#30PostsBefore30 Day 15: Love Really Will Sneak Up On You

Our first photo together last January.
Our first photo together last January.

Today marks one year since Ryan and I started dating. Before I met Ryan, I had only been in one other relationship where, although we said to each other daily, “I love you,” the relationship was anything but that with mental, emotional, and sometimes physical abuse. Maybe I was in love then, but it was twisted love.

After the previous relationship, I was very hesitant to try dating again since I was hurt by the mistakes I had made in that relationship. I took some time off from dating so I could reflect on my choices in relationships, to think about what I really wanted out of a life partner.

In my past, I had the tendency to be the pursuer, not the one pursued: growing up, I had many crushes and, after summoning enough courage, I would tell the crushes that I liked them, but to no avail. None of them felt the same way for me, only wanting to be friends. That long tail of rejections followed me throughout college and my early 20s, with me wondering “What’s wrong with me?”

I remember talking with my sister-in-law about relationships and my hang-up over my less-than-stellar dating life. Why hadn’t I found a great guy yet? She knew about my history of being the pursuer, and gave me this piece of advice:

When you find the right guy, he will pursue you: when he says he’ll call you, he’ll call you.

She told me this probably back in 2012 when I was venturing back into the dating scene again post-breakup. That year, I was seeking a better relationship than the one I had had before, but the guys I briefly dated came up short (or had some drama attached to them). After that venture, I decided to pause my dating adventures again.

Most of 2013 I spent focusing on other parts of my life instead of relationships, despite still pining away for a great guy to be with. At the beginning of 2014, I decided on a whim to jump back into dating again with no high expectations: just see where it went and go with the flow.

When Ryan had first messaged me on the dating site we were members of, I remember I had just been virtually “dumped” by a guy I was to meet that weekend but that guy had anxiety over “all the women who were messaging him” and decided to take a break from online dating. I was disappointed, but didn’t feel too hung up over it–oh well!

Ryan’s first message to me was talking about my date idea, trivia night, and, despite some grammatical errors that we still laugh about to this day, I found his message sweet and thoughtful. We made a date to meet up the following week at trivia night and had a great first date answering silly trivia questions and getting to know one another.

After that date, I remember I was so anxious to possibly hear back from him regarding a second date. He had said to me, “I will call you in a couple days” and I took that as a sign to test out my sister-in-law’s theory. When the days passed and I hadn’t heard from Ryan yet, I lost hope and cried to my best friend Katherine about my dismal luck with men. Little did I realize that later that night Ryan would message me, and we did end up going on a second date, which would seal our fate as a couple.

Over the past year, we have had many wonderful moments together, exploring Colorado and going on our special “photoventures” around Denver. We’ve joined a church in town and volunteer regularly in the worship band and guest services. We also go to the gym regularly and are now working on running a few races this year.

Ryan has been my loving support this whole past year and I couldn’t have asked for a better man in my life.