Love as Safety

“The first time, it felt like a calm but intense emotion. We were in a classroom together after having spent the day together walking and talking. I asked if I could lie on his lap while he talked. And for some reason, in the calmness of his voice and the feeling of home and security, I had known I fell in love, because I had never felt so safe in my life.”

Complete vulnerability

“Toward the end of senior year in high school. I was crying, shaking and anxious. A friend opened up to me, told me that it was going to be alright, and that he would always be there. It was the moment I realized I was completely vulnerable to another person. It was selfless, empowering and exciting. I just knew that as long as he was beside me, I would be okay.”

Birthday Surprise

“In March, I was getting ready for my birthday. It was a very busy week as work was extremely stressful during this stretch of time. We had several pending big projects and potential clients we were trying to win over our competitors so everyone was on their game trying to do what they could to get us to our company projected goals from. I knew my birthday was coming up and my girlfriend told me she was going to surprise me with something planned. I was excited about that but at the same time very stressed out about work. It was difficult to try to balance work and not have my mind off of what she could have possibly been planning. Thankfully, work and the projects I was working on were completed, and we had successfully won over our clients with our campaigns. I felt a sense of relief, and with my birthday a few days away I started to get really excited about that. On that day, my birthday, I had the day off from work as my company and my boss usually let us take a day off in our birthday month. I chose to take my birthday off, since it was a Friday. My girlfriend surprised me that morning with breakfast in bed, and after that we took a trip to Catalina Island. It was a boat trip out to the island, and there, it was such a nice getaway, especially spending it with my significant other and getting my mind off of work. It was well needed, and I remember the events leading up to the relaxation and pay off clearly.”

Harry Potter World

My favorite place in the world is the Harry Potter World in Universal Studios. My boyfriend got passes for the both of us. I grew up with the Harry Potter movies. I read the Harry Potter books. When I went in the Harry Potter World, I almost cried. I loved it so much. The houses had fake snow on the ceilings. It looked like an old village in the countryside in Europe. I loved it so much. My boyfriend got me a Gryffindor scarf, which I always wear when we go there. It is one of the best days ever.”

Trivia Night

My twenty third birthday. My parents came to my apartment for the first time since I had lived there. We all went to trivia together, which is something I do with my girlfriend almost every week. The next day, we went to a few local parks. One of them has a small zoo that my dad enjoyed a lot. My girlfriend gave me a Raspberry Pi and my parents gave me a couple of gifts.

Cooking together as friends

We cooked together, as friends, for our very first meal. We had not talked much before then, but that night we went straight past the small talk. We shared about our lives, our religious convictions, our future aspirations, and so on. I remember feeling like I got to know her on such a deep and intimate level, and that night definitely sparked my affections for her. It was such a memorable night of cooking, also because we shattered two plates in the process.

Watching his car drive away

“Every time Chris drives away from my house, I watch his car as far as I can possibly see. But one night, for the first and only time, I forgot to watch him drive away. I got caught up in something else and suddenly, five minutes later, I painfully realized. I called Chris in tears and he told me to wait. Chris proceeded to drive back to my house and around my driveway, just so I could watch him drive away again. Even though it was late at night, he had a long drive ahead, and he had to be up early, he drove ten extra minutes just because he trusted it would make me feel better. It may seem silly because Chris regularly drives over eleven hours round trip to visit me, but it is those ten minutes that make me feel the most loved.”

Traveling when in love

“I remember how 2017 was one of the best times of our lives, and how we traveled and moved to an amazing place and did a lot of skiing and hiking. We settled into our marriage. We loved and laughed. We saw dolphins and felt calm and happy. Everything felt perfect even when it seemed like a disaster.”

US Open

Falling in love was not a moment, but a feeling. The feeling a familiarity, safety, and comfort. A feeling that you would want for the rest of your life. A feeling that you could not be without. My most treasured tradition is going to the US Open. It is the reason for some of my best memories growing up. This photo was from the first time she joined us, and though it is from far after we fell in love, for me it best symbolizes it. Two things that brought me such joy and felt so familiar coming together, and two things that I expect to be a part of the rest of my life.

Moving in together

I have never seen you so happy as the day that Michael asked you to move in with him. You had been so unlucky in love and thought you were going to be alone forever. You were worried about how Michael really felt about you and were not sure how committed he was. Until the day he came over for a movie night. He told you how much he loved you and that he wanted you to move in with him. You were so happy that you were glowing. You had finally found the one you were ready to spend your entire life with, and he felt the same way.

Just being together

I went to a park with my girlfriend, and we spent the day together just being with each other. We brought some food and a radio and were just enjoying each others company. I remember resting under the sun and being thrilled that I had a moment of peace for once. We played frisbee and took a hike. It was one of the most relaxing days I can recall having for a very long time. We still reference it and think of it fondly. You never know how many memories we have left to create.

Worried while he is away

I was able to get my husband a ticket to a conference he really wanted to attend. I managed to get him a room that fit his needs. I had never used the trip planning sites before and was kind of worried about it. I was especially worried that, since the hotel was not near the conference and he was not intending to drive, he would cross some dangerous areas on foot. But the hotel turned out better than I expected.

A piece of candy for a boyfriend

“Ten years old. In that time, if you give a candy to a girl and she returns the wrapper to you via your messenger, then she accepts you as your boyfriend. So now I’m her boyfriend and I was happy. One day, I said I would go to her house. I took a shower and put on my nice clothes and everything. When I went like this, I was alone, and she came with her grandma. When I saw her grandma, I was scared and jumped into the woods. And got everything on my clothes and hair and all. That’s why I still don’t go to my girlfriends’ families’ house.”

First Time at the Beach

I went on vacation with my girlfriend. She had never been to the beach before so it was nice seeing her reaction for the first time.

At the aquarium

My boyfriend and I went to the aquarium in Long Beach. I feel like it is not much, but I loved it that day. There was just something about it. I loved looking at the fishes and the penguins and the other animals with him. It was cold in the aquarium. It was not too crowded. It was perfect. It just felt magical to me. He was sweet and he enjoyed his time. We talked about the different ways we can help out with animal charities once we have our careers together. He was genuine, and it was one of those moments when I fell in love with him more.

Chicago Cubs

I could not wait for the start of the baseball season, coming off an incredible high of my team, the Chicago Cubs, winning the World Series in 2016. My boyfriend got us tickets for opening night. The banner raising ceremony was something I never thought I would witness, let alone in person. And to cap off the game, the Cubs won in incredible walk off fashion.

Out of your league

I remember meeting your girlfriend Sarah for the first time back in May. She is attractive and, as I would quickly learn, quite intelligent. I honestly got jealous and thought she was out of your league. She is a sweet girl who is great deal of fun to be with. The meal she made was fantastic.