I Am A Good Person On My Own, But With Him I Am At My Best
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I Am A Good Person On My Own, But With Him I Am At My Best

He’s taught me that we won’t always like our partners, but we should love them unceasingly.

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I Am A Good Person On My Own, But With Him I Am At My Best
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When I saw Dwayne something in me went quiet.

I am a very anxious person, and pretty much everything makes me nervous, but men especially unsettle me. Somewhere between 8th grade and my senior year, I became unable to talk to or interact with males. But when I saw him all the nervous tension usually built up by someone of the opposite sex became nonexistent.

We met at work; I was a server and he was a Sous chef, and he was technically my boss so at the beginning it was very electrifying and secretive. I had never had a boyfriend before, so social niceties were lost on me. I forced him to take me out, but one date turned into two and then three.

He claims he wasn’t sure about me until our third date, but on our first, he endured almost three hours of a movie based on Abraham Lincoln - and even kissed my forehead as I cried over his death. My relationship with our late 16th president is complicated and a story for another time.

Five years later and we have two dogs, a daughter, and plans to have a second child. I’ve always taken that quiet feeling as a sign he was the closest thing to my soulmate - the other half of me that meshed perfectly with my anxious energy.

He’d tell you it wasn’t that sappy; I was probably just having a good day or something. But I still remember the stillness of the moment. He wasn’t even facing me, turned around messing with the sink, but just the set of his shoulders was enough to convince me.

It wasn’t long before we figured out we had been on the fringe of each other’s lives for quite awhile. Dwayne met my baby sister years before he’d met me and I was going to school with his best friend’s sister. I also took this as a sign of our fatedness. He blames it on our town being small - which it isn’t. We’re a city of almost 200,000, and he’s five years older than me.

But that’s how we work. I am the hopeless romantic and Dwayne grounds me. I am a nervous ball of misplaced paranoia, and he calms me. I ignite easily and am quick to react, and Dwayne thinks before he acts. He settles me and makes me a better person. I am a satisfactory person on my own, but with him, I am at my best.

And it’s not always easy. Our relationship is a lot of work. It’s a lot of long conversations and date nights and small, but thoughtful, gestures to show appreciation. He’s seen me running off of two hours of sleep and fresh from a panic attack. I’ve experienced him frustrated and snappy while building furniture.

He’s taught me that we won’t always like our partners, but we should love them unceasingly. We don’t always click together; sometimes we have to struggle to make our puzzle pieces join together.

That’s the point though. He is worth the work. He’s the first man I ever fell in love with - ever felt safe with - and I know he’ll be my last.

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