So it’s the one you’ve all been waiting for!
I’ve been blogging for a while now and a lot of you are interested in how me and my fiancé met as we are both from opposite sides of the world. I wrote about mine and Toney’s relationship back in August as we lived apart in a long distant relationship for around six months. I still find it quite hard to talk about because of the reactions we had when we first told people of our relationship, it also wasn’t the simplest of relationship starters either. It has taken me a while to find the right words to write this post. As you all know, things we write online and say in our own words can come across completely different and as this comes from my heart I wanted it to be written with the right words to justify that. I’m also pretty sure this will also be the longest blog post ill ever write so be warned!
I’ll go from the start… summer last year, 2016, I was living in England with someone I’d been with for a while. I was working my full time job as a nurse, living the typical life; working to be able to pay the bills and go on a holiday every now & then. Things were pretty serious with my boyfriend at the time, in fact we were moving in together in the fall, although we had been living together with parents for a while. Was I happy? I’d say I was comfortable.
I had grown up saying to myself that I didn’t want to live the “typical life”. Working over fifty hours a week to be able pay bills, get married & have some children and then continue to work till I’m past the retirement age. Only being able to afford to go on holiday once or twice a year for a few weeks at a time. That life didn’t really appeal to me. I grew up picturing myself being young, seeing the world; the places many don’t get to visit or you don’t really hear about. Getting married & taking my children to those places that me and my husband had visited once before. Having the career of my dreams and being able to take that with me traveling around and actually making something of myself. Earning enough money to be able to take care of my family and maybe being able to spend a few years back in England. Having the opportunity to retire a little early so we can help look after our grandchildren without having to stress that the mortgage is due. Mostly I craved a life of independence, being able to choose for myself and not running in line with society. Living to work rather than working to live. Although I appreciate that life doesn’t always go as planned, but we can all dream of how we would like it to go and that was pretty much mine. Not forgetting the little farm with horses and lots of little pigs.
So in August last year myself, my boyfriend and my family came to Florida on holiday, which is when I met Toney. He lived over the road from my dads best friend so when we came to visit him we were all introduced and we all got along very well. We were visiting for nearly two weeks so other than going to Disney World we were all spending time together. Toney took my family and I to a shooting range, had us all over for dinner and really welcomed us all during our time together.
Toney was (and is) like no one I’d ever met before. He is a real gentleman. Called us all Sir and Ma’am, opened our doors for us, something which I wasn’t used to at all. We had a lot in common, we both wanted to travel the world. He had also worked as a surgical technician prior to moving to Florida, so we both had experience in the health industry. He spoke with such confidence and passion when we talked about things, which was so nice to see and reminded me of my dad, so I enjoyed it his conversations even more. He told me about how much he wanted to visit England and how much he loves English literature along with everything else he had read about England. When I showed him the pictures from home and the area I lived in, he wanted to come visit even more. So me and my family offered him a place to stay if he ever came to England and that I would happily show him around. We exchanged numbers so he could contact me if he wanted to come over. Nothing during this time happened between Toney & I, we just enjoyed pleasant conversations and company with each other, which by itself was enough to show me that he was a lovely person who I’d like to get to know more of.
So my family and I went back home and that was that. Once we got home, things between me and my boyfriend continued to change as they had been for a while and we were becoming more and more distant with each other. I knew inside I wasn’t happy and I hadn’t been for a while and I felt deep down that my boyfriend wasn’t happy either. I’m not one to give up on something and after such a long time I didn’t want to just walk away so I did my best to talk and explain things, how I was feeling but it never really went anywhere. We had just purchased our first home together prior to going on holiday to Florida. When we were looking at houses and found the house we wanted we became a little closer and spoke to each other more. In my head I thought that getting the house would fix everything. We would have our own space, something to build on together but after a while it went back to how things were before.
