Gather around, everyone. I have a story to tell––a modern-day love story.
It was the year 2018 and I was a wreck. I was emotionally drained from a toxic relationship, so I bought myself a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles for a week-long getaway. I was able to shut off my phone, ignore work emails, and simply relax.
While I was there, I met this eccentric woman who could read people's energies with the touch of their hand. When she read mine, she told me that in August I will meet someone who will come into my life and give me the support I needed. Fast forward to a year later, I didn't know that this certain someone would actually appear and we would connect the way that we did. Especially at an inconvenient time.
I met him in August 2019 and we can call him "A".
I could be my complete self around him…
People have told me that I am charismatic and multidimensional. It really depends on the person I'm around at the time. But with "A", it didn't matter. He was able to see all the different sides of me and I didn't shy away from them either.
Not once did he judge me for knowing all the lyrics to College Dropout and can sing every classic Disney song under the sun (off-key, by the way). I like to hear corny jokes and I like to critique movies from start to finish––so did he. I remember when I would have solo dance performances in the middle of any room and he would join me with moves of his own. It was a level of comfort that just came naturally for "A" and me.
He was the friend I wasn't looking for…
Ironically, having mutual friends is how we met in the first place. So, it wasn't difficult for us to be open with each other. We were able to talk about our childhood, secret creative passions, and what we wanted for the future. We also showed up for each other, which was huge for me.
"A" genuinely supported me with my career and my writing. I didn't even ask for him to do that. It was nice to know that whenever one of us felt anxious or doubtful, we would be right there telling the other person, you got this. "A" was the hype man I never knew I needed.
He reintroduced me to intimacy…
I used to associate intimacy with sex. In the past, I was involved with emotionally detached men. So, I was used to dealing with men who, outside of sex, were unaffectionate and always had their guards up. "A" was the opposite. With "A", I was able to be vulnerable with him. I was given the space to enjoy being present with someone no matter what we did.
Whether it was cuddling on the couch, cooking our favorite meal, working out together, etc. There are so many ways to show intimacy that I didn't even realize. I suddenly figured out that true quality time is my perfect ending after a long day of work. Like a calm peaceful landing, "A" felt like home.
He didn't complete me…
When I met "A", I didn't look for ways for him to complete me. I didn't convince myself that he was the answer to all of my problems. People sometimes make the mistake of seeing a friend or partner filling empty voids or bandaging heartbreak. I didn't see "A" that way.
When I looked at "A", I saw a man. A man who was strong, but a man with his own flaws nonetheless. I was aware to not project any of my issues on him and he would do the same. Neither of us was in search of perfection. We accepted each other for who we were as individuals with no pressure or expectations.
But, it was time to focus on me…
Even though I met this great man in August, this specific August was not a time to meet someone new. I was in a season of transition and selfishness. When "A" came along, I had just started a new job, I was going to therapy, newly single, and going back to school. I was in a good mental space.
I told myself that I was going to prioritize this time in my life for unapologetic self-love. I didn't want to jump into another relationship. I just wanted to focus on being committed to me. I made sure "A" didn't take up all of my free time. He wasn't a distraction, but someone I could enjoy life with. I needed to intentionally pour into myself instead of pouring into someone else.
He knew I deserved more…
"A" couldn't give his all to me and I respected that. He was honest about where he was in life and refused to string me along. He spared me from the usual cycle of men being "one foot in and one foot out" in relationships. He knew what my values were and encouraged me not to bend them, not even for him.
Despite how our feelings grew since day one, it wouldn't be fair to either of us to be in a situation we weren't completely ready for. I know for me, I never want to be in a position where I compromise my needs again. "A" knew this and was clear that I deserved to have all my needs met. No one should ever settle for good enough.
It's funny how they say when you find your person it's going to be magical. Where the person sweeps you off your feet. A woman walked into a bar and locked eyes with a man from two tables away. But in this instance, no feet were swept, it was just being at the right place at the wrong time.
I still believe that "A" and I were meant to be, just like that eccentric woman told me. But we all can agree that life is unpredictable. Who knows when "A" and I will cross paths again? Perhaps it's not about if we are ready for love, but if love is ready for us. I'm still learning as we speak. Whether you believe in people telling you the future or that things just happen by chance; people come into our lives on accident and stay on purpose.
So, to the man who inspired this article, if you're reading this, I'm glad you stayed as long as you did. I love you for that.
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