Dean and Amanda - A Love Story
He stepped off the stage and my heart skipped a beat as he jauntily walked towards me. My best friends sat beside me grinning from ear to ear as they sipped their lattes. When he pushed open the coffee shop door I caught a glimpse of the writing on his T-shirt. Something about Star Wars. And I noticed those shoes. Those horribly ugly shoes. What a beautiful voice though.
Not long ago I had mentioned to my father that I wanted to date someone who would write me poetry. He laughed and replied “so a nerd then?” I guess he was right. I was mesmerized by the enchanting lyrics of this mystery man’s song. My friends urged me to introduce myself, but I was petrified. Not to mention incredibly turned off by his fashion sensibilities, oh, how fickle teenagers are!
Fast forward, one month later. It was a balmy summer night as my friends and I arrived at a house party. And there was my mystery man. Alone in the living room reading a book titled “The God Delusion.” I was intrigued. I don’t remember much else about that night, it was nearly 9 years ago, after all, but I do remember not wanting to leave Dean’s side. We both stood by the door engrossed in conversation and my heart sank when my taxi rolled up.
The first year of our relationship involved a lot of confusion, misunderstandings, and insecurity. We were both new at this whole long term relationship thing. I hated confrontation and could not bring myself to be more assertive about my wants. Dean was clueless. But incredibly sweet. I found his naivety to be endearing, no matter how infuriated I sometimes felt.
We had a defining moment about a year in, and it all nearly ended. I was sick of being put on Dean’s back burner and wanted him to make me a priority. I didn’t want to be needy, but I wanted more. I wanted a deeper connection. One day I called Dean and tried to break up with him. Shocked and distraught Dean pleaded to speak to me in person.
Dean braved the cold during the worst blizzard of the season, an hour-long commute on public transit and made it to my front door. We talked for hours, nibbling on the chocolate chip cookies he brought and listening to the mix tape he had burned for me. Finally, all of my long pent up thoughts and feelings were on the table. I was shocked I didn’t scare him away.
Many people offering relationship advice say “don’t go into a relationship expecting to change someone.” But I disagree. Go into a relationship expecting to change together. If it is a healthy relationship you should expect growth from both partners. I have become a much more assertive and opinionated person thanks to Dean. While he has become a more nurturing and compassionate person due to my influence.
Our favourite part about each other is our brilliant minds. I enjoy nothing more than staying up until the early hours of the morning talking over a bottle of wine with Dean. Recently Dean admitted that he did not fall in love with me at first sight, but rather he fell in love with my “incredible mind first.” Which is the best compliment I have ever received.
Two years ago I married my best friend and I couldn’t be happier about it. No one knows me better or brings me more joy. At the end of a long day I can’t wait until Dean is by my side again. When every other aspect of my life is falling apart I take solace in knowing Dean’s unwavering love will get me through my hardest days.
First Image - Our first picture together, 2008. Second image from our wedding August 9 2014