“OMG, I LOVE HIM!” The Epiphany That Changed My Life

When I moved to Atwater Village nearly ten years ago, I had two goals:

♥ Retrieve my foster dog Zoe (long story), and adopt her

♥ Work on myself and my career

Little did I know then that the kind and handsome neighbor who showed me around when I first visited the property would turn out to be the love of my life.

Unlike previous guys I’d dated who’d wooed me with grandiose charm, Mike treated me with kindness, warmth and respect. The difference was so striking, I had no idea he was interested in me romantically for months.

That’s not to say you can’t be kind and genuine yet grandiose, of course. But in my experience, “over the top” inevitably turned out to be superficial. A game. A tactic.

Mike didn’t have any tactics. He simply wanted to get to know me, and I him. He’d hoped more would happen, I’d later learn, but didn’t press. We were fast friends.

A couple of months after meeting, we serendipitously decided to go for a run at Griffith Park at the same time. I plunked down on his front steps to tie my shoes. As he sat down next to me, a surprising sensation filled me—a heated, shimmery glow I could’ve sworn streamed from my every pore, making my newfound secret obvious to the world:

Oh my god. I love him!!!!!! 

Holy epiphany! How had I missed it?

It took some time for me to realized I hadn’t missed it. Rather, I’d been experiencing it. Relishing it. Evolving within the journey.

I now know I was experiencing healthy attachment, which Dr. Wendy O’Connor poignantly described in my “dating a sociopath” series.

It was exciting, trust me, but in a comfortable way, versus fireworks from a stranger, equal parts ooh la la and risk.

I’d not only fallen in love, but with my best pal, my adventure partner, the guy who made me feel just right, quirks and all, as I am. The guy who made me laugh and extended kindness to everyone he met, never seeing anyone as “less than.”

Shortly after that landmark run at the park, we were dating. A year later, we were wed on the steps we met on—also the place I’d had my “I love him!” epiphany.

P wedding!

Days later, we learned that Zoe needed surgery that would require ample funds and followup home care, and faced a decision:

Honeymoon or Zoe-moon?

I looked at Mike and saw no hesitation in his eyes. Of course we’d choose Zoe. If I’d had any doubt that I’d married right, that moment would have washed it away.

Zoe surgery love

This weekend, we’ll celebrate seven years of marriage. We’ve had our bumps—what couple hasn’t?—but they’ve only ended up strengthening us. Mike’s character, heart and presence are some of my life’s greatest gifts.

Knowing that all couples who choose to can now share marital adventures as well makes our anniversary that much more special.

As chance would have it, a painting we purchased at an auction months ago arrived today. We hadn’t realized until opening it (I blame the champagne!) that it’s called Couple in the Park. That’s precisely how our relationship feels to me—a grand, colorful adventure, full of play and growth and learning, one I plan to cherish for many years to come.

photo-172

That’s my love story. What’s yours? ♥

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25 Comments

  1. Congratulations. Many happy returns of the day.

    Reply
  2. Ain’t love grand? ❤ You know my story. http://mikesirota.com/redux-when-art-creates-life/

    Reply
  3. karenmcfarland

     /  June 26, 2015

    Happy Anniversary to you both! Congratulations! 🙂

    Reply
  4. Yours is one of my favorite love stories of all time! xoxo

    Reply
  5. Well, you made me cry. Totally in a good way, what a warm and tingly love story you two have. Happy Anniversary!

    Reply
  6. Michelle

     /  June 26, 2015

    What a great story! Happy Anniversary! May you celebrate many many more!

    Reply
  7. Cora

     /  June 26, 2015

    i love your story!! I think of you two whenever I hear Brandi carlisles song story 😊

    Reply
  8. Happy Anniversary! It’s funny because though I’ve been married over 25 years, I still remember my 7th anniversary quite well. Making it seven years is kind of a milestone, I think. We move beyond the newly married feeling and settle into the comfort of a lifelong mate. 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks, Carrie! It does feel a bit like a milestone — maybe because of the “seven year itch” thing. 🙂 Glad we’re itch-less, LOL. Congrats on 25! Very cool.

      Reply
      • Thank you. It’s actually a couple more than that, but I like to be vague so no one does the math that leads to my age… 😉

  9. You made it to the seven year itch! Ha! Congratulations! It was more than a pleasure meeting both of you! It’s truly a gift to find a lover and partner to share your life with. For me, it’s all about keeping my sense of humor and being able to laugh at the ridiculousness of the worst situations. Going on 28 years!

    Reply
  10. Awwwww! I love that story. 🙂

    And we have just about the same anniversary – we’re 7-02-2007 – just a year before you. Give your guy a squeeze from me.

    Reply
  11. Happy anniversary, August. You guys are so beautiful together!! I love the line “Evolving within the journey”. That is so eloquent and poignant. You and your hubby’s love story is inspirational. Hope you guys have a great anniversary and many more for years to come. 😀

    Reply
  12. Congratulations to your 7th Anniversary August! This is a wonderful love story!

    As for me: I met my boyfriend at an Airport when I had a few hours wait. After spending the entire stay together, unable to stop talking, we became friends.
    We were friends for about 6 years when I realized something had changed. Whenever I saw he was at an event, posting a picture with some of his co-workers, a few of them women who snuggled up against him for the pics, I raised the roof.
    I did not want to believe it for quite some time – but finally I recognized I was jealous…
    I called him and told him about me falling for him. And we decided to give it a try. That when it started. We are a couple now for 4 1/2 years. And I will never regret that step to tell him I had found me loving him.
    🙂

    Reply
  13. Well, my first thought was, “He’s one lucky guy.” Now, I have to add to it, “You are one lucky woman.”

    Reply
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