In love for the first time at 26


in_love_for_the_first_time_valentines_dayThroughout my life I wanted to believe in true love, but I only ever saw it in the movies. The love of those around me seemed tainted somehow; forced or difficult or complicated.

I most certainly didn’t believe in gay love. Gay sex yes, gay love, not so much. In the words of Larry Kramer, “Having so much sex makes finding love impossible.”

I wasn’t sure love was real until I fell into it six months ago.

Let’s call him Prince Charming. We met out of the blue through a mutual friend (called Grindr) and instantly clicked. The conversation just flowed and after about two weeks of butterflies and chatting we decided to meet. We’ve been together (six out of seven days) since. I’ve never felt happier and more human.

I’d never experienced a man whom I liked and who liked me back. Whom I found attractive and who was attracted to me. After so many years of dating drama and disappointment I had lost hope that I’d someday find someone who would like me – without having to change everything about myself.

That skepticism quickly faded as I got to know Charming and my faith and trust in him and all of humanity was restored. I was in love. We were in love. We are in love.

The words just slipped out of my mouth after a couple of weeks of dating at dinner one night. After he made me laugh, I giggled “I love you”, and instantly froze to see his reaction. The cool cat he is, he pretended not to hear it. He only brought it up a couple of days later when he reciprocated those three mind altering words.

I kept asking myself, “Is this real?” I was light headed and constantly smiling. Love songs suddenly had a strong personal meaning. When they said “Love is a drug” I thought they were speaking figuratively, BUT it actually is.

After that initial lust, you move into an attraction phase where your brain is flooded with adrenaline and dopamine (think cocaine levels of pleasure) and your serotonin levels drop, masking an OCD-like obsession with your lover. Our first three months (the honeymoon phase) were pure ecstasy.

It’s not rainbows and smiles all the time. We are imperfect humans. We have stress, moods, come from different backgrounds and beliefs, and get angry, but once you truly open up to another person you become connected in your vulnerability, honesty and intimacy – without fear. The empathy this creates carries you through the tough times, if you let it.

He’s changed me. I now understand (limitedly so, since it’s still early days, but far more than a couple of months ago) that complexity of love which seemed tainted before. Love isn’t like the movies (all of the time). It is raw and rough, but we’re built for this. It feels like my destiny. When I’m away from Prince Charming my heart aches; I’m hungry for his presence.

I’m in an alternative reality where my wellbeing is intertwined with another. I feel his pain and his happiness. This is terrifying for someone who’s spent their life trying to find their independent identity – just to have it morphed with another. There’s also the fact that I don’t know what might happen in the future; we could break up tomorrow or be together forever. All I know is that I have found a partner, a soul mate. And I am nourished.

Love is so much more than just sex (although that’s fantastic too). I never thought I’d look forward to cuddling my man at the end of a long day but I do! I’ve been so deeply affected by Prince Charming’s love that the only thing I can compare it to is a spiritual experience. Victor Hugo said it so well, “To love another person is to see the face of God.”

My soul and heart are full. My boyfriend is a dream come true. He is wise and determined. He is kind, romantic and has the jawline of a Greek god. I love every inch of him, from his beautiful hands to his big toe. He constantly surprises me with how well he understands me and the world. He tells me things I never knew about myself. This is truly the most wonderful thing that’s ever happened to me.

Happy Valentine’s Day my love. You were worth the wait.


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