Among the girlfriends who met Lee early on, right after we’d returned from paradise, was a woman planning a wedding. So it was no surprise to get her invitation in the mail a few weeks later. What was surprising was how it was addressed — to me and Lee. The obvious (wedding budget-friendly) message in this approach is this:
“If you’re still seeing this guy a few months from now, then you’re legitimately in a relationship and can bring him as a date to our wedding. If not, you’re going to be seated among the singles.”
I had to admit to myself that, despite Lee’s regular assertions that he planned to be in my life, I felt a momentary pang of anxiety about sending in a response card for us to attend a wedding nearly three months in the future. Yet I knew I could always inform the bride-to-be if things changed; there was simply no way to know what might happen in the next three months. And perhaps for the first time in my life, I was in a relationship in which I was not afraid to confess this anxiety to my mate, even via text. He responded with a reassuringly heart-filled and syrupy string of emoji.
The next afternoon, he asked me to meet him for a kiss on the way home from work. We grabbed a cup of tea at a coffee shop convenient to both of our commutes home. Barely into our conversation, Lee reached for my hand across the table and told me that I hadn’t needed to feel anxious about sending in the wedding invitation. He told me he planned to be in my life.
I wondered aloud:
“I know it’s not that big of a deal, but it got me to thinking: My heart palpitated just a little, just for a moment, thinking about planning three months from now. How far ahead are you willing to look before you start to get anxious or aren’t willing to make plans? Please don’t answer that right now…I mean it hypothetically. I was just musing about it.”
And that’s when he dropped this bomb:
“I love you.”
I was stunned — and ecstatic! I thought this may be coming, and that perhaps he’d whip it out on Valentine’s, well over a week away. So I stammered and finally told him that I could feel it, and that I thought he could tell I felt the same way too. He said he wanted to say it when we weren’t drinking (or in bed, I thought). Mostly I just smiled and took it all in. What a wonderful feeling!
Later, after I’d arrived home, I texted:
My gas tank is empty, my phone battery is nearly dead, but my heart is so full it feels about to burst!
And this, from him:
You’re just so right in so many ways…it felt right to say it
Ahh, what a high! What happiness!