One day around October time I posted a picture of us all in Florida on Instagram and Toney commented on it, something on the lines of “miss you all, hope we get to see each other again soon”. I messaged him asking how things were and how Florida was treating him. We got talking more and more, about life and each other. I told Toney I was booking time off work for my birthday in March so if he wanted to visit I would have the time off available to show him around. To be honest I was convinced that he wouldn’t book a trip to England, as we all say that we will do things and then never actually do them.
But he did! He booked to come visit us and I was really looking forward to being a tourist in my own country and talking about all the places we were planning on going to see. Places he wanted to see and places I also hadn’t visited before. Since he booked to come visit England we started talking more and more and eventually we were talking all the time.
As things between me and my boyfriend continued to go the way they were, the conversations between Toney and I got deeper, I’d found something in him which made me happy. In that, I became happier in myself. I’d look forward to waking up in a morning, but so I could read his messages that he’d left me over night. I began to open up to him, in a way that I hadn’t opened up to anyone before. When we spoke on the phone, I spoke the truth, not what I thought he wanted to hear. But then it began to turn into a fight between myself as time went on, a sense of guilt started to form. I’d read a message that he sent me and smile, both inside and out. Then think to myself “your smiling because of him, not the person your in a committed relationship with” I’d began to feel guilty, guilty that I was happy by someone else.
But as guilty as I’d feel, I couldn’t stop talking to Toney. It was like I was addicted to his conversations and his voice. I’d anticipate how he would respond yet he would always take me by surprise. We would have conversations for hours and we wouldn’t have to talk, just knowing he was there was sometimes all I needed. He treated me in a way I’d never been treated before. I’d send him a picture and he would make me feel like the most beautiful person in the world. If he sent me one back I’d look at him in a way I’ve never looked at anyone before. Studying his face trying to remember every little detail. Every imperfection, every scar I noticed became a perfection, because it was part of him, who he was. I’d never looked at anyone like that before.
By December time I knew there was something between Toney and I, something I hadn’t felt with anyone before. Friends, family, boyfriends. It was like my heart needed to explore what this feeling was. It was something I couldn’t ignore and I knew it wasn’t fair on myself, my boyfriend or Toney, so I made the decision to end things with my boyfriend. Although I didn’t know where it would go between me and Toney, I had to be selfish and take a chance with this feeling in my heart.
It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done so far in my life. Ending things with someone you’d dedicated so much time to but I knew I couldn’t live a life that I wasn’t happy with. I knew people were going to get hurt and they did but I couldn’t keep going and letting time drag on. Still to this day I remember that evening like it was yesterday, I could cry thinking of everything that was said and how I felt that night. It felt like how it would feel putting your pet animal down to sleep. Choosing to stop their heart but for all the right reasons. Letting them go when you love them but to stop something now which could be so much more painful in the future. Although I now know we are both so much better and happier apart.
As I was growing up and got older, I started to be the type of person who would tell my friends “you only live once, do what makes you happy”. But living by that quote myself was a lot harder that actually saying it. The quote “its easier said than done” comes to mind. When certain friends found out they stopped replying to my messages and obviously people judged me, like everything we do in life. But as me and Toney started being open and honest about our feelings the majority of people said the same thing “Life is too short, as long as your happy, do what you need to do”.
It’s the middle of January, Toney and I are over 4200 miles apart. Falling further in love more & more every day. Everything is in the open about our relationship and although it was like Christmas morning everyday, feeling this new profound love for someone that you’d never felt before, it was then heart wrenching waking up knowing you couldn’t look into their eyes or kiss them before you leave for work. I’d cry so much wanting to be in his arms but not being able to. We both agreed we couldn’t wait until March to see each other so we booked to meet each other in Amsterdam for the beginning of February. I could finally breathe knowing I’d be with him in three weeks or so.
I truly believe in life everything happens for a reason. Along with changing my life Toney has also brought my family and I closer together. And the next time we were able to meet up with each other, Toney got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of his life with him. As you know I said yes and since then I’ve never been happier.
I’ll tell you all about our trip to Amsterdam soon as that will be a trip I’ll never forget for so many reasons.