All of the above is a little abstract, yes, but let's apply it to guys and the reasons I broke up with a few of them. These are going to sound absolutely ridiculous: one wore a mustard-colored shirt I just couldn't get past, one turned on gospel radio on our first date (I was more into pop), one had small teeth, one was short, one was a Sunday school teacher (cute, yes, but not for me), one was a year younger than me (wha? I like 'em older), one called his shoes "sh*tkickers," and one drove a maroon car. In hindsight, all of these guys were probably good catches. Heck, I'll listen to gospel-y bluegrass nowadays and love it. But at the time, er, not so much. And, for whatever reason, I couldn't look beyond these very, very minor blunders.
And then I met Mr. Cowboy Boot. I lived in Boston at this point and was a wee bit further from my previous self. But, just a wee bit. He charmed me, regardless of the fact that I wasn't a big fan of his shoes, the way he wore gel in his hair, and that he didn't fall under my "must-be-a-surfer-from-Southern-California" guidelines. Nonetheless, he surprised me for lunch more than once, went dress shopping with me all day for a work event, and schooled me with his cooking skills (seared tuna, anyone?).
Since Mr. CB and I started dating (over 3 1/2 years ago), I've grown. Whatever image of "perfection" I had in my head no longer exists (if the "person" ever really did exist) or just doesn't matter because what I have now is exactly what I want. It might not fulfill a superficial checklist, it might even have its flaws here and there (it does), but we have enough substance to want to work towards a life together. Enough real substance and that's what matters most. Mr. CB is kind, not only to me but to children and animals and the Earth. He's skilled artistically in a way I can only admire and passionate about the things he loves. He's a great teacher, and a great learner. And simply fun.
If anything (and this is about to get cheesy, thus the title), he's my Noah Calhoun--and certainly not my Lon. (Don't act like you haven't seen The Notebook). Not that there's anything wrong with Lon--he's gorgeous, well put-together, has a great job, and pleases Allie's parents, but Noah is real. He's as real as the dirt that lies around the house he built for Allie (minus the fact that he's a character from a fiction movie).
Either way, Mr. CB struck a chord with me that I'd never experienced before: Realness. Through all of the pressures of growing up, trying to look, act, and be a certain way, it took me a while to realize you can just be yourself. I met Mr. CB after a summer of much self growth and I think it's serendipitous. I was ready for him to help me continue on that journey. No material possessions (metaphorically speaking, of course) to hide behind, just a person with feelings, humbleness, and a quality of life to be proud of.
What has your fiance taught you? How have you grown since you've been together?