Good afternoon everyone. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! Whether you’re going to show yourself some love (treat yo’ self!) or you are lucky in love with another person, I hope you spend the day enjoying whatever it is that brings love into your life. So, as many of you know, I have an incredible person in my life. But, what most of you don’t know is our story.
So, buckle up, it’s a good one.
My boyfriend’s name is Danny. He and I met while we were doing the single thing and online dating. I had all of those damn apps: POF, OkCupid, Tinder, Match. Ugh. I went to quit my POF (Plenty of Fish) account and saw my inbox was full of messages (and no, I wasn’t that popular, just bad at checking my inbox). I clicked in the dead center of the messages and came to Danny’s message. I won’t share the entirety of the messages shared between us, but I very much enjoyed the kind of person that he became to me in a very short period of time. We texted each other and called one another for about a month before meeting for a date (because Danny travels for a living and he happened to be out of town when we met).
Now, the first date. One of my absolute favorite dates we’ve ever been on. Scratch that. It’s my FAVORITE date we’ve ever been on. Here’s the cliff notes version of it:
- He picks me up with white tulips in hand and a second bouquet in his other hand (white tulips were Audrey Hepburn’s favorite flower and Audrey Hepburn is my favorite person ever).
- The tulips are for me and the other bouquet for my mom.
- He has a bottle of wine tucked under his arm. He brought that for my dad (seriously, who is this guy?).
- I get incredibly awkward and shy and clam up.
- We drive to the restaurant together and have a lovely conversation.
- We walk into the restaurant.
- I freak out because the wall has poetry pages covering the entirety of the walls (if you didn’t know, poetry is my other passion next to photography).
- Drinks flow, appetizers arrive, dinner comes around after.
- We talk for 3+ hours.
- He tells me he has one last surprise.
- He opens his trunk and he has packed a table and chairs, with a cooler that has my favorite pie in it (actually two pies, one for me to take home and eat for breakfast for a week).
- We eat the pie under the stars at the marina (there were some super ghetto dudes rapping and totally doing some kind of drugs nearby, but that’s beside the point).
- We basically fall in love.
So, this date was perfect. But, the problem was: we both hadn’t been single for very long. We both felt that horrible urge to “see what’s out there”. So, we ending up staying friends, but dating around.
For seven months.
I had a million (like a total of 7) dates that were mediocre and the guys were nice, but they weren’t Danny. Not by a long shot. During this time, Danny and I still hung out almost every week and I’d call him and tell him my dating horror stories, and vice versa. It was actually quite complicated, because we both knew we only wanted to be with each other. But, because we’re human, there was a lot of hurt that came with seeing each other date other people. And, also a lot of fear.
So, to cope with these emotions, Danny and I didn’t speak for a long time. We felt that the space would help us understand what it was like without one another. And being who I am, I felt this immediate need to express myself, so I wrote. A lot. And because I wanted desperately to talk to Danny, I posted the poems that I was writing, hoping he’d see them. So, here I’ll share the sequence of poems that led up to where we are today.
This was the first:
I can’t remember what it’s like to hold you,
and this burdens me most.
I cannot grasp the taste of your lips
or capture the stillness in our gaze.
I’m scared of this pain,
for it feels less like aching,
and more and more like forgetting:
is an obliterated pain still pain,
or is it merely nothing at all?
I wasn’t sure if he saw this one. I’m sure he did, but he kept silent. So, this next poem is the one that did him in. I wrote it and posted it for my “viewers”, knowing only he would know it was written for him.
If you ever lay awake at night, you can always think of me.
For I think you know with certainty that I wrote this for you to read.
So, as you’re chasing sleep tonight, take refuge in this truth:
I have never and cannot ever,
ever stop missing you.
Yep, he got that one for sure. That night, he got a hold of me. He was flying on a plane when he saw the poem and told me all he could think about in the stillness of the night, exhausted on a plane, was getting home and talking to me. So, he did.
It began. We began. There were some hiccups and bumps in the road, like every couple, but we persist. So, I’ll leave you with this last poem. I wrote this poem the day after I met Danny (promise I’m not a stage 5 clinger, just a hopeless romantic).
All of the spaces left empty
by men I once loved
seems to now be filled
with the matter that your soul is made of.
Ours were the same, our souls,
and never once did I have to search for you;
you were hiding in the shadows of my bones,
you were always home,
you were always home…
So, please, enjoy this day. It’s an entire day dedicated to love. So, get out there and show some love to yourself, your dog, your lover, or even just a glass of bubbly (or bottle). Happy Valentine’s Day!
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