Happy Valentines Day from your resident hopeless romantic, and in true predictable fashion, this post is going to be about L-O-V-E.
It's not all sunshines and rainbows, but it will be the truth; at least, the truth about how it all went down for Ian and me.
Here's the story about how we met.
The Previous Relationship
For the main part of my post-college life, I was in a different relationship, a 4-year long relationship. The guy that I dated was a true sweetheart and he treated me very well. We had fun, we had a lot of adventures, but something wasn't just clicking like we needed it to. A large part of this is that I always felt like my family didn't connect with him. This was positively heartbreaking for me. If you've ever been in a relationship and didn't have the support of your family, you have felt this pain. My girlfriends now tell me that they weren't sold 100%, but that they loved him because I did.
The Break Up
I broke up with that boyfriend in early November of 2008. I think he thought it was temporary. He tried SO hard to get back with me at first. Finally, he agreed that we could be just friends with no romantic ties. But after a few times of finding love notes on my car windshield at work, I knew that he wasn't considering us as "friends." I called him, and through tears, asked him not to contact me at all anymore. He didn't have a lot of friends and I was truly concerned about disconnecting totally with him, but it was too painful for me to be in limbo. I often felt incredibly lonely and spent several quiet Saturday nights alone. I realized that I should have been better about keeping up with my own friendships. I told my mom that I just wanted to focus on being single for a long time. (Hmm, that didn't really happen)
Single Girl Fun
I was single all through November, but by December, my girlfriends were already starting the "You should really meet..." game. I wasn't feeling it. I did promise to make some weekend outings, and while I may have flirted a little bit, I was all about the girlfriends.
On December 5, 2009, there was a big party downtown that Friday night (and my friend Kerry happened to be in town from Greenville for a half marathon the next morning). She came by to say hey to me that night at the hotel party and our plans were to go out the next evening after her race.
The Night We Met
That Saturday night after Kerry's half marathon, she and I were getting ready to go out to Nolen Kitchen. My friend Meg asked me to please stop by Ed's in Dilworth and say hello ... just for five minutes. Even though Kerry and I were in more of a champagne and stilettos mood rather than a beer and pool-table mood, we stopped by this little bar. What I didn't know -- Meg's husband had called his friend Ian earlier and said "There is a girl who you need to meet. She is newly single but she won't be single for long, so come meet her tonight."
Ian was at that bar, and I didn't know it was a set-up, so I did meet him but we basically just exchanged names and then Ker and I headed out to get our champagne. I guess you could say I sort of blew him off. A relationship just wasn't really on my radar at that point.
The Next Meeting
That next weekend, on Saturday night, the 13th, I went to a Christmas party with some girlfriends. After the party, we went to Dilworth Neighborhood Grill to meet some friends. Ian was there again and we were going to try to set a girl in our group up with him. (HA)
Next thing I knew, he and I started chatting up at the bar and we just clicked on SO many levels. We talked all night without stopping. His best friend Casey was right there, and at the end of the night, he asked for my phone number right in front of Casey. It was sort of awkward but it felt very honest -- so I gave it to him. He wanted to take me out to dinner.
The First Date
Meeting someone around the holidays is really difficult. My calendar was just about completely filled. He got my number Saturday the 13th - I had plans on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and then on Friday I was leaving town for the holidays with my family. Monday was the only day I was free. I went ahead and let him know that my schedule was crazy and Monday was it until after the 1st week of January. He said - no problem, let's go out Monday. He called me that day around lunchtime to confirm that I was still on and let me know what time he would pick me up that evening. He picked the perfect restaurant, let me select the wine for us, and let me taste his entree. So sweet.
My Thoughts On Dating
I was not single for a long time -- maybe 6 weeks? That's a blip on the radar after coming out of a long-term relationship. I wasn't in the mindset to meet someone at all. But it happened. You just never know when that moment will come. I'm glad that I was open-minded enough to continue meeting people, and I'm thankful to my girlfriends for making sure I didn't stay at the house on a Saturday night in yoga pants with Oprah on DVR. That could have easily happened. :) All relationships are different, and sometimes it takes no time before you meet the one -- sometimes it takes much longer. One of life's most romantic mysteries!
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