This blog was inspired by a dear friend of mine. Don’t give up on love just yet – I’m certain that you’ll find “The One”… just like me.
“My best friend’s little brother saw you from the car window, and he thinks you’re cute!” This was the news my older sister whispered to me in the back seat while my dad drove us home. “Who is he?”, I asked her, my current love interest consisted of BOP magazine pull outs of Kirk Cameron, John Stamos and New Kids on the Block…(that I thought looked amazing) plastered all over my bedroom walls. I highly doubt that he will ever read this particular blog, but for the sake of embarrassing anyone (mostly me) – we will just call him”RC”. I didn’t know much about RC, just that he thought I was cute when he saw me… that day we picked my sister up from the movie theatre. I had just perfected the ever popular side bang and a very sophisticated side ponytail to complete the look. It’s no wonder that I caught his eye!
That year, we ended up moving and I also started a new school – the same school as RC. Infact, I sat right in front of him. Being 12, I wasn’t quite sure what to do or say, so for the most part, I only said a few words to this boy and when his friend TJ asked me to go out with him…naturally, I said yes…because, it was RC’s friend and I thought – well, maybe going out with his friend would somehow get me closer to him. A week before school ended that year – RC asked my friend Nicki if I would go out with him. I (fortunately) heard the entire conversation on my pink + turquoise SWATCH WATCH phone that conveniently had 2 lines for listening. I’m pretty sure we only went out for a few weeks – but this was the very first boy (that I really liked) to hold my hand, roller skate with me to the slow song NKOTB “I’ll Be Loving You Forever” AND give me 6 cloth red roses with a note that said “I Love You”. And then – it happened, I was told through the grapevine that he was breaking up with me for another girl. I (of course) was devastated – my heart was broken for the first time ever. And yet – I held on to the feelings I had for this boy.. when I think of how crazy I became – obsessing over the next time I might bump into him.. at the county fair … a birthday party … a dance … his baseball games .. or (his) bus on our way to school. I remember thinking my life was over without him …and even though he was no longer interested in me, I couldn’t stop scribbling his last name next to mine … or thinking about the few times that we had hung out. Looking back, I’m not quite sure what my obsession was all about – maybe it was my real “first crush” or the fact that he also liked me. Did I think that he was “the one” … obviously! I was almost 13 years old, and clearly – I indeed knew what True Love was .. because, when you added up the letters in our name with the words True Love – we scored an 87% of having TRUE LOVE, so we were definitely meant for each other. In actual reality, he definitely was not the one for me and my fragile heart needed to accept this and move on. This was my first heartbreak … but it definitely wasn’t my last.
“We seriously have 10 more minutes before curfew…you should stay right here, so that I can kiss you.” I was almost 16 (never been kissed) and sitting next to the cute boy I had met earlier that week at a Christian School Conference. I remember meeting him (JC) after a choir performance. He was from Texas, he could sing, he had blonde hair + blue eyes .. and, he was absolutely perfect. We sat in the commons area of his dorm room, and I was stressing over being late to my own dorm that night. Tempting as it was, I didn’t want to endure the wrath of Mrs. M, so I told him I needed to go – but we would see each other the next day. Our “next day” meeting never happened as planned, but I did run into him right before his school was leaving. We exchanged phone numbers + mailing addresses. He was my one and only long distance love. This was before cell phones, texting and the internet. I spent endless hours next to the phone, waiting for it to ring … checking the actual mailbox 5 times a day, waiting for a letter .. a call .. just to hear his voice. “I Love You Heather Bell”, he said to me one (very late) evening… he called me (long distance) and we had been talking for a few hours .. when my mother picked up the phone downstairs and was shocked that we were still talking. She also said “Good night Heather Bell, I love you” .. and so, it only seemed appropriate that before we hung up for the night – he also said the same. JC was a hard crush for me to get over and I fell extremely hard for this guy. So much time was spent re-reading his letters and talking on the phone. To this day – I can’t even remember what we talked about that was so important. Even in our 20’s, we do crazy things for love …like (for instance) spending a spring break traveling (via Greyhound) to the same university and secretly attending the same class as him, hoping that maybe “love at first or second sight” might happen once again, or even after a chat on the phone – deciding to fly over and spend a week with him…after years of not seeing each other – thinking something might be rekindled. yes, this was me .. holding on to whatever last hope … that he might just be “The One”. I had moved on from the actual “TRUE LOVE” name test …but I did still doodle his last name next to mine, even after he pretty much ghosted me .. before ghosting was even a real thing. I’ll never forget the day I checked my mailbox … only to find a wedding invitation to his wedding, personally from him… and that is when I knew he definitely was not “The One”…and, I was left with yet another broken heart. The distance between us didn’t seem to help since my heart struggled to let go. So many times, we invest ourselves 100% into relationships that offer no guarantee. This is when I learned that we need to know when to let go – it’s not healthy to hang on .. or stay .. especially if the same is not being reciprocated or it’s truly a harmful / toxic relationship.
