Love at first sight has always been intriguing to me. I have always heard people tell stories about how they knew instantly when they looked at their significant other for the first time that they were in love. I was hopeful that my love story would fit the same mold.
It wasn’t love at first sight when I met my husband for the first time, but it did feel like a rom-com come to life. I found myself wanting to spend every moment with him. But the baggage we brought along with us started to weigh us down as the newness of the relationship began to fade.
As he became more comfortable in our relationship, he slipped back into old habits of being less forthcoming with his emotions.The closer we got the less connected I felt he was. I wanted to hear “I love you” all the time and he didn’t always feel comfortable with that outward show of affection. My previous bad experiences with men left me in need of constant reminders of their love for me or else I would fear the worst.
His inability to be intimate fed into my insecurity and began to eat into our time together. After a lot of thought I decided to break up with him. I sat him down and explained to him that I needed someone who was more openly affectionate. That there was nothing wrong with him, but maybe we weren’t as suited as I had previously thought.
I told him that we were better breaking up than being in a relationship that caused us both to leave our comfort zones. At that moment we tearfully left each other’s side.
But I thought about him everyday that week. My grandmother asked me what was wrong and I told her that I missed him. She laughed and asked me “Why’d you leave him then?” I tried to explain that I didn’t think I would be very happy in a relationship that was not affectionate. Her response still makes me laugh to this day: “You don’t seem very happy right now either!”
She made me think about a lot with her simple statement. I really was miserable without him! I missed his smile, his company, and his innate ability to make me laugh from the depths of my belly.
Ben had to come to my house later that week to bring back something of mine that I left at his house. I missed him desperately but wanted to stand firm because I thought I had made the right decision.
But when he walked into my apartment I felt my heart flutter. He told me it didn’t feel right for us to be apart and he wanted me back. With tears in his eyes he kissed me.
I remember feeling so overwhelmed by such a strong show of emotion from him. I knew, deep down, in that moment I was in love with him. He valued me enough to show me that he was open to working on making things right between us. He had won me back.
We soon had a long discussion about our issues, expectations, and needs. I told him I loved him enough to be patient with him as long as he was willing to work on opening up. He told me he loved me enough to help me overcome the deep wounds left behind from my past relationships. It felt like we had a game plan for our relationship.
There is such a wonderful depth to your relationship that develops when you accept a person in spite of their flaws and choose to work on them together. Our marriage completed that transformation complete. In marriage, we decided to stay together no matter the ebbs and flows that come with the relationship.
My love story wasn’t what I expected. I didn’t experience love at first sight, but I did find love through our mutual acceptance of each other for who we are.