Read the last installment here.
Can we talk about relationships for a moment?
I was ten the first time I "fell in love." I was eighteen the first time I really fell in love, and I was nineteen the first time I got my heart broken. I was twenty-four when I finally fell in love again and twenty-eight when I broke his heart. I was still twenty-eight when I fell in love again.
For the record, I don't recommend jumping from one relationship to another. But we don't really control when love finds us, do we?
In my first relationship, I learned not to give everything you have to someone else or you'll be left with nothing for yourself. I learned that loving someone does not mean you have to become one person.
In my second relationship, I learned how to hold back, how to avoid getting hurt. I also learned what it felt like to really be loved and desired. And I learned how to let go when it wasn't working.
By the time I moved to Seattle, I had reached this intriguing balance when it came to dating. I knew how important it was to hold onto my own life and priorities. I also knew that no relationship could succeed unless you were willing to let the other person in. Having just gotten out of a relationship however, I wasn't sure I was ready to let someone else in.
I wasn't even sure I knew how.
I think the moment when I knew my walls were crumbling happened on that first date with Blue Eyes.
I had basically wrangled him into asking me out, since he was being so slow about it. I pointedly mentioned one of my favorite movies (Paul Rudd's Role Models) at least five times until he got the idea and invited me over to his place to watch it.
"Oh what a great idea," I smiled demurely at him. You have to work hard in Seattle to get a guy to ask you out.
Now here's where you'll learn a little more about Blue Eye's quirks. He has a tendency to think in grand romantic gestures but forget the small details.
Case in point? He forgot to rent the movie.
He also had this sweet idea to make gluten-free noodles from scratch, but before I left my house, he texted to ask if I could bring some white rice flour because he had forgotten to buy it.
If I were one to pay attention to flags, I would think these were blue flags. Not red because they weren't a big deal, just kind of strange and sometimes annoying.
But on that cold winter night, I didn't care if he asked me to bring my own flour. I didn't care if we got to watch Role Models (he wouldn't have enjoyed watching me swoon over Paul Rudd anyway). I was on cloud nine.
I had an epiphany that night. In the bathroom no less. I was washing my hands in the sink and looking into the mirror, and I saw that I had the hugest grin on my face. My family will tell you that I am not the smiliest person around. I tend to hold my happiness deep inside. Yet I realized that when I was around him, I couldn't help but radiate joy.
I knew right then, staring into the mirror, I knew.
This was it.
I don't even remember much from the rest of the night, just that I couldn't get that goofy grin off my face.
And we made homemade gluten-free pasta, in case you were wondering. He baked sweet potatoes and I cooked up some vegetables. That wasn't just the first time I realized I was falling in love with him. It was also the first time I realized we worked together really well in the kitchen. For a gluten-free foodie like me, that was a big deal.
Like, maybe I could marry this guy, big.
To be continued...