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I know it’s been a while since that first date. Since that first night I had terrible butterflies running down the stairs of my apartment building ready to let you in. I know it’s been years since the first time I met you, when you shook my hand and we looked into each other’s eyes a little longer than we normally do upon first meeting someone. It’s been some time since that day when I dipped my feet into the pool at the party where I met you, and you told me to come closer, to sit next to you and tell you my story.
It’s been a while since the first time we said, “I love you.” When we were both hopelessly falling, and just wishing, praying, that the other was falling too. It feels so long ago when we both knew that this was something more than infatuation, more than lust, that what we had, and what we had with each other, was in fact love. It feels like the beginning was forever ago, but I love you the same way I did back then as I do today, and I’ll continue to do so.
I’ll always love you like it’s the beginning.
Because in the beginning I looked at you like you were the most amazing part of my life, the most exciting, fun, the happiest part, and you looked at me the same exact way. In the beginning when I woke up next to you I felt so lucky, lucky that I had someone like you who stayed for more than just the night, someone who I couldn’t wait to start my day with. I looked at you like you were one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. And I still do.
I still feel excitement when I look at you. I still feel lucky to wake up next to you. And I still love you like you’re one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. The only difference is the time that has passed and everything I’ve learned about you within those days, months, and years.
The only difference is that in the beginning I only knew a small part of who you are. I knew you were smart, I knew what you studied in school, I knew your favorite color, and your favorite food, but I didn’t know the way your eyes crinkle when you laugh at something that genuinely cracks you up. I didn’t know the look you get when you worry about the ones you love. I didn’t know the way tears flowed from your eyes, and I didn’t know the way you let love change you.
I didn’t know the way you open up and how you let people in. I didn’t know the way you cared for them after you let them get so close, after you give them the one thing that matters most, your trust. I didn’t know the way you’d let me walk into your life and how you’d let me love the people you love, how you’d show me that protecting your heart only prevents you from sharing it. I didn’t know the way you’d help me realize that love doesn’t have to be so scary.
I didn’t know any of this in the beginning. And while the beginning was filled with lust and infatuation, and intimacy that felt like fire, it wasn’t full of anything that I know about you now. I’ll always love you like it’s the beginning. I’ll always look at you like you’re amazing, and I’ll always feel lucky waking up next to you, but our love today is so much more than it was back then. Our love today is stronger.