I didn’t fall for Collin the first time I met him. No... for some of us — many of us — love happens when we’re not looking for it. We stumble upon it when we’re least expecting it... or, as was the case for us.
Although I had always kept my eye on Collin (we met in the sixth grade), I never intended to actually date him (even though at the tender age of twelve I had developed a minor crush.) And despite the fact that we barely uttered a word to one another in middle school, I had this feeling that we one day would become good friends. Nothing more, nothing less: good friends.
Funny stuff, ehh?
Fast forward twelve years (yes, literally a lifetime later — we’ve known each other half of our lives!) and over six years since we made it Facebook official (that was a big day) I continue to fall more in love with this man with every passing cycle around the sun.
Boy... have we both changed through the years — an obscene amount of growth and experiences. And yet, parallel with that growth in life experiences and character... my love for him has grown, too.
It’s the little things that make me feel the most loved by this man. He gives me the last bite of his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He scratches my back when I don’t ask. He helps jump start my car when it fails to start in the dead of a North Dakota winter (it’s rough, ya’ll.) This guy tells me that I’m beautiful when I’m wearing sweatpants without an ounce of makeup on my face. He calls me smart and texts me every single night before bed, “I love you!” for no particular reason other than the fact of saying it just because he means it.
You may call it sappy, but I call it intentional. One thing that I’ve learned these past few years is that love must be intentional, or else, it’s forgotten. As quickly as people fall in love, I’ve also seen the same happen the other way — we hate to see it, but people fall out of love all too easily.
I don’t believe there’s any timeline, deadline, or primetime for falling in love and keeping that love. It happens when you least expect it, and once you have it... well, you must intentionally invest in it. But I promise, if you believe in this love, it will wholeheartedly be worth it. It might sound cliché, but be the type of person who you want to be with — be kind, listen, communicate, understand each other’s communication styles, be creative, have fun and play! Celebrate one another every day while always being each other’s #1 fan, be wholeheartedly present when you’re with one another, have empathy, forgive, and be patient. If you think this person might just be worth it, continue chasing him/her well beyond that finish line. Love is a risk, but it’s a risk worth taking — I promise.
That’s my very early valentine’s day wisdom for ya’ll.
Oh, and Collin? I love ya.
currently lives in Fargo, North Dakota where she works remotely as a Policy and Communication Manager for the First Lady of North Dakota. Photography and writing are a passion that help her better appreciate the details of the world.