This week’s Friday post comes from a dear college friend of mine, Michelle. She’s bubbly and brilliant, brave and intelligent. She’s one of those girls who takes chances and follows what she believes, without wavering. That’s part of why I love her story so much — she really did have to love herself first before she could find that special man. Though I haven’t met the lucky guy, I look forward to it — and to reading more posts on her new blog. Hope you fall in love with her story below and if you want to submit your own, read this.
The Most Important Love Story of My Life
Most people that know me would label my love life as…educational, at best. With quite a few relationships of varying degrees, I have wined, dined, and rolled my eyes with more than a few gentleman callers. Only a couple seem worth remembering for their lessons and values–most served their purposes depending on the time of my life. There have been times when I’ve been bored or feeling mischievous or desperate, but all of those feelings and emotions tend to blend together after time. There have been times of feeling broken-hearted–months of agonizing relationship faults and wondering what I did wrong, trying to love myself again since the man that had left me made me feel worthless. Times where I felt dumb and defeated, but swore I would forget the feelings any thoughtless man had given me, and rejoice in the love I had in myself.
This desire for self-love lasted for a very long time.
I had used OkCupid when I lived in Washington, D.C., mostly to fill the void of loneliness I had moving from my college town to a huge city. I had some moderate success, but nothing really stuck, so I was hesitant to relying on it for true romance in my new city. With some new pictures and witty one-liners, I updated my profile and allowed the rest of the universe access to my vulnerable dating state. It was nerve wracking.
I messaged a few guys here and there, but was mostly underwhelmed by their responses. One night with a glass of wine and a rom-com in the DVD player, my sister insisted on looking at my profile, editing it, and finding some suitable gentlemen for me on the site. I reluctantly gave her control, and as she deleted and searched, I wondered if what I was looking for could be found on a site used primarily for booty calls. While browsing, she clicked on one fellow in particular–a Mr. “unnecessarybeef”. “He’s cute!” she exclaimed. I looked at his pictures. Cute, yes, but he looked like a jock with his marathon photos. “He won’t be into me, I hate sports,” I said, but my sister pushed on. “Just message him. What do you have to lose?” she responded, and while rolling my eyes, I looked at the rest of his profile.
In the section labeled “You should message me if:”, he had a long list of quirky, personal skills that he had, that he wished to share with another person. I found this endearing right away, but my eyes lit up at the sentence “You want to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow”. Seeing my gateway line, I sent him a message saying hello, and that I was dying to learn archery.
A couple days later, I got a sweet response saying that he would love to teach me. He also wrote that he didn’t know many other girls in their 20’s that had an interest in learning to shoot a bow, and inquired why I was interested. I knew I had to be honest. It was a compatibility test of sorts–could this guy deal with my nerdiness? I told him the truth: I loved the young adult book series The Hunger Games, thought Katniss was a bad ass, and wanted to learn her life-saving skill in the books. I clicked send and waited for the universe to decide what to do.
I got exactly the response I had been hoping for. “I love The Hunger Games, that is awesome,” he wrote, and I had a good feeling about this guy. We exchanged numbers and set up a date that week at a local bar downtown. He asked if we could each exchange a book that we loved when we met, and my good feeling turned into a feeling of “Oh my God, who is this prince?”.
When I walked to the bar and saw a fit, handsome, and well-dressed man awaiting me outside, my mouth dropped. I saw him before he saw me, so I don’t think he noticed, but I was in awe. His smile and greeting eased my nerves, and we went to the lower level of the bar where we chatted non-stop about anything and everything for two hours. He had brought me a Noam Chomsky book which made me realize he was as intelligent as he was adorable, and I brought my favorite collection of Augusten Burroughs essays so he would know I was funny and open-minded. I found out that he loathed sports but found a lot of joy in running, which was relieving. He didn’t kiss me good-night, but we made plans for a date the next night, and when I got in my car I called one of my best friends. When she asked how the date went, I told her I had just gone on the very last first date I’d ever have.
We’ve been inseparable since that meeting, and I couldn’t ask for a better partner. He challenges me to be the very best that I can, and supports me with his wisdom and heart. He makes me laugh so hard it makes my stomach hurt, and he has introduced me to so many new hobbies and skills (including shooting a bow and arrow, which I am awesome at). He helped me train and ran my first 5K with me, and together we’ve gone on adventure after adventure. I love how mature and put together he is, but also that he is incredibly goofy and passionate for life. I never want to know what a day without talking to him is like. He’s successful and kind, he loves to help others and make people laugh. He is my missing puzzle piece, and it is because of him, he has completed the love story I have with myself. He loves me so deeply, that it allows me to view myself the same way he views me.
Currently we are house hunting and chatting non-stop about our future–it’s exciting and fun and crazy and everything in-between. I am so happy these days, and it is because of so many things. A job that I love, a family that supports me, a community of friends that I wouldn’t know what to do without, and living in an amazing city that I never want to leave. But it’s him, my partner, that pulls it all together in my heart. I wish that everyone can experience this kind of love. I hope you all find it.