One year ago, at 1pm Pacific Standard Time, I met the love of my life.
(Side note: he’s even cuter in person. Side-side note: he’s a chef and he’s making me a pan-seared duck breast with a red wine reduction… right now. But I digress.)
On our first date, I wore a shirt with an owl on it. I was shaking, slightly. Too much caffeine. He was so nervous he could barely speak.
We got sandwiches and walked through the park. We talked about life. We talked about books. We talked about one of our mutual passions: cheese.
We fell in love and there was no effort involved.
It was simple and it keeps getting simpler.
It was good and it keeps getting better.
It was love. Still is.
Now, it’s deeper.
When people ask how we met, I tell them, “an online dating website”. People often seem surprised.
They ask, “How long did it take before you met each other?” The answer: “About two or three weeks”.
The next question is usually, “Whoa… What did you put in your profile?”
What did I put?
I put the truth.
I aspire to be the kind of person that Mister Rogers would be proud to call his “neighbor”. Some days, I succeed.
I like heart-shaped crystals, almond croissants, pumpkin spice lattes and smartphone-free dinner parties.
Professionally-speaking, I’m a writer. Of books & things.
I’ve been told I have a pretty epic smile.
I believe in love. The forever kind.
You should message me if…
: You are curious & thoughtful, but not cynical.
: You would describe yourself as a “world-class hugger”.
: You still believe in love. Even though. Even when. Even now.
I also expressed — by ticking the appropriate boxes in my profile setting — that I was interested in a long-term relationship.
Not short-term-and-let’s-see-where-this-goes. Not casual. Long. Term. Love.
That was the truth, so that’s what I put.
This is significant because “telling the truth” was not something I’d ever… really… done before.
At least, not when it came to romantic relationships.
Embarrassing, but true.
I spent my twenties meandering through a series of relationships with people who were wonderful, charming, smart and beautiful. People who were perfect for somebody. But not right for me.
I take responsibility for all of the not-rightness, because I never really told the truth.
Either with an outright lie, with vague language, or by omission, I would fail to express what I really wanted.
Instead, in a somewhat desperate (but totally understandable and very human) effort to feel loved, I would try to be… whatever they wanted.
“Oh, so you’re not into ‘relationships’ and just want to have casual sex? And never meet any of my friends? Sounds great! When do we start?”
“Oh, so you and your husband have an open relationship, and you’re looking for an occasional girlfriend-on-the-side? Dream come true! Where do I sign?”
“Oh, so you don’t like saying the words ‘I love you’ to anyone? I can roll with that. Who needs those kinds of words, anyway?”
Words are like magnets.
When you say something that isn’t true, you get something that isn’t right.
I learned this lesson slowly. But I learned it well.
And finally, a little over one year ago, when I crafted my profile and put the absolute truth about what I wanted – true love. deep love. big love. with one person. forever. – I magnetized someone who wanted the same kind of love.
I am sure that lots of people read my profile and thought, “Whoa. Chill out, lady. Forever-and-ever love? How about we do coffee and see where it goes?” Those people did not write to me.
But one man read my profile and thought, “You’re the one I’ve been dreaming about”. He wrote to me.
And that was that.
That’s how it happens, you know?
This is the power of language. This is the kind of miracle that can happen when you communicate with clarity and honesty.
This is, ultimately, what I am trying to teach when I lead workshops, when I write advice columns, when I coach people who struggle to express themselves clearly.
Just say what is true.
Say it with love. Say it as simply as you can.
Like you are speaking to a child. Like you are speaking to a friend.
Just say what is true.
And that which belongs with you… will be drawn to you.
PS. Brandon, my true love, approves this message.