I have been threatening to write this post for a while. Why has it taken me so long? Because this story is living, it is breathing, and it continues to evolve. But I can no longer “not” write it. It is written indelibly across my heart, to be sure.
Loving someone has never been easy for me. Maybe loving me has never been easy for someone. Either way, I have struggled with the thought and ultimately with the course and existence of true love. I was and am a fairly decent human being. I try to treat others as I would like to be treated, I ache for human rights, I want animals to be treated well and I adore my children. They range in age from 14 to 25 and they know of my struggles with true love, of not wanting it to not believing it existed. About fifteen months ago, someone asked me if I would ever consider getting married again. I guffawed and said not only no, but “Hell No!” Love had been a source of hurt for me, of unfulfilled expectations and marriage fell right along side love – it was a joke. I no longer believed in castles on clouds or knights on white horses. Dragons ruled the earth and my best bet was to learn how to breathe fire.
For several months in 2010, I dated someone with whom I was not in love – I had decided the year before that I would never say the “L” word again and that I would never allow myself to become involved with someone who might make me want to say it. There was no risk of “love” in that relationship, I was uninterested in love or what it could/would do for me. I believed it would only bring heartache – for that had been my only experience. Late in the year, however, I met someone. I didn’t think when I met him that a relationship would develop, as a matter of fact, I was only interested in his work. He taught at a local college and directed college theater - and he was good at it. I have been involved in community and independent theater since I was only three, so yes, his work intrigued me. Because we had mutual friends, we later connected on Facebook.
And something was happening to me. I ended my dating relationship because I started to think, “Why am I spending so much time with someone I don’t love?” What?? I was shocked that I thought that and even more shocked that I acted on it. The person I had been dating was “nice” – and that is what I said every time anyone asked about him, “Oh, he’s very nice.” That relationship ended right after New Year’s. It wasn’t exactly a new resolution, but it was more a new attitude. Meanwhile, Facebook conversations continued with Thomas, the college professor. Midway through January, I realized I really liked him. I realized that maybe he might be worth the risk I had been avoiding for so long. I realized that my current conclusions of love would only lead to loneliness. I realized that not only did I not want to be lonely but I actually wanted to be loved. Dear God – what was I thinking…
Late night writing sessions and endless conversations, chasing each other around our Facebook pages, commenting on previously posted pictures, reading random posts and asking thoughtful questions in Facebook Messenger ignited in me something I thought was not present, something I had feared and avoided…, and incessantly joked about – that damn “L” word. Was it possible? Could my heart be softened? Could someone actually love me? Could I actually love them back? Could they accept me for who I was? Could I accept them for who they were? The answers all bounced around my aching head and they were a resounding and loud “YES!”
January 25th of this year marks the one-year anniversary of our first date. I gave in. I shared confessions of love, confessions of wanting to be loved and I shared my pain and previous hurts. I let it all go… I knew it was a risk and for some unknown reason, I was willing to take that risk. I knew that only through that absolute vulnerability would I be able to experience absolute love. And I was right. Love had not only found me, it had come to rest lightly on my broken heart and it began the healing process I had been aching for, needing.
Given that there is a fine line between credit and blame, I could easily blame Facebook or I could easily credit the smart phone that was held tightly to my ear each night that we spoke to each other… all those times we let go of hurt and took steps toward healing. I jokingly say that I fell in love on Facebook and it is true that love letters were written to me on that forum. It is also true that I wrote poetry and sent it through the web like an arrow leaving a bow. And it is true that desire for love and more grew and that it continues to grow today…
Christmas Eve brought a question I never thought I would hear and an answer I never thought I would give… And the next morning, on December 25, 2011, eleven months after our first date, Thomas and I synchronized our relationship update on Facebook. We updated our status to “engaged” simultaneously and this summer, after we say our I do’s – we will synchronize once again.
So, I guess my “hell no” to marriage has fallen by the way side, it has left my vocabulary, and I look forward to becoming Thomas’ wife and living in love for as long as I live.
The power of words, the unselfish sharing of feelings, and our ability to communicate made all the difference. And guess what? I am happy.
**And while 33% of UK divorces are being blamed on Facebook. I am going to offer a bit of credit for this marriage.
Rayanne Thorn, @ray_anne is the Marketing Director for the online recruiting software company, Broadbean Technology. She is also a proud mother of four residing in Laguna Beach, California, and a contributor for Blogging4Jobs. Connect with her on LinkedIn.