I don't recall exactly how Alice Gernazian danced into my life. We were both madly in love with Jesus, but still comfortable with our inner hippies (there was a lot of good in the hippie movement). For whatever reasons, we were instant soul mates-- not the sort who would want to kiss (much less get married) but more like Jonathan and David. Without sex, without drugs, without doing anything illegal, immoral or sinful, we had a serious case of the dreaded "soul tie".
Alice was definitely more mature in her faith and understanding of God in some ways. One night coming back from a concert we picked up a hitchhiking hippie. When I found out he was into numerology I started preaching. He asked to be let out early. After he was out, silence reigned for a minute. Finally I spoke. "I blew it, didn't I?"
"Yes, you did." And Alice loving, patiently, relentlessly walked me through my arrogance, my superiority, and my lack of love... back to where I needed to be. I so trusted Alice that she could go anywhere with me I needed to go.. Intimacy and openness made this possible. It worked both ways, though I never had to chastise her like that
A few months later we were discussing how everyone we knew seemed to be dating, and we were always kind of the extra people. We decided we would become a couple of a different sort. Since we were friends, with an intimate emotional, intellectual, and spiritual relationship, and did lots of things together anyway, and since neither of us was really interested in dating at that point, we decided that any time one of us wanted to go somewhere one might normally take a date, we would go together.
We were totally comfortable holding hands, putting our arms around each others' shoulders, and hugging. Neither of us had any desire to kiss the other (no aversion, simply no desire). We were about as close a brother and sister as there can be. I recall holding hands when we walked places, sitting with our arms around each other at concerts, days at the park, dinners, her head on my shoulder driving... and never a wrong desire. Seriously.
Eventually we both ended up in dating relationships. We each happily married and sadly lost touch (the internet was still in its infancy). But God gave Alice and me to one another in a special way. It nourished and nurtured us both, and provided for our needs. It was in no way a temptation. In fact, it provided a type of protection; neither of us was really interested in a dating relationship with anyone right then, and because we were always together, people tended to give us space. I know there were some people who wondered about us, but that wasn't our problem.
Ultimately, we were each part of God's cocoon for the other, a safe place to metamorph into someone even more beautiful, ready for the deeper relationships headed our way. The safe intimacy we experienced was just what we needed, made us both better people, and ultimately prepared us for the relationships that turned into marriage.