And then, there was you...
They say it takes less than four minutes to decide whether you have feelings for someone.
For me, it took 4 dates to realise I had feelings for Dan.
At first, it was just a little tug at my insides when he smiled at me; the quiet burst of euphoria I’d feel when I heard his voice; the unmistakable glow I felt when I looked at him across a crowded room - captivated by his laugh, endeared by his sincerity and warmth - and I’d catch myself thinking, ‘Damn, I love that man…'
But as just as soon as that lovely thought sprung into my mind, I’d dismiss it just as quickly. After all, we’d only been dating a month – how could I already be falling in love with him? Was this actually happening? Was there any chance he felt the same way, and even more troubling to me, how awkward would it be if he didn’t?
I’d waited three years for this moment, this feeling – indeed, this man – and yet I was questioning its authenticity, its validity, its capacity…and his.
Finally, after weeks of these thoughts and feelings swirling around in my head and heart, my anxious inner monologue was silenced one night when Dan turned to me and said, ‘I know it’s early in our relationship to say this, but f**k it, I’m going to say it anyway: I’m falling in love with you, Miss Shanny.’
WHOA. Shit just got real.
It was time to put my cards on the table. Cue heart thumping, blood pumping, I’m-so-nervous-I-think-I-wanna-throw-up shaking voice:
‘Well, I’ve fallen in love with you, Mr Daniel.’
I’m not kidding, saying those words out loud was more terrifying than having my face set on fire. And I can say that because I have actually had my face set on fire before…
Since then, it’s gotten a lot easier to say 'I love you'.
There are so many reasons why I love this human: his ability to quote Family Guy episodes verbatim; the funny faces he pulls when he’s self-conscious or lost for words; the way his eyes light up with obvious passion when he talks about diving; his love for obscure nineties’ skate punk music; his collection of Canadian hockey jerseys; his seriously amazing skills in the kitchen; and the way he talks about our future together with such enthusiasm and hope.
His tattoos. His laugh. His snaggletooth, the perfect match to my own. His unwavering loyalty. His adventurous spirit.
But most of all, I love him because he gives me the greatest gift every day: the sweet freedom to be myself and to be loved unconditionally for it.
It’s been almost four months now, and although I still have some days when I think that I’m not cut out for this relationship stuff (confession: I still sneak into the spare room once a week just to sleep alone), I often catch myself looking at Dan and think how damn lucky I am. How lucky we both are. Because love like this doesn't come around every day...
As scared as I am about having my heart broken again, I also know that Dan is worth taking the plunge for. He makes me feel incredibly safe and supported, without trying to restrict or tether me. Our partnership is made up of two strong, independent individuals making the choice to love and respect each other as equals, without undue sacrifice or compromise to the detriment of the other.
He makes me laugh (uncontrollably), and he sure as hell doesn't make me cry.
Although we don't know what the future holds, we are looking towards it together.
Willingly. Openly. Happily.
I always dreamt of meeting someone special that I could share my journey with; however, I never expected that falling in love with Dan would be one of the greatest adventures of my life. I've gotta feeling the rest is going to be freakin' exciting and one helluva' ride.