To My First Official ‘Unofficial’ Relationship

New Girl
New Girl

This is very new for me.

In movies, it happens so quickly. Boy meets girl. The pair falls for one another. Their romance blossoms in front of our eyes for fifteen minutes on the big screen. A horrible misunderstanding almost ruins everything—or at least we thought it was going to ruin everything. It should’ve ruined everything. But before we know it, the inseparable pair is back together in a sweet embrace only breakable by their “happily ever after.”

This story is cliché and overdone. It’s every romantic comedy ever. For women, it’s the solace after a breakup as they cry and binge on ice cream. For men, it’s the chick flick raising standards and expectations impossibly high. This story is everything. It’s dreamy and makes our arm hairs stand up. It’s unbelievable. It’s one in a million.

Still, despite the overwhelming odds, it’s all I’ve ever known.

Every one of my love stories begins and ends the same way: like the flick of a light switch after fumbling up an unlit stairway and pawing at the walls until finding that tiny switch. In an instant, my world not only becomes visible. My world becomes clear. Imagine a three-year-old turning on the lights for the world’s biggest toy store. Thousands of toys line skyscraper shelves for rows and rows on end. Each new toy is a new experience, and each new experience is the best experience yet. The child is frantic and amazed as he runs around the store with wide eyes. In his eyes, there are infinite toys, and he wants to play with every last one.

But then the power shuts off, and in the pitch-black darkness of the toy store, those toys now cease to exist. One power outage later and, in the eyes of the child, it’s as if that miraculous toy-land was never even there.

I’ve always rushed into things.

I’ve always pushed buttons and fell so quickly I didn’t know what to do with myself. Sometimes this worked and things lasted—oftentimes, things did not. Regardless, each time I loved with my whole heart. I felt every emotion down to my core. I was passionate and carefree. I was ready.

I was so ready, even, that I overdid every good thing before either party truly had the chance to enjoy it.

With you, it’s different.

When I met you, I knew you wouldn’t come easy.

When I met you, I knew I couldn’t just snap my fingers and make you mine. I remember wanting to wake up early, just so I’d have the chance to look nice if you passed me in the halls. I remember feeling like such a loser when we spoke, as I stumbled on my words and hoped you thought I was as cool as I thought you were.

When we finally started to get to know each other—after late nights chatting from opposite sides of the bed, after bonding over great music and sharing a flask after some awkwardly innocent text exchanges—I wanted everything in overdrive. My trying-to-be-cute giggles had turned into fits of uncontrollable, ugly-faced laughter. Worries I once disguised with lies of “being tired” had turned into overpowering tears ending only when I fell into your arms. Silence had turned into nonstop banter, and nonstop banter had turned into endless grins and blushed cheeks. But when that banter got the best of us—when we took a joke too far or didn’t know how to take a hint—we let each other have it until we realized biting our tongues was not as painful as going to bed mad at each other.

Naturally, I wanted it. I wanted to text you until four in the morning. I wanted to plan my days so I might be able to see you. I wanted to go to dinner. I wanted to invite you to meet my family. I wanted sleepovers and date nights. I wanted rainy days spent in sweatpants and sunny days spent adventuring anywhere we wanted. I wanted to be swept off my feet.

Well, I was swept off my feet, but not in the way I thought I’d be.

We don’t see each other every day. Sometimes we don’t even actually talk every day. We don’t text until four in the morning or lounge around just because our schedules are free. We don’t build forts or lay under the stars or share tender kisses every time we haven’t seen each other for a while.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When you call me, my mood lifts immediately and exponentially. When we see each other after time spent apart and laugh our asses off about anything and everything, I don’t want to be anywhere in the world than wherever I am with you in that moment. From my head to my toes, from my ears to my fingertips, I radiate happiness. I’m never mad that we’ve been busy. I’m never mad that not every day is that picturesque whirlwind fairytale romance. I’m calm and I’m excited. I’m happy.

You make me thankful for the days we spend together, because every day we get to spend together is another day we’ll want to spend together.

So, thank you for being the best person I know. Thank you for being my go-to guy and my partner in crime. Thank you for being my race buddy, reminding me that it’s always better to pace yourself before breaking into a sprint.

To my official “unofficial boyfriend,” thank you for letting me learn to love you the right way. Thank you for teaching me that the strongest fires are always the first to burn out, but for showing me that when you let a fire burn the right way, sometimes it never has to burn out at all. TC mark

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