… and no, the word is not "lesbian" or "lesbians" in this case.
I've never had good luck with love. After ending an engagement almost 5 years ago due to my then-fiancée's infidelity, I raised the shields around my heart and have been very reluctant to lower them. I've been mostly afraid to feel love again for fear of losing that love or being betrayed and hurt. As irrational as it is, it was how I have protected myself.
Since the broken engagement, I've met and dated few different awesome women, but I never developed a romantic relationship with any of them (though I did become good friends with two of them). The shields have stayed up at 100% and I haven't lowered them… until now.
A month ago today, I got an e-mail from TheRealLilo (formerly LittleLitaFord) who I had reached out to via a comment. We had talked with via commenting threads before, but this was the first time we'd talked directly. We were both going through some things and wound up listening to each other and supporting one another as friends.
As time moved on, I started seeing a lot of aspects about Lilo that I really enjoyed, namely her incredibly kind and generous heart, her intelligence, and the fact that she appears to be hilarious (I think she has multiple funnybones and should see a doctor about that). One night, during one of our chats mentioned that if I lived anywhere near her, I would've asked her out already. She replied that if I asked, she would accept.
Then, a couple of weekends ago, something triggered some truly awful memories and feelings of mine that I thought I'd moved past a long time ago. I felt absolutely horrible, and during that time, Lilo reached out to me to check on me and make sure I was okay. When she found out that I wasn't okay, she listened to me pour my heart out without judging me or telling me how to feel. She offered nothing but kind and supportive words – words that I so desperately needed to hear. I think that's when I first knew that I really did want her to be my partner in crime.
As Lilo and I continued talking, my feelings for her have grown stronger and stronger. In fact, I haven't felt this way about anybody since I ended things with the ex-fiancée. Up until now, I've been dancing around using the L-word for a while now, in large part because the last time I used the word with somebody and allowed myself to feel it, I had my heart stomped on and shattered by somebody I cared about and thought I could trust.
In the past few days, however, I've come to realize that my shields aren't up anymore because Lilo has managed to figure out the shields' frequencies and move right through them, much like the Duras sisters figured out how to get through the Enterprise's shields in Star Trek: Generations. [/nerd]
Last night, for the first time in many years, I was finally able to say "I love you" to somebody I love, care about, and adore. I'm incredibly heartened and glad that she said she loved me too. While I don't know where this adventure with Lilo will take us, I'm definitely excited to see where it goes.
Thanks to all of you who have offered support and told me that I was worthy of finding somebody and falling in love again. Without your support and kindness, I don't know if I ever would've been able to even bring up how I initially felt to Lilo, much less told her I loved her. I'm so incredibly glad that I found her, and glad that GT helped me get to a place where I could feel love again.