Jen (from the NAS-series!) wrote a blogpost asking how you’ll know you’re falling in love. I started writing a comment and before I realized, I had written a whole page. So I decided to change it here and there and transform it into a blogpost about falling in love with Mr. Fantastic.
As I’ve been single for years (and years and years and …) before I met Mr. Fantastic, I kept wondering how I would know when I fell in love. Some people fall in love seemingly every week, others hardly ever. I belong in the last group. One thing I’ve always heard is “you’ll just know when you’re in love / he’s the one / you love him …” I hated it when people gave me that answer! It’s so vague and I felt like they were keeping me out of their little group, as if they had a secret I wasn’t allowed to know.
Now that I’ve been with Mr. Fantastic for almost eight months, it’s interesting to look back at the beginning of our relationship and see they were right …
Mr. Fantastic and I met online and we had an instant ‘click’, we just loved talking to each other. After a month of many long mails, we met in real life for the first time and had the most wonderful time. At the end of our date, I texted a friend “He’s such an amazing man, I don’t care if we become a couple or just friends, but I absolutely want him in my life.” At the end of the second date, he kissed me, which I didn’t expect at all, because there were no such feelings from my side. By that time, however, I had realized that the thought of marrying him was very attractive. But this did NOT fall under ‘being in love’ for me!
You see, I’m a very rational person. Maybe even a bit too rational. I don’t just fall in love. Oh no, that’s not like me at all. My road to falling in love has three checkpoints. The first one is very basic, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t get past it: he has to be good. He doesn’t have to be perfect or flawless, but he has to be a good man. The next checkpoint is a bit trickier: he has to fit “the list”. The list isn’t really set in stone (though I have a page with a long list I wrote ten years ago), it changes and evolves over the years. Things get crossed off and added mentally, but the core stays the same. There are very, very few men who’ve been able to pass the second checkpoint. And then there’s the third checkpoint: we have to be a good fit. We both have to enjoy spending time together and we should like each other. Also, we should both be open to starting a relationship. Of course, this is a “duh”-checkpoint. Still, I’m nearly thirty and Mr. Fantastic is the first to get past all three.
If this sounds very complicated, artificial and way too rational. Uhm, why yes, that would be true. However, this all happens in my head and Mr. Fantastic crossed all those checkpoints before the end of date two. So, either it’s not that hard or Mr. Fantastic is really very fantastic. I like Cindy’s idea of the veil. Though I wouldn’t call it like that and I don’t completely agree with every aspect of this theory, it’s pretty spot-on. Anyway, back to the story.
After our second date, when it was clear to me that he had crossed the checkpoints, I … panicked. Wouldn’t you? For the first time in my life, there was someone who made it! What to do? What to do?! With a help line to a trusted friend, I calmed down a bit, but I still didn’t know what to do. After our uncomfortable third date and a lot of mails, I told Mr. Fantastic I liked him very much and was most certainly attracted to him, but the feelings weren’t there. If there were no feelings, there was no way I was going to begin a relationship with him. However, I did want to give it more time. So we met again and before our next, fifth date, I thought ‘if there’s still nothing there, I don’t think we should keep this going’, but didn’t tell him.
It was a cold, rainy day at a zoo. And I remember thinking that it was never going to work between us. We were cold and hungry, trying to find food and shelter, the conversation just didn’t flow (at all!) and the fact that I had given myself an ultimatum had a bad effect. At the end of the day, we boarded the train and started talking. It was warm and dry in the train and while I was looking at him, hearing him talk about the Eucharist (of all things), I fell in love. I couldn’t keep my eyes of him and wanted to know every line of his face, every way he looked, everything he cared about, every thought. And I wanted him to know me, every aspect of me, good and bad. I wanted to kiss him and at that exact moment, I knew I loved him. It might seem too early or too late to others, but it was perfect for me. As I had to get off the train ten minutes later, I decided to keep the goodbye short and give myself some time to process.
When I came home, I “just knew”. I was in love ánd I actually, honest to God, loved him. After I had given myself time to think and pray about it and to sleep on it, I texted (yes, texted!) Mr. Fantastic. And thus, on Gaudete Sunday -which I think is a wonderful coincidence – we became a couple.
By the way, because the holidays were super busy, the first time I saw him again was New Year’s Eve. And I didn’t tell Mr. Fantastic I loved him until two months later, when he’d already told me. I’m a bit weird that way.
So, getting back to the question Jen posed: how will you know when you’re in love? I’m sorry I can’t say anything more than “you’ll just know”. I’ve fancied a few guys, I wanted them to like me or maybe even love me, but I was never in love. If you’re wondering if you are in love, you aren’t. Several times, I’ve wondered “Am I in love?” and always, I realized afterwards that I wasn’t. I’ve wondered if I was in love with Mr. Fantastic before our fifth date, but never EVER after that day. I just knew. I just know.
Another aspect may be that you want him to know you through and through and you want to know him completely, good and bad. You hurt for his hurts and his happiness makes you happy. You want to care for him and want him to care for you. And yes, you want his children, but most of all, you want your children to have him as a father (which is kinda the same, but not really). Oh, and when you both voluntarily make yourself vulnerable, that’s a big indicator too.