So here’s the deal. I’ve got a new boyfriend. I haven’t written a blog in a while because I’ve been in Smitten Kitten Land. It’s like Disney Land except the rides are better. How did this happen? Suddenly. Unlike me, you say? That’s right.
How did I meet him? Funny you should ask. We met in 9th grade, which was about 12 years ago.
Picture this: The year 2000. It’s the first day of school at Franklin County High School and Coach so and so’s 9th grade class begins the usual ritual of “tell us your name and 2 interesting things about yourself.” I stand up and say “My name is Tiffany and I like my dog and easy-mac.” Kyle laughs pretty loudly and I look in his direction. And so it begins...
No one else thought that was funny...
I regret to inform you that there are other instances very similar to this one, but I feel that citing just one of them makes the point that a) this man has seen me at my very, very worst and b) I can count on him to be there no matter what.
One day, in tenth grade, the bell rang for class to begin and he wasn’t there. Staring at his empty desk I thought, “great, now this day is completely ruined. I don’t even want to be here if he’s not here....GASP...oh my God...I like him so much...” This was a surprise for me.
He, on the other hand, always knew. He’s a lot more decisive then me. For the next 12 years, I would deal with interpersonal conflict over the matter while he, like the Taurus that he is, would remain steadfast in his decision that I am the girl for him.
We had our first kiss at my parents’ house back in 2003. When I walked him to his truck that night we hugged for so long and I felt something that I had never felt before, and hadn’t since, until recently when we reconnected. It felt a lot like I’d swallowed a rainbow. Or what I imagine swallowing a rainbow would feel like...
Our communication picked up again when I signed up for a YouTube account. The website generated a list of people I knew from my email address book that had YouTube channels. He was on it. I never thought I would be so enthralled by video game commentary, but it was his voice, so I hung on every word...phrases like “You round the corner, one kill away, and make him eat thirty bullets” never sounded so sweet.
For the next two years, we kept in touch, but never got together. So, up until about a month ago, I had not seen him in six years.
I was very hesitant to say yes. You see, he and I are very different...he’s conservative, I’m liberal. He likes nice things, I like nice charities. I have a collection of teapots, he has a collection of guns.
But more so, I was hesitant because I was afraid. Afraid of hurting him again. Afraid of being hurt. When you have a 12 year long history with someone, you have a lot to lose. See, when he wasn’t in my life in any capacity I wanted him there. I missed him. Being in touch with him as friends was better than nothing and I would lose all contact if this was a complete disaster.
Luckily, I got called out. He says to me, “I’m not afraid of getting hurt. I’ve been there, and I got through it. I’m afraid of never giving this a fair chance and seeing how great it can be.”
Hmmm...scratches chin in contemplation...very well then...we shall go on a date...
“Christ, it’s just a date, Tiffany. I’m not asking you to marry me or anything.”
We had a date...then two...then I texted my girlfriends that we are in a relationship and we are in love, and they said that that was too overwhelming of a text message to receive first thing in the morning. Yeah, that shit was on facebook faster than you can say ‘like’.
At this point you may be thinking, so you’ve known each other for many years, but what’s the deal? Why so fast? It’s about quality, not quantity, right?
Right. And I can tell you some of the things:
For starters, he’s hilarious. In a “I just spewed my drink everywhere!” kind of way. No, I have literally spewed my drink all over the place. Do you know how many times I’ve said, “Oh my God, that’s so funny that I almost spewed my drink everywhere!” He actually makes me spew it. Everywhere.
|He delivered this giant bear to my office|
We have a fair amount of things in common, but there’s a lot that we don’t. But I have come to believe that people are entirely too concerned with ‘things in common.’
“You’re into mountain biking AND Mad Men too??!”
What happens when his knees give out and Mad Men completes its final season? I mean, besides crying in a Gin and Tonic because no more Don Draper...which is what I’ll be doing...
Now, it is important to date someone who is not your total and complete opposite and someone who you can enjoy some mutual interests with. But I’m simply arguing that far too much emphasis is placed on commonalities. Are you really falling in love with the person, or just the things that you share with them? Do you love them because you love them, or because you think that you should love them?
I love Kyle because I love him. Not because of what he’s into. Not because of what he does for a living. Not because he does or says nice things. Not because he loves me. Not because I need him to love me. But because I just love him. There is an essence to every person, and that’s what you should love when you love anyone.
But to do so requires that you toss out your fear. What are you afraid of? Getting hurt? You’re going to. It’s a part of life. So, it shouldn’t be extra super worth it when you do experience pain? When we choose to partner with someone who ‘makes sense’ but fails to ignite a passion within us, we cheat ourselves out of something that we all inherently long for...a love that is bigger than ourselves.
Our fear builds up walls in a frantic effort to protect us, but when it’s all done, we look around and see that we have simply isolated ourselves. Just as the iPhone can’t differentiate between good and bad texts, the wall can’t differentiate between good and bad people or experiences, and hence, it keeps it all out. Opening yourself to love means opening yourself to hurt, which is OK because we’re all tough enough to take it. And now that I have sufficiently ran this point into the ground I will move on...
I found myself in a position in which I said to my calculating self, “What are you calculating for? This decision has already been made for you, the universe put this in motion long ago.”
I decided to be with Kyle not because my calculations have led me to believe that there is a great chance of ours being a successful relationship, but because I know that my desire to be with him outweighs my fear of having it all blow up in my face. I firmly believe that conflict, fighting and break-ups, while very exhausting and gut-wrenching, are not as soul-starving as the stagnant feeling of isolation. We should never put ourselves in position where we limit what we can feel.
Agonizing over decisions in our love lives is beyond fruitless. Say no to over-analyzing and yes to diving into love head first. Get crazy with it. Open your heart. Let go. There are too many mediocre things in life--love should not be one of them.