Potluck Friendships

Justin met Aaron his freshman year of college. They are a testament to the fact that “potluck” (random) rooming assignments can work. After living together during their freshman and sophomore years, they served as dorm leaders their junior year and remained close friends.

The summer before their senior year,  I entered the picture as Justin’s girlfriend. I knew horror stories about guys and their friends. I was anxious about what Justin’s friends would think of our relationship—especially his close friends like Aaron. To my surprise, from the beginning of my relationship with Justin, Aaron automatically counted me as his friend as well. He made me feel included and expressed an interest in my life. He cheered us on throughout our dating relationship and was thrilled when we called to tell him of our engagement. As a groomsman, he was the best dressed man at our wedding rehearsal—complete with a tie.

When Aaron moved to Honduras to teach, we stayed in touch as often as we could. We enjoyed chatting via Skype and met with him when he was back in the States. As he experienced the ups and downs of romantic relationships, we reminded Aaron of what an amazing guy he was and how he deserved a godly woman who was crazy about him. He asked for my female perspective more than once, and I enjoyed giving it to him. I realized he had become my close friend in addition to being my husband’s friend.

I clearly remember the first Skype conversation in which he mentioned Jana’s name. At first, she was a girl he had a crush on, but later she became the girl he wanted to take out on a date when he returned to the states for the summer. After seriously dating for a while, he not-so-casually dropped the “m” word for the first time while talking to us; we knew their relationship was headed toward something big. He asked my opinion about engagement rings and shared exclusive information about the upcoming proposal. It was a wedding my husband and I knew we couldn’t miss.

Last summer, we headed to Chicago for the wedding—a weekend full of joy and excitement. Aaron asked Justin to be a groomsman;  my husband had fun returning the favor of being the best-dressed groomsman at the rehearsal—complete with a tie. I enjoyed helping out behind the scenes of the wedding. From the rehearsal walk down the aisle to their first kiss as a married couple, I felt lucky to be a part of the celebration, not as a friend’s spouse, but as a friend.

In her thank you note to us Jana wrote, “I wish we lived closer, because though I hardly know you, I really, really like you. I look forward to years and years of good friendship with both of you!”  I love the fact that a “potluck” roommate situation for two freshman guys led to a close friendship which eventually grew to include two additional people. So thanks, Aaron, for being my husband’s roommate, his friend and now my friend. We, too, look forward to years and years of good friendship with you and Jana.


Amy VanSlocum grew up in rural Alaska 100 miles from the nearest stop light, McDonald's and movie theater. She has lived in Michigan, Montana, New York and has finally settled in northern Colorado. She graduated from Calvin College in 2008 with a degree in elementary education and earned her graduate degree in library science. Amy and her husband, Justin, embarked on their latest adventure, parenthood, in the summer of 2014. In their spare time, the VanSlocum family heads to the mountains to hike or ski.

Copyright © 2014 Start Marriage Right. Disclaimer