I should start by saying, one of my “secret” favorite movies from the age of about 10 through high school was “Fools Rush In”. I say “secret” because having a rom-com with Chandler from Friends (yes, I know his name is Matthew Perry) as one of your top movies as a young male wasn’t the best choice when I was growing up. It’s a cheesy tale of clashing cultures and unplanned romance leading to true love. I. ATE. THAT. SHIT. UP.
From the time that I started ‘dating’ girls, probably the age of 12, I concerned myself with finding the “one”. My true love. I always got caught up in the fantasy of finding my soulmate. I was convinced that somewhere out there, waiting for me, was this perfect someone. We just needed to find each other.
I played this fantasy out in my head time and time again growing up. I would travel to some foreign country and we would meet haphazardly through some interesting circumstance, like a dropped dish in a cafe or a casual glance at a bar. I would, of course, be incredibly charming. She would instantly fawn over me, and it would be love at first sight. We would have endless amounts of things in common, yet just enough of a difference so that we would keep each other on our toes. We would quickly realize we needed to spend the rest of our lives together. We’d get married and live out our lives pursuing our dreams to our hearts content, because we finally filled that void we knew had been there all along.
This fantasy become more and more realistic in nature as I went through college, tried more relationships, tried the dating game a few times, traveled to foreign countries, got my heart broken, broke the hearts of others, worked a day job, and generally lived life. That idea of finding this perfect one to fill the void inside of me never went away though.
Many times the idea of that “one” was more present than me in actual relationships. Then when something in the relationship went awry, or things didn’t seem to be working out the way I thought they would, my mind would immediately jump to this: “Well, I guess she isn’t the one…”
Even when I wasn’t super serious about someone, or we were “just friends”, “getting to know each other”, “going on dates but not dating”, and any other way you can phrase that, I would find myself judging the person based on this undefined criteria. Like, if I found the “one” they were going to meet this imaginary checklist that I hadn’t even clearly spelled out for myself. Problem is, relationships happen when two people decide to be together, it’s not a one-sided judgment contest.
One thing I realized, over the past year and a half, was that all along I never really had decided to love myself. Sure, I thought that I “loved myself”. At least enough to find my true love. That’s not that much to ask, right? I thought “wanting” what was best for me constituted love for myself. The problem was I confused wanting what was best for me with giving into destructive urges. Sometimes the voice you think is guiding you toward the next best thing, is actually out to destroy you.
In one of my recent posts, I talked about taking a first step toward self love. This is exactly what I did. And, I did it out of a natural survival instinct that had been dormant for quite some time. Once I started to feel better about myself, I realized there had been a great deal of love surrounding me all along. I just chose to turn a blind eye toward it.
When I met my soon-to-be girlfriend, Kristin, for coffee and conversation in April of 2015, it wasn’t the first time we had met. We had both originally met playing a show together at The Parish about 3 years prior. I will tell our full story in a future post. Point is, love at first sight didn’t happen for us.
In fact, she had come to the coffee shop mentally dreading that I might be viewing this as a date. I wasn’t. And, the second time we hung out she explicitly stated that she wasn’t looking for a relationship. I didn’t know if I was either, but I did know that spending time with her made me incredibly happy. She didn’t fill any void, because I had already filled that void by choosing to learn to love myself again 6 months prior. A month later, we were dating. Now, we live with each other.
Is it like the fantasy I had growing up?
Certainly not, thankfully.
Do we have everything in common?
No, but that keeps me on my toes.
Was she swept off her feet by my charm?
You’ll have to ask her.
Am I happy and in love?
As far as the “one” thing goes, once I chose to love myself I realized no one was ever meant to fill a void in me. I don’t think that’s the point of love anyways. I’m more of a mind that real honest powerful true love happens when two people, who love themselves, come together to share love for each other. And, I learn how to do that better and better every day.