The core of this story is Matt.
I just can’t continue on with telling you all about this little baby without explaining the intricacy of my love for this man. My story for Matt is special and full of love.
He is the one I could never have seen coming. A love that completely caught me by surprise.
We actually have different tales of how we met; if you were to ask him, he’d say he met me one night early 2015 in a semi-popular club in Palmerston North and that the pair of us (quite intoxicated) danced briefly before I turned up my nose at him and left.
-I don’t agree with this recollection and refuse to admit I would have ever done that, perhaps I was more drunk than I remember…
My side of the story goes a little differently. My two best friends in late 2015 were always so much more outgoing and social than I was, so when they told me they met a group of guys who worked in the army and that they were pretty cool I wasn’t all that interested in meeting them. Eventually I met two of them who were incredibly lovely and bubbly and quickly my best friends and myself became quite fond of the two and started to spend a lot more time with them. They said they had another friend who they wanted to meet us and after a few weeks we were introduced to Matt. instantly the 6 of us became quite close and spent most weekends partying and getting to know one another really well.
It wasn’t love at first sight, in fact at the time I was caught in a toxic cycle with an ex boyfriend who refused to let me go. So there was no immediate connection or fling. However the two boys would always tease me when Matt wasn’t with us, saying that he liked me a lot. Mostly I would ignore them and secretly I thought to myself, “Well if this guy likes me, why does he not have the guts to tell me or ask me out sometime?”. So began the saga of me knowingly “friend-zoning” Matt.
-WHY DID I DO THAT?!
The boys left for a big overseas trip and our friendship didn’t fault, though I do believe Matt’s affections for me finally did. I was completely fine with that as again I was back on with my boyfriend at the time (idiot). That simmered out as of course it eventually would and then a few months later a huge tragedy struck my life.
My best friend text me one day while I was walking around a warehouse.
“Danny is dead”.
I was so confused and rang her, it turns out our good friend had been shot in a hunting accident and had passed away a day earlier. We were devastated and heartbroken and really felt for our other friend who had the closest relationship with him of all.
Out of the blue not long after Danny’s funeral I received a message from Matt saying that he was always here for me if I needed a friend and that I was welcome to come around and hang out if I wanted a distraction. Usually I would have said no, as Matt and I weren’t really the closest of friends but something inside of me just told me to just go over and hang out.
So I did.
It turned out to be the best decision I have made in my life to date.
I will never forget that first time, walking into his little sleep-out with an expectation of what the afternoon would bring and having that expectation completely blown out of the water. We chatted for hours, until the sun went down and the time just seemed to melt away. We talked about so much, every opinion he had, every little fact he told me, or joke he told I was utterly captivated.
Had I never looked at him properly before? It seemed like I had somehow missed how insanely attractive he was. Had I ignored every word he spoke? He managed to become the most interesting person in just the space of a few hours. I knew it after only a short time, he was incredibly smart and driven. It was like my eyes had somehow just been opened. I felt that he really wanted to cheer me up knowing what I had just gone through, so I found out he we was a sweetheart too.
I didn’t want it to end, and later that week I went and spent more time with him again. I think he felt what I was feeling too. That somehow the year before we had missed something in each other, and that it was nice finding out who the other person really was. And that is where it began.
With the tragedy in my life hitting me really hard, I found a connection with Matt that bloomed immediately. From that first visit we saw each other at least twice a week for months. We would text all day, look forward to hanging out and laugh constantly. I had never been around another person who made me feel like I could entirely be myself, but also gave me those nervous butterflies every single time we were together.
A few months went by and I knew my attraction to him was increasing, it wasn’t the way he looked (although I felt like he was way out of my league) It was everything else. His dedication to his job, his loyalty, his kindness, his humor. I looked at him and I swear I turned into the heart-eyed emoji. It wasn’t like he even had to try!
I could tell he was interested in me too but something changed about 4 months after we first started seeing each other. I somehow managed to pluck up the courage to tell him how I was feeling about him. I was SO NERVOUS. I think it took about a week for me to psych myself up for the conversation and many pep-talks from my friends who assured me that he liked me.
I confessed my feelings and got ultimately rejected.
He told me, he enjoyed hanging out with me but wasn’t ready to commit to anything or anyone because of the uncertainty in his future and whether he was going to stay in the same city as me for the rest of the year.
I was so heartbroken. I was frustrated because I couldn’t even be mad at him for what he told me! Simultaneously I felt so led on, I thought he knew how much I liked him and i wondered why he let that continue if he had no intention of starting something more serious with me.
