later because right now I’m just focusing on graduating and getting a job.
HMHW: What’s the hardest part of being engaged?
Alan: Waiting to be married.
HMHW: And you have a long wait!
Olivia: Yeah. I had a nightmare last night that I got married at WalMart and my dress was from Walmart. We still had our reservations at The Tapestry House but we didn’t want to wait and we did it at WalMart! I was terrified when I woke up. Also, it’s really weird because you don’t really know what you are. You’re still dating but you’re not married so you’re in limbo. It’s like purgatory.
HMHW: Have your friendships changed at all since getting engaged?
Olivia: Not really. I didn’t have that many friends anyways.
Alan: Yeah, not really.
HMHW: What’s your definition of guarding your heart?
Alan: Well you know I’ve had a mixed past so guarding my heart isn’t really something I’ve worried about. I don’t really care what other people think about me because I know that their opinions don’t really matter as much compared to God’s.
Olivia: I never really knew what that meant. Does it mean waiting for the right person? Or keeping yourself from getting hurt by people? Or relying on God? I don’t know what that really means.
HMHW: Do you believe in the one? If so, do you believe there were chosen for you or that they become the one when you choose them?
Olivia: It could be both. Technically, if your spouse dies you could fall in love again. It’s weird because you could date many people and think that each one was the one but then something happens and changes everything.
Alan: You know when you know.
Olivia: *to Alan* You’re my soulmate. I think the real question is whether God constructs your life and lays it out for you so you don’t really have any choice in the matter, or if freewill plays a larger part than we know. I think it’s an interplay of both that we just don’t understand. What do you think, Alan?
Alan: I think there is one true “one” but I think there could be other ones. You could think someone is the one, and even go so far as to get married to them, but it doesn’t necessarily make them the one. They’re just the one you pick. My dad and my mom were that way, and I don’t necessarily feel like they were the ones for one another. I would say that my dad and my stepmom are the ones for each other.
Olivia: Maybe it just depends on what you personally believe. If you believe that there’s one person for you, maybe God brings you that one person. And if you lose them, then you just never remarry I guess. Although, I would want Alan to be happy if I died before him…
Alan: Woah, you never told me that! Olivia told me that she would haunt my penis if she died before me.
Olivia: Yeah! I’ll haunt it and the other lady can just deal with it!
(Editor’s note: Need I describe the hysterical laughter? I think not.)
HMHW: What’s the best/worst advice you’ve ever been given on the topic of love and relationship?
Alan: Try it before you buy it, from my dad. Also, society and the media say that if you fight, you’re not meant to be together. I will not encourage anyone to get married unless they’ve had at least one fight.
Olivia: My mom has a take-charge personality and gave me a list of things to make sure a man does in a relationship because that’s how she did it with my dad. She basically advised that I be the boss of my spouse because I was the one to help them grow up. Also, from culture, just the idea that your feelings tell you what’s right and wrong is also bad advice. My emotions are all over the place, so they’re not necessarily always true.
For best advice, learning how to fight is a good one.
HMHW: How do you make decisions about your future in this season of life and has that changed from before?
Alan: Yeah, it’s definitely changed because now you have to factor in another person. You’re not just making decisions for yourself. I could’ve applied to graduate school elsewhere but she still would’ve been here. And I have to now take into consideration what graduate school would be like as a married man as opposed to being single.
Olivia: The way I’ve made other decisions in my life hasn’t changed that much. But now, I have to factor Alan in. I feel less alone in my decisions because I know I have someone living out my life with me and I’ll have some sort of stability.
HMHW: What’s your perception of the differences between masculinity and femininity? Do you think there’s a variance based on gender or from person to person?
Alan: I believe that a man should be the spiritual leader but that doesn’t excuse the woman from any kind of spiritual leadership. If I were having a spiritual problem, I would want Olivia to help me out, and she’s definitely done that in the past. And with the submission thing, it also doesn’t mean bow down and do whatever your husband says. It just means to respect your husband. Everyone uses that verse out of context, forgetting that it also says that the husband should love his wife like Christ loves the Church.
Olivia: I recently read that younger men and women try to conform to gender roles but as we get older, we allow ourselves to explore other aspects of who we are that we wouldn’t have before. I think people can be both masculine and feminine but I don’t think that means you’re androgynous. Your sex determines certain things for you, but the rest isn’t set in stone.
HMHW: What would you say is the most important lesson you’ve learned in the last year?
Alan: How to fight.
Olivia: I’ve learned that I’m way too prideful…*Alan vigorously nods* and for so long I’ve handled my problems completely by myself, hoping that they get magically fixed. I’ve also learned that while I know a lot of things about the Bible and my relationship with God, actually applying them to who I am and how I behave is very difficult for me. I’m also learning to not be so destructively independent.
HMHW: Do you think you made the most of your single life?
Alan: I got a lot out of the way when I was a single person – mostly destructive things.
Olivia: I don’t think I made the most of my single life because I always hated being single. Sometimes I didn’t think about it that much, but for the most part, I really hated being single. I could have strengthened a lot of my friendships and explored multiple interests as a single person but I didn’t. At the point when I met Alan though, I wasn’t trying so desperately to find anyone anymore.
Alan: She was on a man-fast when we started dating.
HMHW: So you ruined the fast??
Alan: Yep. That’s how God works.
HMHW: Most embarrassing dating story?
Alan: I got caught skinny dipping with one of my ex-girlfriends, by my dad.
Olivia: I was spending a lot of time with this guy my freshman year, and we hung out A LOT. But we never actually called what we were doing dating. So, for some reason we were getting coffee and then decided to go to King Soopers. While we were walking around, we walked past the dried fruits and he started to say, “So you know that fruit that old people eat…to stay regular?”
“Yeah. Well, what’s the other one that’s similar to those…?”
“Yeah! Well, is that what we’ve kind of been doing?”
I pretended for awhile to be dense and not comprehend what he was saying, because it was super uncomfortable. And I guess it was a little embarrassing since he really didn’t want to date and was trying to let me down easy.
HMHW: Do you believe in the ability to be ready for marriage? Do you have factors that indicated your readiness?
Alan: I think you can try to be ready, but you can’t ever be actually ready.
Olivia: Before he proposed, I wanted to get engaged but I felt like I wasn’t ready for multiple reasons. I think you just need to work on yourself to become the type of person you would want to marry but I don’t think you can ever actually be ready. I think preparing for marriage involves things like premarital counseling and talking about financial issues. That seems more like readiness to me.
HMHW: What are your opinions on pursuing/being pursued with regards to gender roles?
Alan: Both have to pursue and it doesn’t matter who initiates it.
Olivia: But I would like to be asked out on a date.
Alan: I think it just depends on the two people. In the end, the guy has to not be passive and do something. But the woman can definitely initiate.
HMHW: What’s the hardest part of being a 20-something?
Olivia: Growing up. I still feel like a kid in a lot of ways, like I’m behind developmentally.
Alan: Preparing to be on your own financially.