The aforementioned lifestyle change had somewhat of a ripple effect. I met Christina at a place where the "old me" would have NEVER gone. I was attending a charity event (which was being promoted through my church, of all places), supporting a good cause, and was completely sober. Yes, this was the first time I had gone out without drinking my face off... and this is key because had I been intoxicated, Christina would've seen right through my motives and our exchange would've been a simple "hi and bye". But there was a certain peace that came with my ability to be my authentic self, which allowed me to make genuine connections, and I ended up having the best time of my life that night. The decision to clean up my act necessitated a new environment, which would include new sources of entertainment, which exposed me to a completely different community of people, which ultimately led me to my wife (crazy how I only had taken one step in a new direction, and immediately met my wife right?). I would later find out that this event was also a change of pace for her, which means we were both at the same place. And even though we didn't start dating until 6 months later, a pure foundation had been established and would remain intact.
HOW did I make the transition from manwhore to husband material?
The NUMBER ONE contributing factor in making this transition possible was (wait for it.......) celibacy. Christina and I had both made a commitment to remain celibate until marriage (prior to dating), and that decision paid dividends. Not having sex actually expedited our dating/courting/engagement process. Think about it. What man has time to sit around "dating" a beautiful woman for 5 years without having sex with her? Not me! So that means every moment spent together was critical. And because there were no hidden agendas, I was able to really get to know Christina. I was able to fall in love with her for who she was, as opposed to what she was doing for me physically. Celibacy enabled me to see past Christina's physical attributes (and she's hot as fish grease, by the way), to identify the qualities I find to be essential in a wife: kindheartedness, selflessness, compassion for others, and love for God.
So as my bride made her way down the aisle, I knew for a fact that I was right where I was supposed to be. And the best part is, that was only the beginning.