This is a guest post from a reader who wanted to share his story. I love this piece because it's honest, raw, and mirrors a lot of what we all go through with love and loss.
I met her in November 2011. She worked at a client, and a colleague of mine and I had a brief meeting regarding a client related business topic. At the end of the meeting, I looked at my colleague and commented on how much her look softened over the course of the meeting. Privately, I also made a note of how I thought she was attractive.
As the months went by at the client, we had occasion to discuss a variety of business topics. We would discuss the “work stuff,” then career stuff, maybe a hint of family. I made note of her green eyes and beautiful smile.
One day she called and said a group of people were getting together after work for a beverage, and invited me. When I arrived, it seems nobody else could make it. The two of us had a great time talking a little work, more career, and some personal stuff. I discovered she was my age, and had three kids. Most interesting, she was single.
In July, a colleague from the former client was coming to town, and I was meeting him. She wanted to come as well, and joined us from noon on. She met some of my family, and we spent time together over food, drink and touring. As I drove the colleague back to his hotel 60 minutes away, he pummeled me the entire way asking why I wasn’t more serious with her.
By November, she and I were in close contact with each other. Thanksgiving eve we agreed to meet for a coffee near a Whole Foods, and her work/traffic delayed her. Worrying the store would close before she arrived, I started walking up and down aisles picking up things as directed by phone. She got her groceries and I got to visit. A win: win.
As December came around, I asked if she would attend the Boston Pops with my family. We always get tickets, and I’ve been buying a single extra ticket for years. She agreed to go.
Christmas Eve comes, and we exchange gifts. New Year’s Eve had us in separate homes, “watching” a DVD together. It was hard getting two DVD players synched. We shot texts back and forth all night. Around ten, she asked if I would stay up to midnight with her. Of course I would…..there wasn’t anything else I wanted.
January 3rd was a big night for us. After a night of dancing, I took a chance and leaned in and kissed her. It was a perfect kiss, and she took her breath and fanned her face. Obviously this had to be followed up with another kiss.
January 11 she returned from a business trip, and when she got off the bus, she had a huge smile and radiance about her. I was absolutely hooked.
One night at a bar at the Boston Harbor Hotel, a patron approached and said, “You two must have something special. You’ve been staring at each other all this time.”
We did have something special. It was perfect. We had each other.
Valentine's Day: She had told me she had always had to make the plans in her prior relationships, and wanted someone else to do that for her. I made a reservation at a very nice restaurant in Boston, including flowers. We had a fabulous time being waited on hand and foot.
Dinner was one of those special times. We started talking about a future together. “Going shopping” became a euphemism for looking for an engagement ring.
On February 21, she asked me to marry her. As it turned out, on February 23 we found the perfect stone and setting.
I think of our 74 days of love as having three phases. January is where it really all started, after a lengthy period of courtship. February is where it got serious. In March the fairytale ended.
March 24, she packed up her stuff and left. I’m intentionally being vague on the last month. Things were said, feelings bruised. Nearly all the “friction” was over minor stuff taken individually, taken as a whole it signaled the beginning of the end.
The truth is I still love her.
Earlier this week, I pulled up our calendar and removed 17 events. I was canceling some of the future we had planned together, or I had planned for us.
I felt a connection to someone at a very deep level. We seemed for two months to be in complete harmony. I can honestly say I haven’t been that happy in my life in the last ten years. She is an amazing person.
I regret how quickly the last three months have unfolded, and how quickly the wheels feel off in March. Did getting the ring bring stress to the relationship? Did the real world present normal stresses and pressures our relationship couldn’t sustain?
In my heart, I wish we could have a “do-over”. Slow things down. Find the time to smooth the wrinkles. Let our relationship experience strife and recover. Live for the now.
I am struck by how it takes two people to have a relationship work, and either one can end it.