Every girl has had at least one: the absolutely terrible relationship that leaves you with way too much baggage and far too little trust. After about three or four jerks in a row, I decided to take a large break from formal dating. I was in the process of moving and starting an entirely different school and college major, and boys were the last thing on my mind. Enter Steve, whose oh-so-suave pickup line the first night we met was, “So… uh... I should probably get your number since we’re probably going to be hanging out more."
He was just about the funniest person I had ever met, and he had an instant attraction to me. But I was still holding strong to my self-imposed “no dating” rule. I was pretty certain that even the most charismatic guy was a jackhole in disguise. Little did I know, not only was Steve an amazing person, but he was also some sort of Jedi-class waiting master. He asked me out, I stalled, he waited. We went out casually for a date or two, I found excuses not to go out on dates again, he waited. We hung out consistently as friends, I pursued the single life, he waited. He told me how strong his feelings were, I honestly told him I wasn’t sure it was ever going to work, he waited. He never once pressured me, but he was open about his attraction to me. Only once in a year and a half did I ever allow a wall to come down when I gave him a quick kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve 2007. And still, I wasn’t ready to open myself up to him. Steve is one of the best people you will ever meet, and every single person in my life pressured me to date him... everyone except Steve himself. He was just there,waiting for me because he knew I needed to take my time making my decision.
I started to become incredibly scared. I still wasn’t comfortable seeing him in a romantic sense, yet I was terrified that he would tire of my stalling and would leave me to pursue other, more deserving women. At this point, we were spending every weekend hanging out together, and we even had a running “movie/friend date” every Sunday evening. I was so afraid of losing the wonderful man that had become my best friend. I saw noway out: if we stayed friends he would eventually move on to someone else,leaving me in the dust, but if we dated we were sure to break up and I would lose yet another important person in my life. For whatever reason, I failed to consider the alternative that we might start dating and our relationship might last.
Things finally came to head on Halloween of 2008. I had begun to feel more and more attraction to Steve throughout the past month or two, and I was tentatively admitting to myself that I’d like to date him. I had more trust in him than I ever did with my previous boyfriends because he was willing to wait for me, even when I wasn’t sure I could ever give him my heart. On Halloween night, I asked him to sit outside with me at his apartment while our friends partied upstairs, and we spent some time talking and looking up at the stars. I was cryptically honest with him that my feelings had been changing since the last time we had talked, but I still couldn’t come right out and tell him how strongly I felt. He put his arm around me to warm me up, and every fiber in my body was buzzing with energy. We looked at each other for a few moments, and both decided at the same time that we couldn’t wait any longer. Praying that I was doing the right thing, I leaned in and had my first true kiss with him. I was afraid I wouldn’t feel anything when we kissed, but I can honestly say I have never had a better first kiss in my entire life. My tiny inner self was jumping around, screaming, “I feel it! I feel it! I really feel something for him!” Finally I pulled away and blurted out, “Do you want to date??” I barely finished the sentence before Steve shouted, “Yes!”
Our relationship may not have started out like most do, and many people told him he was crazy to keep pursuing me when I showed zero interest in a relationship, but I wouldn’t change our experience for the world. I tend to hide my real self to the world, but Steve never fell for my act. He immediately saw directly to my true soul, and loved me all the more for it. He was patient at a time when I needed patience, he gave me friendship when I wasn’t ready for more, and he has loved me more than I can comprehend from the moment he first saw me. Two and a half years later we are now planning our wedding, and I couldn’t imagine marrying anyone better than this kind, wonderful, perfect man.
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