Someone once told me that I had unrealistic expectations of love; that the romantic fairytale that I dreamed of didn't exist and that my heart would continue to be broken unless I changed my expectations. And although I considered that this judgment may be true for a brief moment, I quickly came to the realization that it simply could not be. I may be a hopeless romantic, but that didn't (and doesn't and shouldn't) undermine my belief that there is someone out there for each of us - one person, a soulmate if you will - who is your perfect match. The person who told me that my expectations were unrealistic wasn't trying to be mean, or hurtful, he was simply unable to give me what I needed and instead of accepting that and moving on, he tried to lessen my expectations of what I deserved. And while it didn't happen overnight, I took time to learn how to believe in myself and how to make myself happy. I learned that happiness attracts more happiness and that I not only deserve to be happy, but I deserve to be loved and to be dreamed about and to be a part of a magical love - a love that I am so lucky to have found and to be celebrating this week (and every week).
In February of 2010, I found myself in the middle of a horrible break-up. And it wasn't horrible in the sense that it was drawn out (although it sort of was), it was horrible in the sense that when it happened, I was at a complete loss for what to do and how to get through each day. I had put my trust in someone, given them my love and instead of being loved in return, I had my trust taken for granted and wasted. I couldn't believe that I had let someone get so close to me only to lie to me and try to lessen my self-worth. The break-up devastated me because it made me doubt myself. I could barely eat, so sick to my stomach over the fact that I couldn't undo what had been done, and I could barely do anything but manage to make it through work to come home to sit and numbly stare at the television, and cry.
And then another bombshell dropped. I found out that my roommate had been getting closer to my ex-boyfriend by the minute and letting him, and just about anyone else within earshot, know my every move (she was a really sweet girl, as I'm sure you can tell). She let him know that I was crying every night, barely eating, and that I was basically a mess - and she told him this not out of concern, but so that they could laugh at my expense and talk about how ridiculous I was. By the time I found this out, towards the end of March, I had had enough. I decided that if my roommate wanted to share my every move with anyone who would listen to her, then she could share how well I was doing and how much I was living my life. I started going out every night with friends (the good ones), finding things to cover any spare moment of time that I had, and, without thinking that anything would really come of it, I started dating again.
I joined J-Date and after meeting a few interesting characters, including a New Yorker that took me to a local pub and loudly talked about his hatred for the Patriots for over an hour, getting us some not so friendly glares from other patrons and another who took me to see a movie - and proceeded to talk through the entire thing, I stumbled across the profile of an adorable boy named Josh. On a complete whim, I sent him a message, telling him how adorable I thought he was and asking him if he was interested in talking to me. And, as fate would have it, he did.
The first night we talked was April 28, 2010. Talking to Josh that first night was incredible - I felt so at ease and, I started to fall for him, this stranger with whom I had found an immediate connection. During another conversation I had with my best friend that same evening, I told her all about him and even told her that I thought I could fall in love with him. Later that night, after a conversation with Josh that seemed as though it would last forever if we let it, we exchanged phone numbers, and set a date for Friday, April 30. I'm going to be honest with you here, you shouldn't do what I did. I broke every rule in the online dating (imaginary) handbook:
Rule #1: Meet in a public place.
I drove about an hour to a town I had never been to to meet Josh at his house.
Rule #2: Don't get in a car with a date on the first night.
I left my car at Josh's house and let him drive me to a restaurant about 30 minutes from there.
Rule #3: Don't go into your date's house, or allow them into yours on the first night.
After drinks and dinner, we headed back to Josh's to watch a movie.
Oh yes, I was a real rebel. But the fact is that I felt comfortable and I, fortunately, allowed my heart to be my guide. Josh and I had an instant connection that was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I knew, without hesitation, that I was safe with him. And so, I took a leap of faith, made sure a friend knew exactly where I was going and where I would be, made sure to check in with her during the night, and took the first step towards the rest of my life.
And wow, our first date was perfect. From meeting him at his front door to hours of talking to the sweetest goodbye, I felt like I had dreamed the entire thing. I was going to stay at a friend's house for the weekend when I left Josh for the evening, and on my late night drive I called my father and told him that I thought I might have just had a date with "the one."
Except then I went and almost ruined it. I got scared. If you remember, about 825 words ago, I mentioned that bad heartbreak I went through. Did I want to go through that again? Did I have it in me to fall in love again even though it might end even harder than it did the last time? I wasn't so sure. And, to make things even more confusing, it didn't help that Josh seemed to really like me. He wanted to talk to me every day, plan our next date, and he wanted to be a part of my life. And that terrified me. So, I took a big risk (a really big risk) and I asked him to take it all down a notch and to maybe back off a little bit. And although he was completely confused by this, and also frustrated with it and upset by it, he did. And then, magic happened. As soon as Josh wasn't sending a text to me to say good morning, or sending me an e-mail during the day, I missed him. I missed his jokes, I missed hearing what he was up to and I missed sharing my day with him. So, I decided that we should go on a second date.
Our second date was on May 16, 2010, and we spent the day hiking in the Blue Hills and watching the Celtics playoff game. By the time I left Josh's house (again with the rule-breaking), I knew that I had found someone (and something) incredibly special, and that I didn't want to waste any more time without Josh in my life. Less than two weeks, one amazing home cooked dinner, one Celtics playoff game and a Lost finale later, Josh and I embarked on what would become our first annual Memorial Day road trip. Originally planned to be taken with two friends of mine who, at the last moment were unable to join us, we decided to take the trip with a slight change in plans - instead of Alabama as our destination (1 of 8 states I had left to visit before turning 25 - read about this here), we changed course and headed to Nashville, TN and then home by way of Atlanta, GA. After 3 and a half days, of non-stop laughs, newly made memories and incredible feelings, we both knew how lucky we were to have found one another. We fell in love on our trip to Nashville, one of many wonderful adventures that we've had over the past two years.
Two years later, and I have never felt more blessed to have Josh in my life - we are living the fairytale that we each dreamed would become our lives. Josh has shown me that I am not only worthy of being loved, but that I am worthy of his love. Our life together is one amazing journey that I wake up every morning even more grateful than the last to be a part of. He is the first thing I think about when I wake up, the last before I fall asleep, and in my thoughts all day and in my dreams at night. I have, without any question or doubt, found my soulmate. Josh is my best friend, the man that I want by my side for every single moment - the good and the bad, and the man that I cannot wait to grow old with, as we live out our dreams together.
|Josh and me in Vegas, October 2010|