Saturday, April 23, 2016

Friends To Lovers, My Story

One of my favorite themes to write about is friends to lovers. I’ve had several stories that have explored that theme, including “Love Potion #69” in Naughty Hearts, and “Stay the Night” in Naughty Flings. One of the reasons this trope resonates so deeply with me, is that I lived it.

I’ve been married almost fifteen years, and I’m still stunned at how the relationship progressed.

When I met my husband, I wasn’t looking for love, or even serious like. The “one who got away” was still fresh in my mind, and I had little interest in opening my heart to any guy. Then, I met a man in a chatroom who lived most of the world away. He was married and divorcing, and I wasn’t interested in anything more serious than a friend.

But there was something very compelling about this man, and we had an immediate rapport that changed the trajectory of both our lives.

Over two years, we became inseparable. I was working nights at the time, which coincided with his time zones, and we’d talk for hours after I was done with work and he was home for the evening. A program called Netmeeting, a precursor to Skype, allowed us to hear each other’s voices.

He was my best friend and I was his. His divorce was final, he was thinking about dating again, and I was just about to turn thirty, feeling as if I was at a crossroads. None of my “life goals” had been met and I knew I needed a change.

I’d managed to, by some miracle, hide my romantic feelings from him, and started encouraging him to date. He did, and it was the most painful thing imaginable. I had to finally face the fact that I was in love with him, and I had to let him go. He was in Australia, I was in America. How could it work?

The morning of my 30th birthday, I told him we had to stop talking and he asked why. When I confessed my feelings for him, he said: “I have one thing to ask you. Will you marry me?”

And just like that, I was engaged. I knew his voice, but not his face. I had spoken with his parents and children, but I didn’t know his eye color, or how he wore his hair. That didn’t matter to me, though it probably should have.

Just a month later, I was on a plane to Australia, to meet him. He greeted me at the airport with flowers and chocolates, and we started an epic adventure together. In three weeks, we drove our way through Australia, visiting all his family. And when I became ill, he flew home with me and met my family and friends.

In the wake of 9/11, he came over for a visit and we married spontaneously. We moved his possessions and two adorable cats over from Australia and here he is today. Imagine it; a man loves you so much that he moves across the world to be with you! It wasn’t a decision either of us undertook lightly, and we miss his children greatly. Thank goodness for Skype and video chat. We talk with his family every week without fail.

Mark’s a very proud American citizen, though he’s Aussie to his soul.

Life hasn’t always been easy. Just this year, Mark had an emergency triple bypass; I very nearly lost him. Thankfully, he’s doing much better now!

We’ll celebrate our fifteenth anniversary later this year, a celebration of love and laughter, a celebration of the triumph of love conquering all, even two hearts who weren’t looking to be bound. Friends to lovers, who are still friends after all these years.

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