It’s hard to know exactly what to say at a time like this. Emotions can be difficult to properly convey. So instead of trying to convey emotions, I will simply tell you a story.
Sara and I met eight years ago to this very day. If this were a typical love story, I would tell you about how wonderful we both felt as we gazed into each other’s eyes from across the room and knew immediately that we were destined to be together. This isn’t a typical love story. It is anything but typical, and the truth is that the first time we looked into each other’s eyes was only last year.
As it turns out, looking into someone’s eyes has very little to do with falling in love. From personal experience I can tell you that talking to someone for fourteen hours a day about anything and everything is a much more powerful experience than gazing into their eyes. For almost six years, (Not consecutively, mind you.) Sara and I have talked to each other for almost fourteen hours a day. That is not an exaggeration. You might want to take a moment to let that sink in. Imagine getting along with someone so well that you talked to them for fourteen hours a day for six years and never got bored. Never grew tired of conversation with this person. Even in writing it, that fact amazes me.
But I digress. I’m telling a story that starts with the two of us meeting, and we did not meet by spontaneously talking to one another for fourteen hours a day. (As cool as that would have been.) We’ll come back to this later.
Sara and I met writing fiction on a forum. We didn’t know our respective names until almost a year later, calling each other only by our nicknames on this forum. It seems odd looking back on it, and I’m sure from an outside perspective as well, that it took us that long to get to just sharing our names with one another. How can you cultivate such an intense relationship when you don’t even know the name of the person you’re in the relationship with? The answer is that you’re often a lot more honest while anonymous than you are if you “know” someone. We talked about stuff during that first year that most people don’t get to talking about in five years of friendship.
Through the years our “friendship” blossomed. Despite the fact that we weren’t officially romantically involved until last year, for all intents and purposes, our relationship has almost always been romantic. We just didn’t know it yet. We were seven-hundred miles apart (At times, we were much farther apart.) and I spoke to Sara more than I spoke to friends who lived five minutes down the street. I had never met her.
I stress the fact that I had never physically met her because it is that which really defines how solid our relationship is. There was never really any effort involved when we conversed and we spoke every day for eight to fourteen hours a day for four years straight, and then another two years after that. I don’t know anyone I’ve ever met whom I can talk to like that. Not even members of my own family.
My point in all this is that although I had never physically met her, I knew her better than anyone because I had never physically met her. Our entire relationship was based on conversation. Thoughts. Not looks. Not social standing. Not money. Not anything but mutual interest in anything and everything.
I don’t know anyone who communicates with the same intensity as we do. I don’t know anyone. I’ve looked.
There’s a lot that’s gone on between her and I. Believe me when I tell you that it’s much more than I could write down in a single post. There has been a lot of good, and a fair share of bad, and we struggled like hell in the end to get where we are now. After seven years, in April of 2008 we finally conveyed our feelings for each other to one another. We met, at last, in August of that year in the airport in Sara’s home town. As I got off the plane Sara saw me, approached and said nonchalantly:
“Hi,” I said. We hugged then, and for a long time. It was like the sealing of a pact. Neither of us was going anywhere.
We aren’t going anywhere.
So why did I tell you this rather short tale? Interesting and all, but oddly uncalled for, right?
Well, I asked Sara to marry me.
(She said yes.)