Friday, March 29, 2013

God Bless this Broken Road

I have a confession.

I had almost given up on love when I met Mr. Rucksack.

When we first met, I had just gotten out of a long term relationship. It was the kind of relationship where we both knew it was over long before we officially ended it, but when you've been together for so long you just sort of hold on. I won't go into all of the gory details, but it got pretty bad.

I remember one particularly sad conversation in which we laid it all out there and he told me that  the crazy can't eat can't sleep kind of love wasn't real, but that he could promise to be nice to me and take care of me. I stayed with him for another five months after that as our relationship continued to deteriorate. He began going out and drinking way too much and he stopped being so nice. It was at that point that I realized I not only was missing out on that crazy kind of love, but suddenly I was in a relationship with someone who wasn't even nice to me anymore. I blamed him at first, but now I realize how sad it must have been for him to be with someone that he knew wasn't crazy about him anymore.

Looking back, I know it would have been best for both of us if we said goodbye sooner, but I was so confused at the time. I had never seen a real relationship "work out" before. My parents aren't together and my grandfather died when my mom was in high school. My whole life was spent without any male role models and without a view into what a normal relationship looked like. It's not surprising then that everything I knew about relationships came from the movies  (where men are princes and love at first sight is abundant) and reality television shows (where women marry for money ala The Real Housewives). Seriously, what conflicting views on love. It's no wonder I was confused!

When I did leave my ex, I was determined to be single and really focus on myself. I was going to date and have fun and I wasn't going to settle for anything or anyone less than I wanted. I even (half-jokingly) made a list characteristics I wanted in my dream man. This included things like: a) tall b) from the midwest c) swimmer's build d) smart e) funny f) Cancer astrological sign g) big nose

I stuck with my plan for almost two months and let me tell you something, I was awesome at being single. Seriously, guys. I rocked it. I was waitressing at the time and had no day job, so my days basically went something like this: wake up, nurse hangover by the pool, waitress, party, sleep, repeat. Sometimes I got really wild and threw in hiking or beaching with the puppy, but really life was simple. I was healing.

Then one night I met Mr. Rucksack. I kid you not when after our first date I said "Oh crap!" because I knew my single days were over. After our second date, I actually called the few people I had been casually seeing to let them know I was now off the market. We both realized really early on that this was "it" - that crazy can't eat can't sleep kind of love that I had given up on finding. And not only were we madly in love and perfect for each other, but he had every single quality that I wanted in my dream man except for one. Any guesses on which he's missing?

Photo by Abigail Scott
Yep, his nose is much too normal sized. Although I now think that's probably in the best interest of our future babies.

I know how lucky we are and that not everybody finds this kind of love. Shortly after we met, Mr. Rucksack admitted to me that he never thought he would find love either and had pretty much committed himself to being a lifelong bachelor. I think that part of the reason we are so thankful is because we really weren't sure if it was going to happen for us.

You know how people always tell you that really annoying and vague theory of "When you know, you just know."? Well, that's exactly how it was for us. One day we just said "Oh....I get it now!" and haven't looked back since.

What circumstances led you to your fiance? Did you just know?

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