We were neighbors. Literally. We shared a wall but somehow we didn't run into each other often. Sometime in the spring/summer of 2007 J (my husband) and his best friend starting hanging outside on the stoop; running their mouths and smoking. I would stop and chit-chat with them but I didn't linger.
That changed when I was asked to watch my sisters dog. Originally I was going to keep her for 8 months--I had her for 3 years. I started hanging out outside walking the dogs and chatting with the guys. They were entertaining and fun to talk to. I was incredibly lonely and they kept me company. I can't count how many times we stayed out late talking and debating. We had epic debates until 2 and 3 in the morning. I'm surprised our neighbors didn't call security on us.
Slowly I realized that J had a crush on me. Unfortunately for him I was in "me mode." I just got out of a horrible relationship and I wasn't interested in dating. I wanted to focus on healing myself. We became good friends.
I'm not sure when things started to change between J and I. I think when it started to get cold we stopped hanging out on the stoop and started chatting on Instant Messenger. We started to move from good friends to flirting. I was still very wary for a bunch of reasons. I didn't want a relationship because I didn't trust myself to make a good decision about men. Also, J wasn't the typical guy I dated. We were neighbors and friends, if it all went to hell how could I face him?
Yet, I found myself starting to like him, in that way. We shared our first kiss on Christmas Day. We went on an official first date soon after.
J was not like anyone I have dated before. In a good way. He was kind and considerate. He was a God Fearing Man. He opened doors. He was emotionally available. I was so comfortable with him. He saw me happy, sad, goofy, drunk, hungover, with glasses, with contacts, bitchy and everything. I could talk to him about anything and everything. The relationship felt different. It was different. It still is different! It's like wearing your favorite pair of jeans that fit comfortable, flatter you and make you feel sexy as hell.
Pretty quickly I fell for him (and him for me) as in- by Valentines Day I had a feeling we would be getting married. It was scary. I never thought about getting married. I was not one of those girls who planned their wedding day when they were six. I thought I would meet a guy and we would cohabitate long term. Again, J different. He was old-fashioned. He believe in marriage and honest-to-goodness commitment.
Speaking of old-fashioned we were not having relations. Yes, you read that correctly. J wanted the next person he was with to be special so he made me wait. It was very different for me. Frustrating at times. In the end I'm glad we didn't rush into that part of our relationship.
By June, a little over six months after we officially starting dating, I had a promise ring (and him in that way, finally). The next month we were engaged. We got married two years and one week after that Christmas Day kiss. It has been the best decision I have ever made. He makes me a better person. He makes me want to be a better person. Corny I know but completely true.
I thank God for him. I was happy that I didn't let my fears get in the way of love. It was completely unexpected and right on time.
My single friends ask me how did I do it or what did I do different to meet a great guy and get married. The answer is I don't know. I wasn't looking for love. I was actually running from it. People always tell you to stop searching and it will come to you but that is really hard especially when you're lonely. unfortunately it is kinda true. When you stop searching and focus on being happy with yourself- love finds you. I will also add that women need to give men a chance (you know that friend that has been hanging around but you only see him as a friend). Date people outside your box.
Our Wedding Song: Love is You by Chrisette Michelle
PS: I told J I don't date smokers. He quit cold turkey.