My boyfriend and I have a very beautiful love story. Very. I know that declaration is quite biased coming from me but sweardown out of all the love stories in the world, mine and my boyfriend’s is my absolute favourite.
The title of today’s post is lifted directly from a text my boyfriend sent me exactly one month after I slid into his DM. But before I share the text, lemme give y’all a teeny tiny background into our love story.
I first laid eyes on my boyfriend last year in early April and I immediately crushed on him so soo sooo soooo hard; it was his hair and his eyes that did it for me. I probably saw him all of three times that April and did not see him again for the next few months but I could not stop thinking about him. The first time I saw my boyfriend he was wearing a Linkin Park Minutes to Midnight hoodie and until I knew his name I would refer to him as “Minutes to Midnight” when talking about him to my friends and family.
As mentioned I could not stop thinking about my boyfriend, so remember that flash fiction writing competition held by Yummy magazine for their wine themed June edition that I won?
The story was titled Minutes to Midnight because the character in the story wearing the Minutes to Midnight hoodie is based on my boyfriend.
Tall, dark and handsome in a Linkin Park Minutes to Midnight hoodie, dark jeans, Nikes and hair like Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther, he was irresponsibly my type.
I shared the backstory and details of my win, as well as just how much it meant to me, in the post K Is For Kismet. As usual I put up a post on my Instagram to draw attention to the blog post and – you really cannot make this stuff up – just see below how I manifested meeting my boyfriend:
I did not know this at the time but choosing K Is For Kismet as the title of the post I wrote about the win for my Minutes to Midnight story would end up being so serendipitous because the word kismet is one I use to describe my boyfriend and I a lot. In the post I shared this quote:
I guess it was what my friend Phoolendu at the yoga studio would call kismet. That’s like fate, but much more dramatic.
And that is exactly what me and my boyfriend are; like fate, but much more dramatic. So much so that we are planning on getting matching ‘kismet’ tattoos in each other’s handwriting.
When I went to collect my prize from Yummy they gave me two copies of the magazine as well. I did not know who to give the other copy to so I held onto it but clearly the Universe had a plan because I ended up giving it to the person the story was inspired by. I gave it to my boyfriend at the end of last year and in return he gave me the Minutes to Midnight hoodie which, in what will come as a surprise to absolutely no one, is easily one of my most prized possessions.
On June 8th, coincidentally the day before I submitted my story to Yummy, I randomly came across my boyfriend’s Instagram profile. Later that night when my BFF and I were out celebrating her resignation from KISS FM I got lit AF and decided to drunk DM him. I woke up the next morning and saw what I had written and well:
I immediately unsent the message and luckily for me my boyfriend had not read it yet so I was able to move on like nothing happened. From time to time I wonder what would have happened if I did not unsend the message, or if my boyfriend had read it before I unsent it. I highly doubt our love story would be what it is today had I stuck to shooting my shot that day as neither of us were ready for a relationship then so I am glad I unsent it in time.
I only saw my boyfriend a handful of times after I sent and unsent the drunk DM and whenever I did I would immediately gush to my people about “Minutes to Midnight.” We never went beyond small talk in those handful of times I saw him but that all changed when I slid into his DM on October 20, 2019 at exactly 4:20 p.m.
He replied and that was when our love story officially started to take root:
Quick aside: I put this up on my Twitter last month as part of the How It Started vs. How It’s Going challenge:
Fun fact: no one at Tuko could have known this but the blue dress I am wearing in the pic on the left, a pic the writer at Tuko randomly chose from my Twitter, is the same dress I wore on the first date with my boyfriend. I was very deliberate with choosing to wear a blue dress on our first date and one day I will let y’all in on the reason why 🙂
Four days after our first date and exactly one month after I slid into his DM, my boyfriend sent me this text that is the essence of today’s post:
My boyfriend is my best friend and I do not say that lightly. We took time to build our friendship when we were getting to know each other and now we are reaping the benefits because we have an incredibly strong friendship. In fact, my boyfriend was so adamant on building our friendship first that he advocated for us to put sex on the back burner as we got to know each other. His exact words were:
Now if you read the blog you know that 2019 was meant to be the year of the heaux and I just really wanted to fuck around so when he told me that my initial reaction was:
But when I thought about it I realised I had nothing to lose by trying things his way. In fact, I had everything to gain because the sex I wanted to have so badly in 2019 did absolutely nothing for me. 2019 was the year of the malenges as I was ghosted and lied to by niggas so much last year it is equal parts funny and pathetic. I mean, JD1 and JD2. Enough said! I know I wrote Sasa Hizi Ni Nini with a humorous tone, but that is only because I had met my boyfriend by then and he had reignited my belief in good guys so I was able to laugh at my pain as I wrote the post. But Sasa Hizi Ni Nini was meant to go up in October and it would have had a more scalding, bitter tone because at the time I was still so hurt by the bullshit JD1 and JD2 had put me through. I remember coming back from Ole Polos feeling so defeated by JD2’s antics and the following week I was still so upset that I decided to take a break from men.
But what they say so often can be true. When you give up on trying, life has a way of surprising you. I re-DMd my boyfriend on October 20th and I really cannot tell you why I decided to go for it then when I was supposed to be on a break from men. My guess is that the Universe whispered into my heart and soul that it was time because things have worked out beautifully between us since then.
I put up that tweet with that lyric from Lover by Taylor Swift the day after our first date because from the minute my boyfriend and I exchanged numbers and started texting/talking on phone we just got each other. He understood me soooo well in such a short amount of time, and vice versa, that we often wondered whether we had known each other for 20 seconds or 20 years. What took people in my life years to know and understand about me took my boyfriend less than a month. Sweardown! In fact we were both very apprehensive, and a wee bit terrified, about how easily and quickly we got to know and fall for each other. He had his reasons for his reservations and I will not share them here because that is his business, but on my end I was apprehensive and a wee bit terrified for two main reasons:
- The many malenges 2019 brought my way
- My upbringing
Last week on Instagram I came across this post from the.love.therapist:
In the caption she wrote:
Your relationship with your partner started when you were born.
