I don’t entirely believe in true love, but if I did, I am certain I found it.
When I first met Husband, he had a girlfriend, and I had a boyfriend. The latter introduced us. The first time we hung out as a group we played RISK, and Husband spent the entire game trying to throw army men down my top. He missed every single time.
After that, whenever I would visit my boyfriend, I would always message Husband to see if he could join us for a game night or something. Over the years we knew each other as friends, we sang along to Dr Horrible, and he complimented me using Apples to Apples blank cards. We talked and joked and got to know each other. I even met his parents during an XBox gaming night where I failed miserably – I’m a PS girl myself.
After I broke up with my boyfriend, Husband and I didn’t talk much for awhile. We would post stuff on each other’s Facebook walls from time to time, or comment an obligatory Happy Birthday, but we didn’t really spend time together. That all changed in September of 2012.
It started when he messaged me on Facebook, and we spent around 8 hours chatting. A day or two later, we started calling on Skype. By the end of the month, I would be taking the train down to New York to visit him as his girlfriend. I remember our first kiss like it was yesterday – and only partially because it was awkward as hell. I went for it, and he went in for a hug. I was also holding luggage, and he was holding flowers, so as you might imagine, it was hilarious. I’ve heard people say that the first kiss determines the tone of the rest of the relationship, and if that’s true, I think I’m ok with that. My life will be filled forever with laughter and love.
That December, I went down to NY to spend Christmas with his family, and then Husband came up to Canada to spend New Years with mine. On the 3rd of January, he proposed. He’d been trying to propose for three days with a stuffed owl he’d bought me for Christmas, but I didn’t notice. I didn’t realize it until he pointed it out when I was trying to decide what to make for breakfast and he told me to “ask the owl”. The rest of the conversation went like this:
Me: *looks up* Oh, that’s weird. There’s a card there.
Husband: You should check it out.
Me: Do you think [friend] left it?
Husband: I don’t know, maybe.
Me: *gets up, reads it, puts it back* Huh.
Husband: What did it say?
Me: Um… hold on. *gets up, retrieves it, sits*
I turned around, and he had the ring. He was still in bed. I have no idea where the hell he had it before he popped it out, and I’ve never asked. Maybe it makes it all the more magical that the ring just appeared when he needed it.
Sometimes I think that it’s just that we were at the right place in the right time in each other’s lives, but others I think it’s more than that that makes us perfect for each other. It’s a compatibility that I didn’t believe was possible until we met. We compliment each other in almost every way, and most importantly, I can be myself around him. Not that I don’t have to try, per se, but I don’t have to think at all when he’s around. It’s like being able to be alone, but with another person there.
A friend of mine asked me recently if Husband helped me discover who I am, and the answer to that question is maybe-sort-of-not-really-I-guess-kinda. He and I couldn’t have built such a successful relationship without the two of us knowing who we were, but at the same time, he teaches me things about myself every single day, and reaffirms the things I already know. He loves every single flaw, and helps me work on them when I ask. He supports me, and I support him. We’re young, so I’m sure we’ll have a lot of growing up to do together, but that’s just fine with me. There’s no one else I’d rather grow up – or grow old – with.
Being the married person of my friend group – which is super weird, by the way – I’m asked occasionally for relationship advice, especially on how to find a partner, so here and now I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s actually really easy to find someone, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen tomorrow. It might be, but it might also happen a year from now, or fifty years from now. Finding the person you’re going to be with is as easy – and as difficult – as finding yourself.
It sounds trite, I know, but stay with me a minute and I’ll explain.
In August of 2012, I had an epiphany of sorts that reached its peak with what would have been the birthday of a miscarriage I’d had in January. I realized, due to the fear of being unable to carry children, that relying on something in the future to make me happy was reckless. I’d pinned all my happiness of being able to be a mom one day – what if I couldn’t? That day I decided to live to be happy, to surround myself with people whom I loved more than anything, and to only enter into a relationship when I found a person who ticked all the boxes on my list of needs for a spouse – a person who loved me unreservedly, and whom I could love just the same. If that never happened? Oh, well. I’d live my life to be happy, and that’s what would matter. I gave up looking for love, and figured I’d find it when I was ready.
And then I found it.