41. The Match

For the past year and a half, I’ve been grappling with recognizing and embracing my self-worth as it pertains to dating. I’ve posted several times (don’t believe me? read here or here, or here, or even here) about my belief in my own undateability, and you’ve perhaps read along as my doubts played out in how I entered into relationships, how I operated when I met someone, and how I assessed their interest and/or seriousness. My concerns were probably more pervasive than I realized, and I suspect they played a role in several key decisions about relationships I was in (or was considering).

One of the things that I give The Leo a lot of credit for is fighting back against my inner pessimist. Whenever I would drift back toward the depressing refrain of my doomed love life, he would inundate me with messages of affirmation and optimism. When we broke up, his parting message was yet again one of encouragement: You deserve everything you want. You are incredible. You are the best person I’ve ever known. He’s not been the only person speaking positivity into my life, and I don’t want to leave out some of the cheerleaders in my inner circle. The Confidante has long insisted that not only am I deserving of love, but that all the things that I see as obstacles to loving me won’t seem that way to the right person. My best friends have echoed this sentiment ad nauseum.

I think I may have finally internalized it, y’all. The first evidence cropped up when I began chatting with The Match on Bumble. While discussing the geographic distance between us (a modest 15-20 minutes), he joked that based on our conversation so far, he thought I might be worth the drive. I responded immediately: Oh, I am. No might about it.

There’s newfound power in that assurance and the confidence to share it without worrying how  it may come across.

Enter The Match. Number Forty-One. Yet another Leo (of course).

After our successful first date, we started texting a lot. I made a collaborative Spotify Playlist that we could use to share anything we wanted one another to listen to (it currently has over 5 hours of music). It became the soundtrack to our blossoming connection. We started making plans for another date, we had a 2.5 hour Facetime chat, he drove to me at midnight for a goodnight kiss, and we decided we could officially call this “dating.” By the 2nd hour of our second date, he asked if I’d be his girlfriend. We both marveled at how easy, how natural it all felt. How we were exactly what one another was looking for. The texting continued, the playlist grew longer, we started a list of things we wanted to do and see together. Another Facetime call, 4 hours that raced by in an instant. We left the call open until morning, a virtual sleepover.

This is unprecedented. Unexpected. Unbelievable. My inner cynic is grumbling at this sudden shift, but my inner romantic is awakening from a long-term hibernation to dust off possibilities.

We have plans to see one another again tonight, and we share a mutual hope that we’ve each found our person.

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