I was driving to work this week and the song “Goodbye My Lover” came on the radio. One thing led to another and I started thinking about all the times I’ve had to say goodbye and other defining moments from my past relationships and what it took for me to get to Ben.
It was hard at first because I could only really think of Ben (which is all that matters anyway) and I was getting frustrated because this isn’t something you can just ask someone as that would be a horrifying conversation. I ended up identifying my top 3 (plus one) and realized that all these moments have helped shape me into who I am today and led me to have a pretty great relationship with my sweets.
We all have those moments; the times that truly help define who we are and how we will handle life and love. A big one for me was my first love, letting myself fall in love and learning to embrace it.
I never thought I would fall in love and then about 9 years ago as I was leaving for bible school in England, my mother reminded me to “have fun but don’t fall in love while you’re away!” So what did I do? I went to England and a few weeks in, fell in love. (Thanks Mom) This is where I had my first real kiss. We were living on the English countryside in a castle; it felt straight out of a movie. The moment I realized I was falling for this man (boy?) was when we decided to wake up at 3:30 in the morning to go for a hike and watch the sunrise. It was the perfect romantic setting, you can’t write this stuff.
I should have known better though. I am from Ontario, he was from Portland and we met in England. This was one of the hardest relationships to be in as it was long distance but we both learned to be strong in so many ways. That was when I realized that love is fragile and needs to be handled with much care. I also learned that you cannot keep your walls up for a relationship to truly thrive, you need to put in as much effort as you possibly can.
My second defining moment has been all the past relationships that have helped me discover what I truly wanted and didn’t want in a relationship. These were the ones that helped me realize that communication is the most important aspect for any relationship to work. As tough as these somewhat meaningless relationships were I think they taught me exactly what I needed to learn in order to make it work with Ben. I guess sometimes the things that don’t seem to matter are the ones that stick with you and help you grow.
My third moment is with Ben!
When Ben and I first met neither one of us was looking to be in a relationship. I had seen him around before but we officially met at a church concert for kids (long story). For me our first real moment was when I went to his place after class and we did nothing but talk all night long. (4 to 5 hours to be exact) We hadn’t even kissed at that point but I was truly captivated by this man. I hadn’t met anyone like him before and was so intrigued about who he was. The way he cared about me and made me laugh right from the beginning of our new adventure is what drew me in. I knew that this was it; he was going to be “the one.” What I’ve learned from Ben is to really open myself up and be vulnerable. To love with my whole heart because he allowed me to. He let me be myself and grow as my own person but also to share my true self with him and to let our lives intertwine in such a way that made sense for the both of us.
Now I said I had 3 moments plus one….
The “plus one” is what came after marriage. We ended up separating for a year to see where we stood after a tough stretch of strained communication. (There’s that word again) It was a little bit of a mess but it was our mess. We learned to live separately and started dating each other again. I soon started to miss him a lot and when it was time to go back to my place at the end of the day it became harder and harder. I could detail everything that occurred to bring us back together but that is for another post. The most important thing is that we put in the work and are now more in love than ever before.
I guess that once I thought about everything I’ve learned from my past relationships (romantic or not) it has put it all in a new light. I wasn’t ready then, I wasn’t who I am today. I needed everything that I lived through, good and bad. In a way it has shaped me into who I am today, and I was ready to meet my true love when I did. Life is full of surprises, it may not look how you think it should but hey that’s life for you. No matter what you are going through – it doesn’t even have to be related to this topic – know that it is for a reason. It’s hard to tell why at times but I truly believe that we all have a great plan set out for our lives and what we do with our moments will help define our final path.
This is my happily ever after
What are some of your moments and what did you learn from it?