I’ve know my friend Ali for about 7 years now; ever since we were made stand-partners in orchestra my sophomore year of high school. When I told her about starting ‘Ask Him’ over coffee, she immediately thought of Jack, a good friend of hers that she met through church and is now at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. We interviewed Jack over the phone, Ali was right in suggesting him for this as his answers were both eloquent and very wise; as you can read for yourself…
So Jack my first question is, what are you up to right now?
Right now I am studying at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. I’ve been in the navy for about 4 years and after this I’ll have a 5 year contract. So I actually started college a few weeks ago…basically its all the things people think about when they think of military school.
Ok, so you’re in the Naval Academy. When you’re not studying etc, what are some things you like to do for fun?
So I was in Hawaii for about a year and there I really got into surfing, I also really enjoy snowboarding. I like going to the beach, relaxing…I like sleeping a lot. Essentially anything that isn’t high stress…eating. Yeah, low-stress activities.
And how did you meet Ali?
She sang at church and then some friends told me to go to The Well [a church program for young adults] and so I went to The Well and she was singing at The Well and then they told me to go to the after party and there she was at the after party and then they told me to go join a small group and there she was in small group…we just kept running into each other over and over.
So what are some qualities you look for in a girl?
Confidence is a big one. And a good sense of who they are…if they know where they’re at, then you kind of get to be with them where they are. I don’t know, that sounded super confusing. But if they’re struggling with something, I like to hear it and help them or refer them to someone who can if I can’t. So a girl who is open and honest.
Do you want to elaborate a little bit on confidence? What does that look like to you?
Confidence in their abilities. Knowing your strengths and using them. You don’t hold back…you give it your all and do what you can to be your best – not the best but your best.
What are some qualities you look for in relationships?
Communication. The back and forth between what’s going wrong, what’s going right…Talking everyday, seeing her as much as I can. So, talking face to face and not just texting or talking on the phone. Communication in the sense of a two way street- each party has a say in how the relationship will go. Kind of talking over how the last week has gone between the two of you. What’s working and what’s not and how we can come to a solution and fix whatever isn’t working. Reinforcing positive things and trying to mend or build up things that aren’t as strong.
Fun. Random fun. Random things that kind of spark enjoyment and you guys have a good time together…out of the blue. Keeping it exciting, keeping it fun.
Encouragement. Having a person there that keeps your head up and just lets you know ‘you’ve got this.’ Knowing when someone needs encouragement and giving that encouragement.
How do you express interest?
I want to be there; to help her if I can… to be a friend. You can’t really be in a healthy relationship unless you know that person. I think a solid friendship always makes for a better relationship. Expressing interest in all the things that make her, her. I want to meet her, to get to know her so that from that I can build on it. Also, I want to get to know her family. If you express interest in a person’s family, that’s a big thing for me. Her family is a part of who she is; she is molded by them. Her parents raised her and helping bring her siblings up is a part of who she is. So I want to get to know them…that is probably one of the most enjoyable parts for me.
What are some things that you admire about women in general?
Women are really caring, naturally. They’re always going to look out for the other person. Like my mom has always done the best she can to provide me with the best life she can. I think that’s a common theme…at least in the women I surround myself with.
What are some things you’re looking forward to in the near or distant future?
Looking forward to spending time with my future wife…I’ve always wanted children. Growing up I had an older brother to look out for me but I didn’t have anyone to look out for..I really wanted a little sister. Now I really want to be a father, especially for a little girl. I want to spoil her, I want to be the dad that says ‘bring her home by 10’…
I used to always see all the cute things my dad would do for my mom…whether it’s doing something extra that she didn’t ask or like he would buy us pizza and make dinner for the two of them. They had a set date night every week…I’m looking forward to that.
I’m also looking forward to being in community with other couples, going on double dates and sharing in that season with others.
Pretty cool, right? It’s conversations like this that keep us encouraged that there are good men out there and to keep striving to be our best selves while we find the right one.