It was fall of 2012 and it wasn’t love at first sight for me and my man. In fact, he was in a relationship when I met him. I was single at the time and was visiting a girlfriend of mine (her boyfriend was his roommate). I remember thinking to myself “omg Nicole, don’t freak out or drool or stare because he is FINE!” But, once I realized that he had a girlfriend, all of that emotion died. Finito. Gone. Poof! However, this happened to be the day that I met the love of my life, but we didn’t know that for another five years.
Now, I wasn’t instantly in love with him or wooed by the thought of being his lady until summer of 2017. Even then it took me some time to open up again, but I knew there was something special in him, something different, mysterious, and sexy. He didn’t have that “bad boy” image, but there was something wildly attractive about him. He is genuine, an all-around beautiful soul, and someone who has always been there for me, cheering me on.
This man has an unwavering love for me. He is thoughtful, surprising, a planner, a pleaser, a giver, smart, intuitive, a great listener and respectful. I am talking about those little things that people talk about that mean something deeper than the illusion of a good man. He thinks of me often with notes and brings me flowers, just because. He is in constant planning mode for vacations. He has communicated his plan for our future and where he sees it taking us. He is patient with me during my anxious moments and finds ways to comfort me. Nothing that I do makes him angry or mad or unraveled. Everything is so easy. Nothing is difficult. I can sense the level of admiration that he has for me and it is truly a beautiful thing. Babe, if you’re reading this, I want you to know that I notice every little thing and I love you for all of it.
I am saying all of this for a couple of reasons. Not only does he say all of these things or just say that he loves me; he shows his love for me each and every day. My perception of love has changed a lot in the last 7-10 years and what I have learned is that true love is not felt in the first moments of meeting someone; it’s not emotional. Love is something that is built over years and developed through action; “love is a verb” (big thank you to Elad Nehorai for that one- perfectly said). I used to think love was just the emotion that I felt for another person, when in fact it is the action shown from another that creates that bond. Respect is another action shown through love. Dad always told me that the right man would be one who respects me. Through the many years of respect, admiration, care, thoughtfulness and this last year of courtship, I have fallen in love with this man. I never imagined I would be here, right now with him and sharing this life together. I am so grateful for every experience that has led me to him. I have total confidence that he is my forever, my partner for the rest of my life. We are the greatest couple in so many ways. We are the perfect balance and tell each other often how lucky we are to have one another. I keep him grounded and he keeps me sane. In my many moments of worry, he finds the logic to keep me calm. When he stresses about work or life, I keep him focused on the reality of where he is today and all of the things he should be proud of.
My message here is that my love did not grow in the first day, week, month or even the first year that I met him. These things take time. Once I learned of his nature, his intentions and how much he freaking adores me is when I knew he wasn’t just another man that was going to walk out of my life. I even tried to break up with him once and he pretty much told me that it wasn’t happening; that we were meant for each other and he wasn’t going to let me walk away. Now, that’s a scene out of a Nicholas Sparks movie!
Today, we live together in a beautiful home with our six-pound pup, Milo, and we tell each other that every single day feels like a vacation, even on the days when we feel down about work or family or friendships not going well. We feel like we’re on vacation because our reality feels like a dream and we have each other for every good and bad moment in life. And I’ll tell you, there are so many more good days than bad. I find myself at ease, not stressing about stupid things, actually looking forward to a future, having that sense of assurance that covers me like a warm blanket, letting me know that I can rely, trust and believe that he has my best interest at heart. And you wanna know the real beauty behind it all- I know my love grows more each and every day. I look at him and melt (especially when he doesn’t shave that face for a few days- haha)! I love you today, I’ll love you tomorrow and I’ll love you more the day after! I love you, my Forever.