When I met the love of my life, I was jaded.
I think we've all been there, right? We've met so many potential suitors who have broken our hearts that we're simply afraid to be vulnerable. We're afraid to be too trusting. We're afraid to be too free with our emotions.
So that was my state of mind when I met my boyfriend. I'm talking so jaded that I didn't even promise him a date getting drinks on a weeknight. We met at Starbucks during my lunch break. The reason? I wanted to insure the date couldn't last more than an hour.
And then something happened. The date was actually good. Great even. This man sitting across from me was actually a good person. Amazing even. An hour flew by and I wished I had one of those magical time turners so I wouldn't have to go back to work.
Even so, I had great first dates before. Sure, this one felt different, but I didn't want to get my hopes up. I knew I had been burned before for doing just that.
As we racked up more and more dates, I literally felt myself holding back. I knew I was excited. I knew I was falling. But something was holding me back. It took one of my best friends to point it out to me. She asked about him over dinner, and when I tried to be blasé about it, she called me out and asked me why I wasn't being free with the details.
I thought about it. I had the butterflies when I saw him. He was being super open with his feelings, so I knew where he stood. Why wasn't I shouting this from the rooftops? I had every right to.
That's when I changed my whole approach to our relationship.
I decided, then and there, that I was going to actually allow myself to FEEL this relationship. If I truly believed that this guy was different, maybe he actually would be. Maybe he'd be the exception to the rule. And maybe, just maybe, we'd fall in love.
I threw myself into it. I texted him when I wanted to. I told him I liked him. I invited him to stay the night. I did all the things I wouldn't let myself do before.
And it was amazing. Soon after I made this decision, he proved his commitment by locking down our relationship. He asked me to be his girlfriend, a question I'm not sure I had ever actually heard before that moment. Six months later, our bond was strong, and he told me he loved me. I returned the sentiment without hesitation. The progression of our story has taught me a very valuable lesson.
Loving hard is the only way to love.
Anything else is a waste of time. Anything else just isn't going to work, because you aren't putting your faith into it.
When you're loving hard, you're doing more than loving. You're having FUN. You're feeling every moment.
When you go to hold his hand, you can literally feel the sparks between his skin and yours. When you're kissing her on the lips, you start feeling weak in the knees. It's exciting. It's exhilarating. You feel absolutely alive.
Loving hard changes more than just your heart, though.
Loving someone hard changes other aspects of your life, too. It sounds cheesy, but you know when people say love makes the colors of the world brighter and the roses smell sweeter? It's sappy, but it's true.
When you're loving without inhibitions, you're living life exuberantly. Suddenly everything you do has more meaning. You have a spring in your step as you walk to work, and you listen to love songs and watch romantic comedies in a completely different way.
Life just means more because you have someone to share it with. It's not that this other person completed you — come on, you were already a complete person to begin with — it's just that he or she has enhanced your life in a way you never could have imagined. All that heartbreak you experienced before just led you to this moment.
When you're loving hard, you have no regrets.
Sometimes I think about what could have happened if I had never let myself love my boyfriend. We might not be here, two years later, building a life together. That would have been a huge regret for me.
But now, no matter what happens in our future, I'll always know I did everything I could. I've tried my hardest to make this work. I won't have any regrets down the line, even if we separate.
And that's what it comes down to, isn't it? When we commit to anything in our lives, we're throwing caution to the wind and immersing ourselves in it, whether it's a job or a person or a hobby. We're feeling the thrill of not knowing what's going to happen next. We're embracing the unknown.
What could be better than that?