Because I did…
This past weekend the boyfriend and I celebrated our one-year anniversary. While I was on a mission to find love, I took a long and winding road to get there. After going on over 180 dates before him with 45 men in a 16-month period, people often ask me what made him so different. After all, none of the men before him made it past the two-month period, and I pretty much knew he was it by the time we hit that mark.
So what was it about this mystical creature that made me settle down and commit after being single for nearly a decade? While there are so many things that I love about him and our relationship, I’m going to try my best not to bore you with all of the cutesy stuff or the details and get to the main tings that made me say hmmm…
Here Are The 8 Things That Made Him A Keeper:
He Wasn’t Afraid Of The Real Shit
It was only 30 minutes into our first date when he started to ask those taboo questions people tell you to avoid on the first date. Cancer, daddy issues, exes – nothing was safe, and that’s how I liked it.
He was curious and I love to talk so it was a win-win. By sharing so much of myself, it allowed him the space to share honestly with me. There was no fluff or talks about favorite foods and colors. We got real, real fast, and established an automatic connection. We talked for 7 hours that night about some real shit and have talked every day since.
Our Stories Were The Same
As we sat there on that first date and told our stories, it felt like we already knew each other. We both emigrated to the U.S. during the same summer of 1990 and while set in drastically different circumstances (me from Israel to LA, he from Haiti to NYC) our experience and development as humans were the same.
Neither of us ever felt like we truly fit in. We both rebelled, we both pursued unlikely careers in the entertainment industry – a departure from the career fields our families pursued before us – and were both transitioning out of that industry.
When He Was Scared, He Told Me So
At the start of our second date, he turned to me and said, “You scare me. You’re probably everything I’ve ever dreamed of, but I’m not sure if I’m ready for you.”
Most men, who are unavailable emotionally or otherwise, don’t exactly tell you so on the second date. By being open and honest about our fears and relationship limitations we were able to help each other through those moments instead of running away or ending our relationship because of that fear.
We Could Simplify The Most Complex Of Subjects
Our relationship didn’t come without some hurdles. From religious and cultural beliefs to the way we view success. Challenges that in the past plagued our relationships were suddenly so simple for us to breakdown and understand.
Most importantly we always dealt with the heavy issues in our lives with the 3 Cs! Care, compassion and compromise. Even when we disagree, we never walk away from the situation not feeling our love and acceptance of one another.
We Are A Work In Progress, And We Know It
I’m a firm believer in self-reflection and growth. We never stop growing as people. It was refreshing to meet someone who was on that journey as well. We were both a work and progress and we accepted each other as such.
When we would go out and learn something individually, we would share it with the other and eventually started attending seminars and lectures together. We even read to each other before bed. We know that at any time we can re-create ourselves and our relationship as it’s own entity.
He Calls Me Out On My Bullshit
Direct, hubris, independent, intimidating and other not-as-nice words have been used in the past to describe me. A lot of men let me buy into my own bullshit and allow me to run all over them. He didn’t.
He stood his ground when the subject matter was important to him and didn’t always let me win. When I was out of line, he told me so. When I’m not being the person I say I want to be, he let’s me know. And this goes both ways.
He Makes Me Feel Safe
This was a big one. Safety is sexy! So.. he’s 6’3” with broad shoulders and a muscular physique and it’s therefor easy to feel safe by his presence, but more essential to the success of a relationship is if the person makes you feel safe emotionally.
He created a safe environment for me to be vulnerable – my biggest challenge after being single for nearly a decade. Feeling safe emotionally allowed me to share all of me and feel completely accepted no matter what.
We Shared The Same Vision
From day one our vision was clear. Who are we as people? What do we want in a family? What purpose do we have in this world? The answers to those questions all aligned. Having a shared overall vision for our life, even when it came to the details of who does the dishes and the laundry, allowed us to work as a team.
As a team we have been able to accomplish set goals, support one another’s dreams and live for our purpose.
Now that’s love…