When Doug and I first met, I was quite content being on my own. Actually, I was dead set on being alone for a long time. I rented a 3-bedroom house in Missouri, had two dogs and was working on my place in the world. Then, enter Doug.
Our relationship started with the phrase: Good things come to those that wait. Although we had known each other for a number of years, we crossed paths when he dropped his goddaughter off at an audition clinic I was conducting. He later messaged me on Facebook and because I have two Facebook accounts, he messaged the one I never check.
After him thinking I just blew him off, he came to see the production that I had directed. I hugged him and said that we should get together sometime. I did not know that he was waiting for my message response. After the dust had settled and the set was struck, I was back at work on a normal schedule and noticed I had missed several messages. I found Doug's very polite message saying that it was great to see me and asked if I wanted to go for a drink or coffee sometime.
Knowing that I had given up on finding love and all that came with it, I gave it a shot. We went for margaritas and a movie. At the time, I had thought going to the movies on a first date was sort of contradictory to going on a date, but the date ended after the movie.
Our relationship blossomed over the course of 2 years. I still had this notion that I didn't 'need' anyone. We visited India together in June of 2016. This was an experience that I dreamed about all through my 20's and into my 30's. Then, Doug got the assignment to come live in India. We didn't even question having a long distance relationship and started making our plans to move to Mumbai within months.
Now, the first year of us living in India has come and gone. I think about all the moments that we have shared together and all the adventures that we have had. I have learned that needing Doug is a choice that I make. I need Doug to go on adventures with. I need Doug to listen to my confusion. I need Doug to be Doug. It is amazing when you allow yourself to be loved. I had a friend give me a mantra card that reads:
"I am worthy of love from others, even if I'm still learning how to love myself."
This little care is the size of a business card, but has made a huge impact on my life. Through all of the ups and downs the past several years, Doug has been there the entire way. He has hugged me when I cried or when I didn't even want to talk about it. He has celebrated and encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone. He has shown me places of the world that have taught me invaluable lessons. Most of all, he has shown me places in my heart that I didn't know existed.
When you love a partner, you love with your whole self losing yourself and finding yourself stronger than before. It this strength that helps you to need someone in your life. It is this LOVE that completes you and makes you whole again.