Straight after that he left to go to Australia for about 4 weeks with work. He wouldn’t be able to contact me and it was probably for the best as I realised I needed to get over him. I tried to distract myself for that month with flings with other guys and honestly I felt like nothing could quite match up to the connection I knew I had with Matt.
He came home from his trip and we were back on. I still don’t really know why he decided to contact me again. I hope it’s because he missed me, realised we had something really cool between us, but really I think it was because he has spent a month surrounded by hundreds of dudes in the Australian wilderness and wanted some female company. I think I should ask him about that one some time…
Either way, what we had only became stronger and by the time the end of the year had rolled around we were pretty inseperable. He had met my family and he wanted me to come down to his hometown over the summer holidays to meet his family.
I think it was at his point I thought to myself: why on earth are we not together? We are basically a couple and you want me to meet your family! I put all the cards on the table and said I wasn’t going to come down to his home as just a “friend”. I remember so clearly that he flinched when I said it, but he agreed and on December the 2nd we decided to make it a real thing.
I was over the moon!
I knew that we would have something that lasted, I knew that starting this relationship it wouldn’t be a short one. I’m so happy that we had that real friendship before we ever started to see one another. It feels like I’ve known him my whole lifetime.
Now comes the soppy stuff by the way guys.
I’m so in love with him. Undeniably, uncontrollably and unconditionally in love with him. One minute I was living my life completely for myself. Then the next minute I’d find myself smiling, helplessly, wondering how I could even imagine a world without him in it. Love overwhelms your body, it shoots heart-shaped arrows flying through your core. Infecting every living cell with the feeling of certainty, with the feeling of finally, the feeling of wanting something greater than you’ve ever had before.
Love comes easily but in the process of falling in love, I’ve learnt that love does not stay as it once started. Love only stays if you want it to stay.
We are, two human beings, two people coming from a completely different family. A different past, his past that didn’t include me. Two different people who deal with problems a lot differently. You are all not cut with the same cookie cutter and everyone has their own flaws, their own scars, and their own stories.
In the last year, I’ve learned to fight for what I want but I do not fight against him. He can be hard headed, tough, always on edge, but I’ve learned to agree to disagree and move on. In the last year, I’ve learned the foods he does not like and the foods that make him feel comfort. I’ve learned that he will more than likely not react to certain scenarios in the same manner that I would, and that’s okay, because I love him, and his perspective often balances out my own. I have learned the importance of communication. We might be in love but that does not mean we will reach the same agreement every single day.
We are two different people who have fallen so deeply for one another. I am so in love, that I’ve learned to wait, to just wait, wait for him when he goes off on a tangent. I’ve learned to wait when he gets so deep into a poker tournament that it feels like I’ve lost him to the screen . To wait, when he can’t find something for work, or Alan keys to fix the bed. I’ve just learned to wait because that’s what love is. Patience.
Love is loving the flaws, the ticks, the habits, that annoy you the most but still you can find beauty in them. In one year of being with him, I’ve learned so much. Love is not easy and that is okay. We are all going at our own pace.
He’s learned to hold my hand when we walk into a crowded room because I’ll feel solace knowing he is right there to protect me. He’s learned to cuddle with me, even on hot nights. He’s learned to not yell or get impatient, to just sit there until I’m ready to go or talk or just be. He’s learned to love my family as his own and to pet my dogs every time you walk down the driveway because if you don’t they’ll be sad and pester you for the rest of the night. He’s learned to stay out of the kitchen while I cook or bake because I’ve got it and I don’t need someone looking over my shoulder.
And honestly that is what love is. It’s blending your way of life with one another and finding the happiness that the other person adds when they’re in it with you.
So to my Matty I say this:
I did not love you at first sight, nor you me. In fact, I barely even saw you the first time as you wobbled around the club. You barely saw me through the blurred vision and slurred movements, I know.
It was not passion or lust that drew us to one another. My heart was broken and cold. You with flint and no kindling, me with logs and no matches, both of us having given up hope of finding warmth.
But we spoke casually, and discovered that we had something the other lacked- that there was potential. We took the time to sit and work with these new, foreign materials and slowly built our little flame.
And it grew startlingly fast to our astonishment and grows even still everyday. It continues to shock me when I wake up in the night expecting the cold to affront my senses, but finding it doesn’t touch me anymore. It can’t reach its frosty tendrils to my heart enveloped in fire light.
Our love was not upon first glace, it’s built on much sturdier stuff. Solid wood that crackles and flexes it’s muscles to show that it always has more to offer. I admire you, and you me, but I also am proud of this love that we built with our own hands. Respect is our base and appreciation is our fuel- it is the materials that never run dry.
I’m lucky enough to believe I’ve found my person.
He is my favourite person.