It's no secret that up until 2008 I had not been lucky in love.
But on October 10th, 2008, I hit the jackpot when I agreed to meet Rick for dinner.
Rick and I "met" on plentyoffish.com and because over the course of that year I'd already been on at least 25 first dates, I was skeptical. Yes, I was an online dater. I could write a book on that topic and perhaps someday I will.
Our first date started with tapas and Stella's at LaMerenda in Walker's Point, ended on Bradford Beach and lasted until 3:00AM. It really was love at first sight, though I tried to resist that impractical notion. We were engaged 7 years later and he proposed on the beach, standing in the exact same spot he'd told me on the night we met that he would marry me someday.
*cue out the angels singing and the sound of butterfly wings*
I've come to understand that in relationships, love is the easy part. But love alone will not sustain a relationship. There has to be an authentic friendship; you must genuinely like each other. Not all the time of course, but certainly most of the time.
Love is the cherry on top. Because it's easy to bask in the sunshine of a person when things are good, but the reality is that things are cyclical. They're good, they're bad, then good again. When I lay myself bare I want to know that my person is going to love me warts and all. Not just cherry-pick the good parts of me and love only those parts, but all the parts of me.
You are blessed if you can say that there is one person on this planet that truly loves you, all the parts of you. And I am blessed.
Here's my Spotify playlist of grown-up love songs:
Chris Stapleton: Tennessee Whiskey
Rascal Flats: I Won't Let Go
Jason Mraz: I Won't Give Up
Boz Scaggs: I've Got Your Love
The Jayhawks: I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
The Judds: Love Can Build A Bridge
Mazzy Star: Fade Into You
Bad Company: Feel Like Makin' Love
Roberta Flack: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Aretha Franklin: (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man
Jack Johnson: Better Together