One year ago today, I received an email that would forever change my life. At the time, I had no idea this would be the case. If present me had gone back to tell one year ago me how things would have played out, I would have told present me that I’m a daft loon and off my rocker.
He kept emailing me and tweeting me and asking me to check out this or that and “begged” me to follow him back on Twitter. Now, I lovingly like to say this person harangued me with his wonderful tenacity. However, to be quite honest, the “haranguing” was very mutual. What would have normally been one email turned into many conversations over the course of months. There was a lot of flirting back and forth. At first, I just chalked it up to two very flirty people (who could win gold medals if it were an Olympic sport) doing one of the things they do best. And then something changed. The relationship changed from that of a “fan” and “personality” into a close and trust friendship, which later morphed into a romantic relationship.
One year ago, if someone were to have told me that someone would enter my life and have an impact to the degree where I could not image my life without them, I would have laughed my fool head off. I do not form such attachments with people. Yes, I do have a few very close friends. But I grew up with a lot of change in my life and quickly learned that people come and go, so no point getting tied up in someone. Also, my emotions do not quite work like they do with normals. The way I go about forming attachments is quite different. As I’ve said before, doesn’t mean I do not care. I care deeply. I’m just a logic driven person who has the mindset where only things that matter at the end of the day are worth attaching very strong emotions to. Aside from my children, I never thought anyone would matter that much at the end of the day.
One year ago today, if someone were to have told me that I would be in love, there would have been an epic debate over how the concept “in love” is a fallacy. It is a term people use to make themselves feel better. True love is not something you fall in and out of. Lust is. True love, once you love someone, it never stops. And I suppose this is why I still have issues saying I’m “in love”. I think what I’ve found is better. I have True Love.
Six months ago, when the labels changed from really close friends, I will admit I was a little hesitant. My idea of the ideal relationship was one where the other person would be my best friend first. One where both parties would put any feelings they may have aside and actually talk with and be there for the other person. I can do this with great ease. It isn’t until I’ve had time to think about a situation before I feel anything about it. I realize this is not true for a good portion of people.
Because of this, 99% of my romantic relationship have evolved from good, solid, close friendships. However, as soon as the label was changed, they would get weird. I could no longer talk to them the same way as before without their feelings getting hurt. They had expected me to change and I couldn’t understand why they entered into the relationship, knowing full well who I am, if this was an issue for them. The relationships would mutually end with no hard feelings and revert back to friendship. I was worried that this may happen again. I was worried that it was yet another person who claimed to accept me 100% for who I am but was still looking at me with rose-tinted glasses. I was afraid it was another person claiming to be in love with me but, in reality, was in love with the idea of me. I was worried that because he is very much human and I am very much Data or Spock, feeling would get hurt. However, I still said yes because life is all about taking chances. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Best decision ever.
In the last year, our lives have not been any where near “okay.” Both of us has had a lot of upheaval. Both of us have experienced some pretty big life changes in a negative directions. Yes, we have had a lot of awesome and win as well, however our relationship has been a trial by fire. We have experience more than our fair share of things that will either make or break a relationship. And as suck ass as part of the past year has been, it has been bearable because we endure it together.
In the last year, we have laughed together, we have cried together, we have shared together, we have kept our secrets together, we have gone toe-to-toe together, we have worked together, we have played together, we have feared together, we have loved together and we have built a life together. One of the things I enjoy the most about this relationship (and have from the very first moment of coming into each other’s life) is the going toe-to-toe together. And he has noticed things about me and has asked me questions about them, that nobody has ever taken the time to notice or ask about before.
We are both very strong-minded, strong-willed and very passionate people. When we have an opinion on something, a real opinion, it is a very strong one. Overall, we agree. But the odd time that we do disagree, we have never been afraid to be brutally honest with each other, share and respectfully disagree. I am so glad this never changed. At times, I find it humourous when those who know about this relationship see us going toe-to-toe now, think there is a problem between us. Somehow, they forget this is how we have always been together. Why should that change just because the label changed? It is one of the things that make this relationship actually work. We always know where we stand with each other. We always know exactly what the other person thinks or feels about anything we have said, done or created. Other times, I find it down right annoying and intrusive that people forget this has been and always will be our dynamic.
