As promised, here is the third relationship that has influenced me. Most of you will know who he is, but for confidential reasons, I’m just keeping his name anonymous.
My life, when I met this guy, was a mess. But thankfully so, he fell for me when I was at my lowest. I had just finally freed myself from X. I told myself that dating wasn’t going to be in my future, at least not until I made it to college three months later down the road. But you guessed it, I was wrong. (There seems to be a trend about that…)
As any other girl after graduation, I was frantic about college and moving. My whole world was changing in front of me. I was supposed to be pulling my life together. But for the first time in four years, I didn’t know what being single was. It was like learning how to ride my bike all over again: I couldn’t figure out how to be on my own. It wasn’t the only thing I had forgotten how to do. To be completely honest, I had forgotten how to love myself.
There were about three weeks from graduation until the time Z and I started dating. It sounds fast, but we were pretty close friends for the year prior. I would’ve never dated him in high school, but the more he fit in at DQ, the better friends we became. He joked with everyone, laughed with everyone, and he worked hard. He made work feel less like a burden, and more like a stress relief for everyone.
You see, we weren’t going to hire him at the restaurant. I told my boss he would be bad news. He was one year older with a not-so-hot reputation for the weekend life, which was not my thing. But, my boss still hired him, and gave him a shot. It must’ve been God’s way of telling me greater things are coming. And they sure did.
It wasn’t just great things for me, either. He was there for everyone. He listened to everyone’s problems: he genuinely wanted to help fix them. He has a genuine love for people that I wish everyone had. He made everyone want to work harder, laugh more, and enjoy the day-to-day. He was humble about everything he did as well: He was slow to temper, and fast to smile.
There was something so beautiful to me about him: something beautiful in the way he treated others with such patience and kindness. My parents were rarely able to pick me up and drop me off for work, and he was always the first to volunteer. Again, not just for me, but for everyone. He listened and talked less. He wanted to be there for everyone.
Even though his past scared me, his present intrigued me. He didn’t seem so intimidating now. And what I mean by that, is that he was out of my league. He lived a very different life than I did. But by the middle of June, he had expressed interest in me, surprisingly. We decided to give it a shot after his party life died down and his responsibilities became heavy. But he never complained about working more hours, or taking more on.
The most amazing part of our relationship, to me, is that he knowingly gave me a shot realizing I would be moving in a week. He knew that I was an emotional rollercoaster. He knew that I was trying to figure out who I was away from anyone else. He knew that I was going through so much in my life.
Yet, he still pursued me. Even as broken as I was, he still pursued me because he wanted to be there through everything. And he was. I can’t say that he knew everything he was getting into (do we ever)? But he knew a lot of the craziness that I called life, friends, family, and me. Yet, he still wanted to love me through it.
He still pursues me, even though we live nearly 200 miles from one another. He still pushes me to be a better person: slow to anger, and quick to smile. He doesn’t realize he even does it, but that’s why I love him so much. He’s been a roommate in times of need, he’s been my best friend for midnight McDonald outings, he’s been a model co worker, and he’s been the love that supports and holds me through everything.
After being together for two years, he still wants to love me through it all. Two years of a long distance relationship is strenuous. There are days where I miss him so much, I swear I feel the heart ache. But he reminds me, like always, we’ll be together again soon.
We don’t fight (which probably isn’t normal). We don’t argue, even when I instigate it. It’s because we both openly sit down to talk about it. We both want what’s genuinely best for one another. As Z says, “Why should we fight when we can just talk about it? You do what makes you happy and I’ll do what makes me happy. Along the way, if something comes up, let’s talk about it.” And yes, it’s the complete opposite of my relationship from X.
Being with someone who loves me like Z does is the best part of my days. It’s taught me how to love others genuinely, while also loving myself. He’s taught me a lot about intentionality, and what it means to intentionally do things from your heart. He’s taught me how to listen more, not talk (still working on this one). He’s also taught me that my dreams have purpose.
No matter where this life has or will take us, Z has taught me how to trust myself. When I want to do something, it’s okay to do it. When something makes me happy, I should pursue it. He’s never held me back from what I’ve wanted to do. Which is why we are still 200 miles away from one another. He’s shown me that we can both love what we do, and continue on our journey together. Even if that means from afar. Regardless of what we both decide to do, we’ll make it work and support each other in our decisions.
Finally, Z has consistently poured into me. He’s reminded me of my worth, my importance, and my independence. Never once has he objectified me or put me down. But he’s also encouraged me to become more comfortable with myself. He wants me to be independent as I need to be, but also acknowledging that he is always there. For that I’m forever thankful.
Despite having a terrifying experience with relationships, I have learned what a genuinely healthy one looks like. Through the ups and downs, he’s there. That’s important. I have great respect for Z, for abundant reasons. But mostly, for the way he lives his life. And for the love he has towards everyone.
I have learned so much through this relationship: more than I ever thought I’d learn. I’ve never felt more loved than I do 200 miles away. I have never felt more important in my lifetime, as I do now. I have never laughed and smiled so much. I have never been more thankful to love someone.
It’s funny how God allows it all to work out.