I never knew a love like this could exist.
It’s what I hoped for, dreamed of, and wanted to believe was out there, but it’s been a personal evolution to get to this point.
My love history is not extensive. Growing up, I was always too skinny with stringy hair and a freckled face. I was never a popular girl; I never captured the hearts of many, but that didn’t stop me from hoping for more. I always yearned for a person to see me, to understand my cracks, to find me interesting and realize I’m more than they could have imagined. So when I left my small hometown to enter college, I was so excited at the potential of meeting new people. And by people, I mean guys. You know that cliché—girls go to college to find their “Mrs.” Well, I certainly was not above that.
However, it quickly became apparent to me that finding a boyfriend would prove harder than I thought. I met lots of people but made few connections. College ended quickly, and with a few more names of boys I kissed at bars added to the list, it left me feeling less than hopeful about relationships.
“Maybe I’m just more pragmatic now,” I reasoned to myself. It seemed unreasonable to find a significant other who “completed” me, someone who was my best friend and lover. It didn’t seem like that was a logical thing to expect a boyfriend to fill. It certainly wasn’t the experience I had had so far. I even chuckled skeptically, thinking my friends were blinded with fantasy when they gushed over their significant others on social media. That clearly couldn’t just be their reality.
Even within my four-year relationship with a man I loved, I never would have described him as my best friend. There were things I didn’t want to talk to him about. Things I knew he wouldn’t understand about me. I didn’t always feel comfortable being myself. I didn’t always think we would overcome our fights. Things weren’t perfect with us, but what relationship is, right? In the most unromantic of ways, relationships seemed a lot like trying to stay on the same page.
I used to think I knew what made a relationship good. I had a list of criteria that, if met, meant it was worth it, that it made sense, and that maybe this was just what relationships were: staying on the same page and enjoying each other’s company most of the time. Maybe it didn’t have to be grander than that. Maybe that was all a fairy tale.
But then, there was you.
And you were brand new. A light in all my corners. A piece of acceptance, hope, and love I didn’t know I would ever have but now can’t imagine accepting otherwise. A list of criteria is no longer relevant, because we are expansive. I’ve written so much about love, and now it seems foolish for me to have ever thought I knew what love was before.
I never knew a love like this could exist.
It’s what I hoped for, dreamed of, and wanted to believe was out there.
I live somewhere between want and need with you in a beautifully blissful romance.
I think of your hands and my hands and where they’ve been and how you are by far the most important thing I’ve ever touched. I think of the soft, comfortable resignation of you lulling to sleep as your head becomes heavy on my shoulder, your arms seeking me out, wrapping your safety around me in the night. Your body is a perfect puzzle piece to mine.
You inspire me. You make me want to be more. More vulnerable. More honest. More unafraid. More of an embodiment of love. You help me celebrate myself when I don’t see anything worth celebrating. You tell me I can do anything, and with your hand in mine, I believe I can.
I think of your eyes deep with understanding, need, and interest. You bring light to my corners. You shower love on all parts of me. You remind me I don’t need anyone to fix me because I was never broken in the first place. That I can be seen and accepted in ways I never thought possible.
There’s a soft beauty in the way I wake with a smile on my face, only to meet your face smiling right back at me, our bodies bathed in the gray of dawn. You are a dream and a poem all wrapped up in one right beside me.
Somehow our paths crossed. I don’t believe in fate, but good god, I don’t know what else to call this. I am so thankful for you. I’m so lucky to get to choose you, and somehow, I’m lucky enough for you to choose me back.