Despite the fact we are each going through our own different trials at the moment, (separately we are not fine), together we are hunky dory. In my observances of other people and due to past experiences, I have come to the conclusion that people change who they are and how they talk to their partners in times of stress. This really baffles me. I am off the mind that is when you should be talking to your partner the most and be the most honest.
I love the fact, that even so we are troubled individually and despite fears left as wounds from other people, our trust in each other is still there. We are still completely honest with each other. We still trust each other even if we are fearful to lose the other person. We can acknowledge that our fear has nothing to do with what is currently going on. We understand any fear is not the result of the other person. We can openly discuss these fears and we “get” each other because of these fears. We still accept each other for exactly who we are and wouldn’t want to change it for the world. We would still go to the ends of the earth for the other person if that is what it takes.
In the last year, we have grown together. We have both learned more about ourselves. Sometimes, I think I have learned more about myself. Or maybe, it is just that for the first time in my life, I have a romantic interest who accepts my flaws, my feelings, my fear, my strengths, my quirks, my stubbornness, the peculiar way my brain works and myriad of other things. For the first time in my life, I have someone who sees me exactly for who I am and honestly wants to have that in their life beyond “friendship.” I have someone in my life that allows me to wear my thousands of hats and equally, loves and accepts them.
Our relationship has been largely a secret. Not because we are ashamed of it. But because it really is complicated in the true sense of the word. One year ago, I thought using “complicated relationship” as your status on Facebook was totally stupid. Either you are in one or you are not. How complicated can it be? Then this relationship happened. Our secret was suppose to become completely public in June but then life decided to throw us yet another curve ball. In June, our first major major step to the “forever and always” plan we had negotiated during our talk about what we want from this relationship and how we are going to navigate it, had to be postponed.
I am a person of planning. I am one of these people who needs to know. When we first sat down to negotiate our relationship, I foolishly said something along the lines of, “I don’t want this to be a causal thing. I don’t do casual. If we do this, we are going to plan for the long term. So I need to know when certain crucial steps will be taken because I can’t wait around forever.” Reading this, I am laughing my ass off because it really is a total contradiction. When I said forever and when he said forever, we didn’t mean “as long as things are easy.”
We made a plan. It didn’t work out how we wanted it to because life had other ideas, not because it isn’t what we wanted. The important part of that plan was forever and always. Forever and always requires a tonne-load of work. However, if the last few months have been any indication, we are more than up for the challenge, whether it takes 6 months or 1 year or forever. Because after all, forever is the goal.
We have kept this relationship largely secret because a lot of people will not understand. A lot of people will make judgments, especially as both of our lives are somewhat public. At first, I didn’t like this idea (our relationship being public) because our relationship is sacred. We are the ones who are living it and know what is going on. To borrow a line from a song, “We’re the ones who are out here/ Out past the edge of what they know/ We can only be who we are/ It doesn’t matter if they don’t understand.” I’m normally the type who does not care what people think. That does change when it comes to things I hold dearly. But on the other hand, I’m tired of hiding something that truly is amazing.
I don’t believe in fairy tales. Well to clarify, I do not believe in the Disney version of fairy tales. But I do believe in True Love. I’m tired of hiding something that has made my life so much better. Our relationship is so much “The Princess Bride“. He is my Wesley and I’m his Princess Buttercup. There is nothing we would not do for each other.
Those who actually know me are probably thinking, “Wow. Is this really Jules talking? She is not this type at all. She is pragmatic and realistic and not traditionally romantic. This must be one special relationship.” Well, it is. The guy sent me an external hard drive as flowers! He wanted to send real flowers because he is that type. I am not. He put aside his idea of romance and used my idea of romance. He also serenaded me in front of the world, among a myriad of other awesome things. That is special!
Joe, thank you for always believing in me, especially when I do not believe in myself. Thank you for being my Alfred. Thank you for your patience, caring, love and compassion. I hope I have shown you even a small fraction of what you have shown me in the past year. You are the most chivalrous, emotional, caring, loving and romantic man on the face of this planet, who wears his heart on his sleeve. I, on the other hand, am quite inept when it comes to emotions and showing outwardly what I am feeling on the inside, who likes to keep these things private. The fact you not only tolerate who I am, but actually love who I am, astounds me. I am a better person for knowing you and having you in my life. I hope the rest of our years are amazing as our first year has been (with less curve balls thrown our way). I will remain forever and always yours.