After bad relationships made finding love seem elusive, tragedy brought us together and showed me what it means to be with a good guy.
Earlier this month Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s essay, “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” went viral. Ten days later, on March 13, 2017, she died. In the short window of time preceding her death, the public learned intimate details about Rosenthal and her husband, Jason, for she did something many of us may not be willing or able to do–pen a dating profile for the love of her life.
With so much negativity surrounding men recently, her piece made me stop and reflect on my own love life. A journey that has been intoxicating at its best, and abusive at its worst. To reflect on the failed relationships I’ve had, and how incredibly grateful I am for the man I’m with now. Our union is far from perfect, so if you sense that from my writing, please don’t misunderstand my intentions. However, in the wake of all the bad, I do want to take a moment and share what it’s been like to be with someone who I consider to be a genuinely good guy.
Ironically, it was tragedy that brought Josh and I together. Our 21-year-old half-brother, Chase, was in a fatal car accident in September of 2014. I say “our” because he was a sibling to us both, although Josh and I are not biologically related, we were step-siblings at one time. A complicated story for another day, I’ll spare you the details.
Anyway, it was at the hospital where I met Josh for the first time, and then again at the funeral, and once more at the reception. It’s difficult to describe, but there was an instant spark, like an undeniable energy that drew me in. I wanted to know him, although at the time I wasn’t sure whether it was because of the intense grief, my overwhelming emotions, or some morbid act of fate.
Like the niceties that often take place during a tragedy, we exchanged contact information, and I reached out to him at the first opportunity. Text messages and phone calls ensued. Throughout this period, his intellect, charm, and attentiveness wooed, but it’s what I discovered on a deeper level that’s kept me hanging on.
1. He gets me
This man is so attuned to me, that I swear there are times when he can read my mind. He doesn’t treat this as a byproduct of a long relationship, either. Instead, he treats it as a privilege. Because of this, we grow closer everyday. He has come to understand my nuances so well and answers my needs so completely that it sometimes feels like our lives are choreographed.
2. He enjoys communicating
Thanks to a string of abusive relationships with emotionally unavailable men, I took it upon myself to become absolutely terrible at opening up. Guarded and closed off are two ways you could describe my communication style. His, on the other hand, are anything but. He loves listening to me talk and wants to know everything about me. So when I found it difficult to share my feelings and get to that vulnerable place, he waited patiently for me to come around.
3. He makes me a priority
I’m his number one, and I feel like it, too. Every decision he makes is done with my happiness in mind. The little things he does during our everyday, like making me coffee in the morning and massaging my feet at night, are sweet reminders that he’s constantly thinking of me.
4. He’s honest
Rather than embellish the truth, or act secretive or sneaky, he always puts everything out in the open. His honesty is so forthright, that although my insecurities sometimes get the better of me, I wholeheartedly believe that I can trust him–something I don’t know that I’ve ever truly felt.
5. He supports me
I could tell this man that I want to have a unicorn farm, and he would find a way to make it happen. From childcare and housework, to helping me chase my dreams, his support makes me feel like nothing is impossible.
6. He doesn’t give up
He’s here to stay. In it for the long haul. Committed. This is something that frightened me initially, especially considering I’ve been in other long-term relationships where men flat out refused to get married or have children, and being the young, impressionable person I was, began to believe that those things just weren’t in the cards for me. He, on the other hand, has shown me what it means to be completely devoted to another person. And I have to admit, it feels pretty damn amazing.
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