They say that when you stop focusing on finding your perfect match and instead focus on yourself, that’s when your true love walks in the door.
That’s certainly how it happened for me.
It was April of 2015 and I had already had four of the best months of my life.
I had just started my own business and was working from home, calling my own shots and wearing yoga pants to the ‘office’, and I was working out at a gym called SICFIT (very similar to CrossFit) and was feeling strong in my body.
I had kissed my fair share of frogs and was ready to find my prince, so I turned to where every other millennial turns when they’re looking for the love of their life… Tinder.
As I swiped left on lots of weridos, I came across a profile that looked interesting.
Andrew. 28. 15 miles away. 7 mutual friends.
Intrigued, I tapped the button to see who our mutual friends were, and instantly my stomach did a flip-flop.
They were all guys I knew from a past relationship, and ran with the crew of nerds (sorry boys) who played Magic: The Gathering.
I knew this could only mean one thing: this guy knew my ex.
But I also knew I had an ‘in’ and I still really trusted and liked the guys who were our mutual friends. So I messaged first:
“MTG?” (Short for Magic: The Gathering)
Safe to say this intrigued him, and he messaged back instantly asking if I played. (No, I don’t.)
Minutes into our conversation, he had me cracking up on my side of the phone screen. We both messaged the same mutual friend to scope out how he felt about the possibility of the two of us hitting it off, and he confirmed we’d be a good match. (Thanks, Nick!)
We instantly had an easy text conversation, but I was still unsure. I had learned from my years of online dating that easy texting was a good sign…but it also meant we had to meet quickly, because often times I’d have good text conversations that had me all excited, only to eventually meet up for a dud date. So we decided to meet up the next day at a local Starbucks.
He got there super early because he was excited. I walked in all nervous to find him sitting at an outside table with piles of electronics (laptop, iPad, iPhone) sitting in front of him. We hugged awkwardly, he bought me a coffee drink, and we sat back down to start spilling our life stories.
I found out that he was one week fresh out of the Navy and home from his service in San Diego, he still really enjoyed playing Magic, and he had a five-year-old son.
‘So those pictures I saw on his Facebook profile WEREN’T his nephew,’ I thought. lol
(Side note because this is a major part of the whole equation: at the time, I wasn’t sure how I felt about him having a son. That was a BIG revelation, and I’d never dated a guy with a kid. But his now 10-year-old has made it SO easy to have a stepson, and I love him as if he were my own.)
After we finished our drinks, we didn’t want our date to end but we needed to move some energy, so we decided to walk the plaza where we’d met.
We walked by the nail spa I frequented and decided on a whim to go in and get pedicures, and through it all we kept talking and it just always felt easy. I knew I could trust him.
I’d like to say that from then on, we were inseparable and everything was sunshine and rainbows, but that would be a lie.
He was going through a MAJOR life transition, leaving his Navy duties of the past four years behind, and I don’t think I really gave him enough credit for that at the time. He had things to work out with his ex, a beauty pageant girl he had kind of been dating, and he needed to readjust to being home with his son again. Plus he wasn’t sure what his next right career move was, he had left all of his best friends 300+ miles away, and was living back at home with his parents. (Phew… if you know someone transitioning back to civilian life, please give them all your love.)
The first few months of our relationship were rocky, but we fought hard for each other.
Looking back on it now it seems so obvious we did. It was meant to be.
We agreed from the start that we would be 100% honest with each other about everything, and that’s what kept me holding on in the hardest times. I knew it was safe for me to be myself — ALL of myself — in front of him, and he knew I would hold that space for him, too.
Almost five years later, it’s hard to remember what my life was like before him and his sweet boy. Now we are married, have a baby boy of our own, and a house that is filled with love.
Life is so much more fun with him in it.
I love you forever, Andrew Anderson.
If you’re still on the hunt for your Mr./Mrs. Right, never give up faith that he/she is out there. And may I recommend Tinder?