To The Boy Who Loves Me Slowly

couple standing on mountain
Hannah Busing / Unsplash

You asked me to be your girlfriend after our first date and said you started falling in love with me on the second. Looking back, we definitely jumped fast at the beginning months of our relationship. Everyone thought we were out of our minds for declaring our love for each other after only weeks of dating; secretly, I was scared too.

But then one day we finally decided to slow it down. We decided to slow down our emotions and instead focus on getting to know each other more, to slow down our excitement in order to magnify our faults and weaknesses in hopes of turning them into something we could both learn to love for a long time; we slowed down our infatuation, our lust, and our need for immediate assurance so we could really see who we both were behind the idea of romance, giddy feelings, and butterflies. We found true love.

You’re social, I’m shy. You see the best in people, I’m scarred from it. You’re more patient with what’s important, I’m impatient with everything else. We may have countless similar interests, but at the end of every day, we couldn’t be more different.

Being with you this past year has been the adventure of my life. I’ve learned a lot about myself I wasn’t aware of, I’ve learned the concept of what it truly takes to have and maintain a healthy relationship with someone else other than yourself, and I’ve never felt a love so strong that not even my inner demons could destroy it.

I don’t love you because you paid for everything on the first date. I love you because you care for other people. The way you believe of giving everyone a fair chance to show you who they really are instead of wearing an invisible shield to protect yourself from immediate negative assumptions.

I don’t love you because you’re the only boy who’s ever bought me good food. I love you because you stay strong when I’m weak. I will never forget breaking down in tears when you dropped me home one night. I was starting to get anxious about my career when you turned my head and said, “Don’t worry, babe. One day I promise all of our dreams are going to come true.” I will forever remember that moment in our relationship.

I don’t love you because you buy me expensive gifts. I love you because of the little moments in our relationship that affirm how great of a friend you truly are to me. The moments filled with high fives, dog pounds, and semi-choreographed handshakes. You are literally the only boy I’ve dated that lets me call him “dude.”

These are few of the moments that set an example of how romance in a relationship isn’t complete without friendship.

You have truly given the word “love” a new meaning in my life. Before, I used to only associate that word with romance in relationships, family, and clothes I found cute at Forever 21. You’ve shown me that love isn’t only found in grand romantic gestures but in the smallest things of our everyday life. It’s the moments when were singing in the car celebrating how our overtime paid off for the anniversary dinner we’ve planned two months prior, when you sacrificed an insane amount of money to help pay to take out the wisdom teeth that were hurting me severely, and the numerous awkward situations I could feel made you more nervous and uncomfortable than you’ve ever been. The way you handle it every time is unfathomed.

You are one of the greatest men I’ve ever come across. Regardless of the practical improvements we need to work on, you are a force to be reckoned with. Who you are, what you stand for, your spirit, and your heart are the most powerful things about you, and I love you for all of it.

Thank you for being the man who values the importance of slow paced relationships. Thank you for always being patient with me. Thank you for loving me more than I’ll ever know. TC mark

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