“I have something to tell you.” We were sitting in my Honda Civic. I just wanted to get it over with … after a year of dating I knew that HE definitely was NOT “The One”. “Well, I have something to tell you too,” he said. He sounded anxious .. maybe he wanted to end it with me .. I would be fine with that. So, I said, “Okay, you go first then.” He looked at me .. all too serious..and the words out of his mouth .. almost in slow motion.. “I have cancer.” Yeah, I pretty much lost my entire train of thought … and concentrated on just composing myself in that moment. When he asked what I had to say, I simply said it wasn’t important … and for the next year, I rearranged my entire schedule to match his – so that I could be there to go with him to his chemotherapy treatments, to give him his daily shots into his stomach, and make sure that he was taken care of. His family lived in Chicago and I took on the responsibility of being his caretaker. I told myself that after the year of treatments, I would break up with him. I knew deep down this probably was not the greatest idea – but I felt bad leaving him in his current state. We only had a few months left…during that time he had turned out to be quite disrespectful to my family and even my grandmother had added “Break Up with RP” on my “To Do” list. I knew that it was not going to last much longer. I tried to end our relationship nicely, but this time – it was HIM who went crazy – pleading with me to be with him, crying at my doorstep, leaving flowers at my desk, stalking me outside my apartment, leaving numerous voicemails on my answering machine, and even vandalizing my car. Maybe to him – I was “The One”, and even though it was my decision to breakup with him, my heart still hurt for him, for the time that was spent in this relationship and just knowing that feeling of a broken heart. Strangely enough – I never did envision his last name next to mine .. and the “TRUE LOVE” name test was now just a child’s game.
“I’ll be right back,” he said, turning around and winking at me, before he walked into the Men’s restroom. It was literally that moment, when he winked at me – I thought to myself, I don’t know if he is “The One”, but there is definitely something there. I felt like he might end up being a hard guy to forget. We had just met on the rooter bus, on our way to the Battle In Seattle – an annual football game played between Central Washington University and Western Washington University at the Quest Stadium in Seattle. I sat next to him on the bus and we managed to make conversation for the entire 2.5 hour bus ride. He was a year older than me, returning to school after spending some time in Europe, had been in the military and let me know we were taking the “scenic route” to Seattle. We shared a pizza together and sat next to each other at the football game. He explained the rules and I listened..while trying not to get lost in his beautiful blue eyes. We rode home together on the same bus, and he let me know that he left his phone number in my pink NOKIA cell phone. I hesitated to call him back because my mom always told me that girls do not call boys. But 3 weeks later …while on a date with another guy and completely not present in the conversation, because I was thinking about him – I decided I needed a valid reason to make the call. My roommate helped me come up with a story .. something about this frozen cookie dough in my mini fridge .. and oven that didn’t work in our dorm hall .. and could I come over and bake my cookies in his oven? He was a little surprised to hear from me. But, that weekend – I brought over my cookie dough – we baked cookies together and he taught me how to play darts. We certainly had our ups and downs .. a few “breaks” here and there, but my heart would not let him go. I just knew that he definitely was “The One”. When I think about all of the hysterical phone calls, silly (yet serious) fights .. or the time I stormed out of his apartment with my rice cooker in hand .. well, all of those moments – were definitely worth it. The tears, the laughter, the butterflies in my stomach .. that I still get when he glances my way .. all of it was and still is .. totally worth it .. to find “The One” We’ve been married over 10 years now, and he is still “The One” – the one my heart will fight for, laugh with, cry with and love deeply.
When I look back on my past relationships, I can see myself – stumbling and growing along the way. It’s a process we all go through: the high of being in love, the heartache from a breakup or just loving someone THAT much. I do believe that there is someone out there for everyone, and it seems to happen when we least expect it. I never did practice writing his last name next to mine .. until a week or two before our wedding. And, ( for fun) – I JUST tested out the TRUE LOVE name test on us .. and our score is 118% of TRUE LOVE, so I guess that means that he is definitely “The One” and we’re really in love.