“This is where i fell in love!”
On a stop sign post in front of my apartment in San Diego, California
In 2006, I moved across the country, despite being in a long-term, committed relationship. We both agreed that it was the right thing for me to do. I was following my dreams. Had I stayed in town instead, she would have lost respect for me, and I would have resented her. And anyways, I was only going to be gone for four months. Long-distance relationships are hard, but I would ultimately be coming home. And we loved each other. Oh my god, we loved each other.
On January 13th, I packed all my things in my car, and went to her place. We layed on her bed for an hour or so, cuddling and crying and talking about how much we would miss each other. Finally I left and headed East.
On January 23rd, she called me. I was at work and couldn’t answer the phone, so I let it go to voicemail. Every 15 minutes, my cellphone would do a short little vibration to remind that I had a missed call. I could have very easily disabled that feature, but to me they weren’t reminders of a missed call, but reminders that somebody out there loved me.
At the end of my shift I finally checked my voicemail. Her tone was serious and nervous. “We need to talk”, she said. I immediately felt ill. I swallowed hard and called her back.
“I’m breaking up with you. You didn’t do anything wrong. I…I just don’t love you anymore.” I cried and begged and pleaded that she reconsider. In the end, none of my pathetic desperation changed her mind.
That afternoon, I had loved her as much as I had ever loved her, and that evening, I learned that those feelings weren’t reciprocated. We had planned to make it through the four month period that I’d be gone, but we only lasted ten days. Ten fucking days. I never saw it coming.
The following months and years involved a painfully long recovery from the heartbreak she inflicted. I had become embittered towards love and relationships. And while I dated on occasion, I always assumed I would never be comfortable letting myself get close enough with anybody to fall in love again.
Years later, I met my current girlfriend. Her passion, honesty, intelligence, talent, and creativity had slowly warmed her role in my life from acquaintance to friend to best friend to girlfriend. Also, it didn’t hurt that she’s hot.
Still, I didn’t anticipate that I’d ever fall in love with her. My ex had done a doozie on me, and I felt like I had lost my ability to love, regardless of how worthy that somebody might be.
On one otherwise unextraordinary evening, we were laying in bed cuddling. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt the warm euphoria of dopamine flooding my brain. It was an instantly recognizable feeling. I’d fallen in love. A smile crept across my face.
“What?” she asked.
“I…I think…[deep breath]…I think I love you.”
[Tight squeeze] “I was hoping that’s what you were going to say. I love you too!”