Knowing that I was going to share this story was not easy for me. Of course when you’re happy, you want to shout it out to the world but opening up about something so close and personal to me with a larger audience (let alone strangers) made me hesitant.
It’s reassuring to know that many of you have been there and can relate, and on the other hand, perhaps there are those that are currently in this stage of their relationship. Either way, here’s my story—one day I’ll look back and smile knowing that our love story is published! (Right?!)
February had rolled around and all was going well in my life; Something Navy was kicking into full gear and nothing in my personal life could have been better—aside from the dating lol. I had been in the NYC dating scene for some time now and after a few failed attempts (stories I’ll save for a later time), I was finally at the point where I was leaving it up to destiny—what is meant to be, will be and should not be forced.
I was at lunch with a girlfriend of mine who was casually seeing a guy, and she mentioned that he had a single friend for me. At this point I was so disinterested because I didn’t want to go through the ringer of putting myself out there to be let down—etc etc, you know the deal but reluctantly gave my number. Later that day, I got a phone call from a random number that I didn’t recognize. That number was Corey and funny enough, it was a complete accident; something we joke about now. We set up a date for later that week via texting and met at a bar where our night soon turned into bar hopping, filled with spicy margaritas, chips + guac, and staring contests (don’t even ask, we’re weird, ok?).
Fast forward to a month later where we were going on 2-3 dates a week and I found myself pleasantly surprised to be seeing someone so my opposite—easy going, analytical, and super outgoing. Things were just easy and I felt comfortable being myself. Apparently so much so, one day after lunch, I was leaving him and a friend of his and I blurted out “Bye, love you!” I always just say that to my friends when I leave them so it just automatically came out! My mind jumped to strategizing my exit—should I start running home? But that was quickly interrupted by Corey’s reaction, or lack there of. It was so comforting to me during a moment of complete humiliation that the slip up had not mattered to him at all. I realized that Corey may be exactly what was missing from my life; Someone who accepted me for all of the things one may not understand or be quick to dismiss—my quirks, my stubbornness, and my nightly routine of dessert after dinner. (I’m not easy, ok?!)
A few months later, I found myself anticipating “the talk”, aka DTR (defining the relationship). I have to thank my mom for making it happen [see conversation below]. Arielle told me this was the perfect opportunity to figure it out. I sent my text conversation to Corey and after laughing, he suggested we talk that night. I was nervous showing up to his apartment and anxious in anticipation. We both felt that things were so seamless and fun, it was only right to make it official. After a couple months of officially dating, we were meeting each others families + friends and spending countless date nights and weekends together. I began to feel the build up and emotions of getting ready to say ‘I love you’, but had no idea how it would go down. I was tortured for weeks by everyone in the SN office; Within minutes of walking in every morning, I would get the question “did it happen yet?!” Finally, on a Friday night, we were at dinner with our friends. Reminiscent of our first date, with a few spicy margaritas and chips + guac later, we found ourselves in his apartment saying “I love you”. It was perfect. I had never felt so ready and relieved to finally express the way I had felt about him and to get it out in the open! My message to everyone going through the whole dating process now is that things DO happen for a reason. Despite all of the dating nightmares, trials and tribulation, it will be worth it in the end since you’ll finally realize when things are right.
Illustration by: Molly Keene