The psychological and emotional dynamic you witnessed between your parents and that you experienced between you and your parents is literally stored inside your limbic system. What you saw and felt you absorbed. These early experiences create patterns in the brain’s neural network that remain until re-patterned.
That struck me because I come from chaos, pain and heartbreak. Last year for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women I wrote extensively about the domestic violence my mum suffered at the hands of her husband. I grew up in a VERY violent household and because of that, among other things I have gone through, my therapist tells me that I am always looking for the catastrophe because it is what I know. On the other hand my boyfriend grew up in a very loving, very stable home. His parents are each other’s first loves and together they raised three children in a home full of love, joy, goodness and laughter. Sometimes I think about my upbringing and I feel sooo bad for myself because the trauma my childhood caused is not my fault, yet healing from said trauma is solely my responsibility.
Lucky for me my boyfriend knows that I come from chaos, pain and heartbreak, he understands that I work very hard both in and out of therapy to move on from my trauma, and so he is just so kind, patient, accommodating and gentle with me. It also helps that he is such a kind, patient, accommodating and gentle person to begin with so it is not hard for him to extend those qualities to me and still love me even when I am at my absolute worst.
People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’- that’s intimacy.
Taylor Jenkins Reid
My relationship with my boyfriend is unequivocally the most intimate one I have ever had. I can say with utmost confidence that my boyfriend knows everything about me – the good, the bad, the ugly – and still loves all of me. Even the parts of me that are difficult to love. One of my favourite poems of all time is Warsan Shire’s for women who are ‘difficult’ to love:
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.
Those lines in particular will forever be etched in my mind because I am something not everyone knows how to love. It took years for me to admit to myself, let alone to anyone else, that I am difficult to love. But if you ask my boyfriend, he will tell you that I am so easy to love. If you ask my boyfriend what my flaws are, he will tell you that I do not have any. He says that who I am is made up of all that I have gone through, and even when I am moody and controlling he does not see those as flaws, but rather personality traits that make up who I am because of what I have gone through. Believe me, I have tried pressing him to confess to at least one flaw – because I have many – but to him I am flawless.
As a result I am slowly learning to see myself through my boyfriend’s eyes. I am learning that just because I come from chaos, pain and heartbreak does not mean I am not worthy of all the joy, happiness and ease life has to offer. Because my boyfriend is so kind, patient, accommodating and gentle with me, I am learning to extend that same kindness, patience, accommodation and gentleness to myself. I am unlearning all the harsh ways I spoke to/about myself in the past and learning that just because I have some traits that are deemed undesirable by society, more so for women, they do not make me a bad person. It is not easy, and I fail more often than I succeed, but that is okay because Rome was not built in a day. I am not going to unlearn decades of negative thoughts and patterns overnight but I am working on it with the help of my therapist and having my best friend squarely in my corner gives me all the motivation I need.
Marry your best friend. I do not say that lightly. Really, truly find the strongest, happiest friendship in the person you fall in love with. Someone who speaks highly of you. Someone you can laugh with. The kind of laughs that make your belly ache, and your nose snort. The embarrassing, earnest, healing kind of laughs. Wit is important. Life is too short not to love someone who lets you be a fool with them.
My boyfriend and I worked hard on, and continue to work hard on, our friendship and to this day friendship and camaraderie remain a huge priority for us. A great friendship is one of the cornerstones of a great relationship and I believe one of the reasons love came so easily for my boyfriend and I is because of how much we invested in our friendship during the “talking stage.” Now we know each other so damn well mpaka he often predicts what I am going to say. No one in my life, be it family, friends or romantic partners, has ever known me so thoroughly that they know exactly what I am going to say next and it makes me feel so loved to be so well known. He likes to say that he knows me better than I know him, but I believe I know him just as well, if not better. So if anyone knows a couple’s game we can play to settle this once and for all please HMU. Lol. For real though.
I need to make it clear though that our relationship is not perfect. Not like there is such a thing anyway. I joke that we cannot go two days without fighting, but it is also not quite a joke because we fight every two to three days. Lol. In the beginning my boyfriend used to say that we are not fighting per se, but rather getting to know each other. Now that we know each other very well and still fight (lol) I am grateful for the fact that we fight well. We understand that even when we fight we are still on the same team and only want the best for each other. He has my back and I have his. Furthermore our fights are progressive as we are always looking for solutions to whatever is causing conflict rather than just fighting for fighting. That is not to say that we always get it right but we keep working on fighting better. It also helps that my boyfriend is quick to forgive and 99.9% of the time is the first person to say sorry after a fight because I do not forgive easily. I am working on it but the fact is I hold onto grudges because of my trauma and so I am grateful that I am with someone who is so quick to both forgive and forget.
My boyfriend is my best friend in all the many ways that term encompasses. He is my biggest cheerleader, my shoulder to cry on, my sounding board, my partner in crime, my drinking and TV watching buddy etc. He is also the one person who makes me laugh the most day in, day out and we really really really really enjoy spending time with each other. For all the shit 2020 has come with, it has allowed my boyfriend and I to spend more time together than either of us would have thought possible at the beginning of the year and for that I am extremely grateful.
My boyfriend is my anchor and my love for him is one of the very best parts of me. It is my deepest wish that the Universe grants us many lifetimes together because the depth of love I have for mon bebé … kuna venye one lifetime is simply not enough!!!!