I get asked that question a lot, how did I know that Brian was the “one”. Well if I were to be completely honest I would say that from our first date I knew he was different. Let me take you back.
So as many of you know, Brian and I met April of 2014 in a bar in Baltimore. He lived there and I lived in Virginia Beach…4 1/2 hours away. Our chance meeting had all the elements of a movie love story. Girl walks into bar, sees this handsome man standing behind the bar checking her out. Man spends the rest of the night getting her to talk to him before he slips her his number and running to her for a hug before she leaves. The energy in that hug was my first indicator. I mean I can’t explain it, I just know that it felt safe, familiar and left me wanting to make sure I stayed in contact with this man. Now as women we all have an list of wants from a relationship. A lot of our lists differ, but there are core elements we all share, like the desire to feel wanted, paid attention to, sought after. Right before meeting Brian my 20 year marriage had fallen apart and I had desperately sought comfort in those closest to me. I had started another relationship that too had fallen apart and I was over men at that point. I was tired of chasing, tired of giving so much of myself to people who didn’t appreciate it. I wanted to feel like someone’s priority, so I walked away from relationships and started to get comfortable being single. I was hesitant initially when Brian and I started to converse, but one of the first things he did that stuck with me our entire relationship, was he wasn’t afraid to show me he was into me. We have communicated every single day from the moment we met. Let that sink in for a second. It will be 5 years in April that we first met, and every day for 1,785 days we have talked in some way. This was while we were both still entertaining other people, this was while we both suffered devastating losses, we still found a way to communicate, even if it was just a text. It was that simple act that first showed me that this man was different.
Then he took me on our first date. It took 2 months for that day to come and in that time we had communicated so much that I could not wait to see him in person again. Ok ladies, this date is when I knew! No honestly, I still worried after this date but only because I knew that this guy would change my life and I was terrified of losing that!! We both met up in Richmond, a sort of halfway point for us. We went to Carytown and went to Mexican restaurant where I had way too many Cadillac margaritas and sat across from him all googly eyed!! This was was so different then what I was used to. He would stare me right in my eyes when he talked. He touched my hand most of the dinner, and he wasn’t afraid to show affection. He made me feel like I was the only person in a 10 mile radius. We left the restaurant and walked through the town, hand in hand. He talked to me about his family, went on and on about his life where I felt that I was already apart of it. He stopped in a store and bought me a hat because it was super sunny outside and I was sweating in my tight maxi dress lol. We ended up at this beautiful park and honestly at this point I was so comfortable I claimed him as mine…well in my mind, not to him just yet lol. Brian showed me who he was, he didn’t just tell me. I watched his interaction with others. I watched how he spoke to people, with respect. Later that night we ubered to this beautiful bar, and we were able to get the same driver to pick us up. We were hungry so our uber driver stopped at Jimmy Johns, and Brian asked the driver what kind of sandwich he wanted. He bought the guy a sandwich, and some could say he did all these things to impress me, but here we are 4 1/2 years later and Brian is still that same guy!! His kindness is one of my favorite traits of his. He literally cares so much about people, always the man to help others out. And I saw that early on, and I needed that. I needed a kind man, I needed a man who wouldn’t play games with my feelings. He was the man, but let me tell you, I made sure he knew what I needed. You see that is where we can sometimes mess up. We think the other person should just know, and yes there are basic behaviors we all know is needed in any relationship, but we also have to be able to communicate our needs and feel that they are being reciprocated.
That leads me to some of the tough stuff in our past. You know I love to share all the beauty but every story has the dark stuff too. And it’s in the midst of that dark stuff is where you truly know if this person you are wanting in your life will be there over time. Brian and I spent a year and a half living long distance. With that comes a lot of insecurity. I knew he was probably still entertaining other women because I was still entertaining other men. Partly because I didn’t want to put my all into our relationship not knowing if he could do the same, and partly because for the first time in my adult life I was single and I wanted to explore that. But boy did he make it hard to even think about other people. Brian played no games when it came to letting me know how he felt about me. He texted, called, sent me videos..I mean this guy definitely made it hard for any other guy to get close!! But there was still that fear of what he was doing when I wasn’t around. In the time we dated long distance, Brian lost his father. That happened soon after our first date and it was so hard to not be able to physically be there for him. He traveled back to his home town and dealt with his loss, while I was back home hurting so deeply for him. It was a dark time for us. Months later I lost one of my closest friends and I resented the fact that he too couldn’t physically be here for me. Within a week I would lose my cousin too, and honestly it was all too much to handle. I felt myself pushing him away, felt myself wanting more than what we were giving each other. Instead of doing what I was known to do in my past, which was to push feelings aside and not speak up for myself, I decided that I needed him to know what I wanted. I made my intentions clear so that he could also make his intentions clear. That to me was the beginning of us taking steps to making our relationship a serious one. On our journey to finding each other we would deal with the drama of other women, deal with the decision of him moving here and at times I thought we wouldn’t get to where we are now…but we did. And we did because we made a choice to not give up. And for me, I made the choice to finally speak. I let him know that I would never in my life live silently allowing people to treat me however they see fit. I came to a place for myself that I knew if I had to I would walk away, and I communicated that. Now we all say that sometimes with the intentions of just scaring the other person, but I said it knowing that if I had to that is what I would do. It wasn’t a scare tactic, rather finally knowing my value and not settling for anything less. Again Brian’s actions would be what I needed to show me that he meant what he said. All too many times we hear all the words we want to hear, but we ignore the actions. It’s in the actions that we truly know someone’s intentions. Brian left his life behind and moved to Virginia Beach to start a life with me, and a year after he moved here Brian got down on one knee and proposed to me, and year and half after, Brian married me. His actions, that’s how I knew he was the one. He didn’t play games, he didn’t fill me with empty promises, he showed me actions behind his words and that is how I knew I could trust him, could give him 100% of my heart and eventually stand before God, family and friends and promise my life to him.
Too many times we let words fill our hearts with what we want and we ignore the actions that don’t follow through. We make excuses as to why those actions aren’t lining up with what we are being told. All because we want this person so much that we allow what we deserve to be compromised. That is not the life you want, trust me. I would rather be alone again then to feel as though I am chasing after anyone. Relationships are amazing, marriage is beautiful and when it’s with the right person it is a feeling that nothing in this world can ever compare to. But all of that comes together when two people have the same intentions, love fiercely and are ready to commit completely to one another. We have been married for almost 7 months now, we are about to celebrate our 5th year anniversary of meeting each other and he is still the same loving, kind, giving man who doesn’t let a day go by without me knowing how he feels about me. Every night he preps our bed for us to get in, making sure the fan is on and the sheets are smoothed out and then we climb in. I back up into him, he wraps his arm around me and we lay there thankful for every single high and low that brought us here. We know that we could sustain life alone, but we know together life is brighter, easier and more comforting. I truly have a best friend in this life that I never have to worry will not always have my back, and he knows that he has the biggest supporter behind him. I am grateful that this is the life God has given me, and I’m grateful for all of the broken hearts that bought me here because it is so much sweeter knowing that this is the best of the best.
Thank you Brian for reminding me what true love is supposed to be. For never allowing pride to stop you from showing me love. For choosing me to be your partner and wife, and for the patience you have shown me since we first started this love story! I now know what God intended when he created the bond of matrimony. I’ll love you forever and a day….