This world made me a cynic. When I was 17 years old I decided not to date anyone, and I managed to do it for almost ten years. I saw how my friends dated, got their hearts broken, played the “dating game,” and had one-night stands to only find brokenness and shattered dreams the following day.
I decided to do the complete opposite and actually spent my college and graduate school years dateless.
I knew there were good men out there; but to my demise, they were either already married or were fictional.
After I finished my graduate degree, I planned a trip to western Europe and basically backpacked for an entire month. This is not what you’re thinking. I did not find the man of my dreams in Europe, as much as I wanted to. I went to the most romantic places: Paris, Rome, Florence, even The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, and I still didn’t find him there.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like that’s all I thought about. In fact, I was looking forward to ending up an old spinster, caring for seven cats. I was honestly okay with that future. Still, there was this tiny urge for more. Aside from the cats, I also wanted the butterflies. I wanted the hugs in the middle of the night. I wanted the good morning kisses. I wanted the laughs in our pj’s while eating Chinese take-out. I wanted unconditional love.
But, it seemed like it wasn’t in the cards for me.
For years, I was too scared to love because of the pain that would undeniably come after it was over. I had seen it happen to others time and time again, and I thought I was too smart to ever let that happen to me. I built a wall so thick, wide, and tall that when love finally looked me in the eyes, I was on the other side and could barely see it. I almost ran from it.
I met him on a Christian dating website after my sister forcefully created an account for me. He says I sent him a “wink,” which got him to talk to me, but I honestly don’t even remember viewing his profile. I think my sister secretly did that and never told me. Anyway, we started talking and I was in love in about a day. He’s a pianist. Can you blame me? He was everything I had always wanted but was so sure didn’t actually exist outside of fictional characters.
I was ready to run. The outpouring of love he showed me seemed too good to be true. We loved each other too quickly, so I doubted his intentions, his words, his songs, and his actions.
Thankfully, this man saw me beyond the wall. With soft words, his piano, and patience, he helped me kick that wall down. He reminded me how necessary it is to be vulnerable in order to fully love. I felt God, life, and the universe were all slapping me in the face after all those times I outwardly and unapologetically voiced how there were no real, good men out there. He understood my fear and walked through it with me until there was none left. He kissed away every brick I had mounted and reminded me I was made to love.