When you know…

“When you know, you know.”

How many times have we heard this phrase? I’ve never believed it. I thought people were lying.
“You can’t know. You can’t just feel content about someone without knowing anything. You cannot just know.
Relationships that last a lifetime have to be formed, created, built. From sharing stories, aspirations, dreams – love that lasts a lifetime takes a lifetime to develop. Nobody just knows.”

And then I knew. Deep within my soul. He smiled and I saw us – greyed and old, kids moved away, with a cup of coffee in our hands – content.

If you’ve been here a while, you know how I struggle with anxiety. How making a decision that affects me for any period of time crumbles my soul. But I didn’t blink before I said yes. Truth is, I didn’t even say yes. Nobody asked. We just knew. We looked at each other and we felt it. We talked about ‘when’, not ‘if’. We told our families, didn’t ask for permission.

It was like watching the perfect set of dominoes, except it wasn’t falling apart.

Our story still surprises me because… I believed in fairytales for a really long time. Girl meets boy, she knows, he knows, they’re married. It all sounded so romantic. But the real world tends to attack that part of you as you grow up. I think the saying goes, “Wake up. Shit like that doesn’t happen.”

So I believed those voices. I told myself my parents will find me a wonderful man that I will spend the rest of my life growing fond of, never knowing the love that the movies and books I’d spent so much time obsessing over had told me was possible. I made myself 5 plans for life – none of them included a partner.

Two weeks into 2020, on a lazy Monday night, I began texting him. It wasn’t supposed to go anywhere. We spent the next 4 days trying to find something we didn’t agree on. I remember our first phone call. My dinner sat on its plate for three hours as we talked about family, friends, school, university, culture, movies… It was like a teenage dream – the adult version.

I kept it a secret. I wasn’t ashamed, I was afraid. It was so perfect, I wouldn’t dare ruin it. Wouldn’t let anyone jinx it. That Friday, I told my best friend and there were tears in my eyes – my anxiety was real. “I’m waiting for the shoe to drop. Nobody is this perfect.”

I met him at 6pm on a Tuesday. I’d dressed to impress but I had never felt more like myself. Seven hours later, on my way home, I knew I’d experienced magic like I’d never known before. I knew.

It took us 21 days to go from strangers to engaged. People thought we were crazy. I was so happy.

The last year has been ridiculous. You’ve been around, you know how it goes. We’ve been through so much – we’ve lost grandparents, gone on lockdown, experienced a pandemic with aging parents in another country, been sick and frustrated – but I’ve never been more in love than I am right now.

We’ve found differences, we’ve found things that annoy the other person, we’ve found common dreams and goals – but beyond everything else, we’ve found each other.

So here I am, one more in the long list of people who’ll tell you words you won’t believe – Someday, you’ll meet someone. They’ll smile at you and your heart won’t melt. It’ll expand. You’ll feel happy and calm and chaotic. You’ll feel in love. You’ll know. And when you know, you know.

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