Love isn't something you find. Love is something that finds you.
- Loretta Young
Thank you to Reddit User 462311 for sharing this story.
My pattern with relationships for most of my adult life has been:
1) Obsessed for the first 3 months
2) Enthusiastic for the next 3
3) Then, quietly trying to figure out how to get out for the rest of it.
I was able to stretch a few relationships out for a couple years by doing the break-up/make-up thing to make things new again, but it had diminishing returns, so eventually I'd just be over it forever.
At one point, I remember feeling absolutely desperate and miserable about my future prospects. I wanted to find someone I could settle down with, not settle for. I thought maybe it would help me cope if I went to therapy. I spent the next two years there, and discovered that I had about a large bank of relationship issues I had never addressed. I went through the process of breaking the relationship part of myself down so I could rebuild it.
I eventually got to the point where I felt like maybe I could be okay. That maybe I could be happy, even if I had to settle to some extent.
A while after this, I met this guy purely by random chance. When we met, I was excited to meet a cool new friend. As time went on, I started to realize that I was really into him. He felt the same, we started dating, we had a lot of fun together, it was great.
Fast forward 6 months. Same bullshit as before. My lizard brain took over. I was secretly planning my escape. I felt oddly relieved about it, because my brain was like that friend who always wants you to be alone because then you hang out with them a lot more. I was struggling to figure out how to break ties with him, though. He was a really nice guy, and in spite of being bent on breaking up, I feel horrible when I hurt other people. I agonized over this for weeks.
One day, while we were together, he told me about a small monetary settlement he received, and told me that he used a portion of it to buy himself something nice and put the rest in savings. It was like a switch flipped.
Now, make no mistake, it wasn't about the money. I don't remember exactly how much it was but we're talking only a couple thousand dollars at most. Certainly not enough to secure a person's future or appeal to a traditional gold digger. Conversely, it was what I realized from that conversation. See, I am absolutely horrible with money. My bills all get paid on time, but saving is a really hard thing for me.
I realized for the first time that day that we complemented each other nearly flawlessly, and not just with this. There are tons of ways where the deficiency of one of us is balanced out by the proficiency of the other. Even in areas where we're both lacking, we have an uncanny ability to correct each other. We both go through periods of extremely low motivation, but we're very good at motivating each other, both actively and passively.
That day was when shit got real. I thought I loved him before that--and who knows, maybe what I felt was some version of love--but I hope I never forget, for the rest of my life, what it felt like to suddenly discover a brand-new type of love, or possibly real love for the first time. It was like the emotional equivalent of having massive pressure in your ears until you swallow that one time and your ears pop and you can hear everything with crystal clarity. It's been a number of years since that day and I can still remember it like it happened yesterday.
We got married. Marriage feels like exactly what I always wanted it to be. I don't like to think about how it might have gone differently without that one moment, because I cannot imagine how alone I would be if I had left this guy who was my perfect match in every way.
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