I had the misfortune of having a fantastic first love.
I know, rough, huh?
He was nice, smart and treated me with respect. And was a good kisser.
We met when I was 13 and we broke up when I was 21. It wasn't the full 8 years- more like 3--there are cute stories in the middle that sound a bit like a John Hughes movie- but anyone else that I dated in that time frame was pretty much a filler until we worked our way back together. Although it was sad when it ended (timing, life paths in different directions), I have to say, it was a nice run. And the bar was set very high.
Every guy that followed suffered the consequence of me knowing what it was like to be loved- really loved. For who I was. All of me. The good, the bad and the ugly.
I dated a lot of very nice guys but it was never the same. They tended to fall in love with my resume- I look very good on paper. There never was that genuine connection. Kissing was nice, but the wow factor seemed to be missing.
I once commented to a guy that I was dating seriously in my 20's that I didn't have the impression that he would run into a burning building to save me. He said that was ridiculous- that's what firemen are for and I had unrealistic expectations. We ended up friends and when he met the woman who later became his wife he told me he finally got what I was saying.
I broke off an engagement to a fantastic guy because I told him even though we got along great, we both could live without each other. We also stayed friends and he is now married to the love of his life, which was not me. I was a fun girlfriend, not a soul mate.
I had almost giving up on the idea of having that spark. I started to believe that maybe it really was just the memory of a first love. The newness made it special. I really was being too picky
Then I met my husband. There wasn't the initial spark by any means when we first met. For me. I completely intimidated him. I could tell. I found it annoying. He seemed quiet and shy. I was tired.
Then there was a joke-- a comment by him that caught my attention-- a spark.
So we went out again. A trip to the park with our dogs. And as I like to say, we started the longest conversation of my life.
Then we kissed.
I honestly think the fact that my husband is a very good kisser has kept us married because let's face it, every single freaking day is a really, really , really insane amount of time to spend together. But there was a spark. A big one.
And I mean kissing, people, get your mind out of the gutter...
He got over his intimidation of my resume. He got to know me. The real me. The good, the bad and the ugly.
He laughs at most of my jokes. Appreciates the fact that my mind goes a million miles an hour. Respects my commitment to public service. Knows that I um, have difficulty putting things away.
Thirteen years later, we are happier and closer than I ever thought possible. I cannot imagine a day without him.
Well, that's a lie-- a nice day, alone with a good book and a cup of tea every once in awhile wouldn't be hell-- but you know what I mean.
I feel bad for friends that I know that have horrible relationships where they put up with so much BS. And they have this fantasy that people will change or the situation will get better. I want to slap them.
No one should ever treat you disrespectfully and vice versa. If you really love someone there aren't any mind games or passive-aggressive one-up-manship. Yes, you may have to deal with less than perfect scenarios-- none of us are perfect-- but the person who loves you most should, quite simply love you most. Not in an obsessive manner, but in a quiet, thoughtful and kind manner. Any relationship may have its quirks, but at the base is the foundation of love. Real love. The verb, not the noun.
The kind of love that puts gas in your car when it's low. Or washes the dishes. Or does the laundry. Or holds the bucket when you have a stomach bug and can't make it to the bathroom. Or kisses you when you walk by. Or, more realistically, grabs your butt-- even though it's twice the size it was when you married.
Ours is not Kanye-Kardashian love-- the tabloids will never hunt us down. No one wants to see pictures of us frolicking on the beach, trust me. But it's very real and true.
How does it go....
Love is patient. Love is kind.
That's the one people forget. Gentle kindness.
Like Mr. Bean.
Happy Valentine's Day!