Broken hearts to Bumble: A True Story

So this story you are about to read is 100% true. All the names in it are real, and nothing is embellished. Follow the timeline to understand where my life is today.

Context

Let’s start this story back in 2014 for context. I had just started to work at Liberty University Online and I was also in the midst of a process of change in my own personal life. To be honest, I had grown annoyed by a lot of what was going around me. I didn’t want to work at the mall anymore, I was over it. I didn’t really want to be at the church I was at even though I was serving faithfully, I was over it. I didn’t want to still be single, I was over it. So I started working at LUO. Now this place was in and of itself a madhouse. What they didn’t tell me in the interview was that everyone that was there was miserable for the most part, and they hated their jobs. Every weekend, these people would all hang out at these parties and get themselves drunk. They would all meet up for church on Sunday, and then do it all over again every week. This cycle of stupidity I myself indulged in for a short while. Then I stopped. I am unsure why I did, but I was over it. I decided to dedicate myself to work. I have always been the type to have a strong work ethic. I ended up making friends with quite a few people who were also over it, and we all began to hang out. We would take weekend trips to various places, go for dinner, just regular stuff. Anyway that went on for quite some time, and then that faded too. During this time, I was making friends while at work as well. One person in particular. In our office there were embedded representatives that would assist us with certain processes. I befriended one of them. What started as just work quickly became something else. We would talk everyday about a bunch of different stuff and it was nice. It was a good escape from the monotony of the day. She was pretty, and funny, and just a really good person. Work friends.

If we pick up in 2015, we were still just friends. A day trip here or there, coffee sometimes and still super friendly. There wasn’t anything romantic involved. Maybe some flirting here and there but then again, when you are friends with the opposite sex, that happens. NBD. The thing about her, she gets me. Like we would talk for hours about things and I found myself always learning from her. It was amazing. There isn’t much to say about it. Well actually there is. I posted a picture on instagram that fall being in a hospital room. I remember her asking me about it, and I froze. We all have secrets and things that we don’t like to touch. This was mine. She asked. I told her. I didn’t even think twice about it. I just told the whole thing. The craziest part about it was that she never changed. I had given up all of the tiny pieces of what I had left, and she never changed. That was new, and different. And I liked it.

Let’s talk about 2016. I will spare you each and every individual story, but by the time the fall came, September to be exact, something was up. I found myself in a place where she was always on my mind, and I was getting this funny feeling. I was freaking out though. I never thought that we would make sense. We were from 2 different worlds, 2 different lives and I assume that there was nothing that would make it click. So we go to DC for a show to see Thirdstory, and on that trip I decided I was going to break down and talk about what I was feeling. I kept talking around it, but I never actually said anything. What an idiot. I knew what I felt, but was not sure how to articulate it. So I said nothing. She was in her feeling things too, and also said nothing. So we said nothing. When you develop romantic feelings for someone, it is really hard to stay friends. We couldn’t. We didn’t. We stopped talking. Why? Because we never talked about it.

Now if that was the end of the story, that would suck. No one wants to hear that. I don’t think that is why you are here. You are here because I posted on IG that I was blogging again and that this post had new information about my life. If you have made it this far, just stay on for a little longer and you will gather the answers that you seek. Time passed, years in fact. She dated other people, I dated other people, life was moving fast. We talked I think twice in between 2017 and 2018. I don’t really remember and it is really irrelevant. So here we are now.

Dating Apps

I don’t do dating apps. I think that they are pointless because typically people on there don’t actually want to meet new people, they are trying to replicate something that they had before. No one wants to “hookup”, they are there for something real, or at least that is what they say. Sure. So I decided to give it a try in the hopes that maybe my assumptions would be wrong. I knew about Tinder from time in the past (we thank God for deliverance), and then I explored each of the ones that I knew nothing about. Hinge and Bumble. I read articles on each, I asked other people about them and all of that. Then I took the plunge. I created accounts on both. Things seemed to be fine at first. A lot of swipes. A lot of talking. Nothing much else. I feel like every time I would bring up the idea of meeting in real life, there was a ton of excuses. So then I stopped trying and starting trolling. Me and my other single friends would literally left swipe everybody and just laugh at their bios. Call it immature of whatever you want, but it was funny. So I had seen her on this app called Bumble once before. I immediately cancelled that. Not because I didn’t want to see if we would connect, but I did it because I didn’t want to know that she would say no. As hard as I come off, I am really soft and emotional. I love the idea of love and falling in love so the idea of being rejected would have hurt too much. See, here’s the thing. I knew I had fallen for her soon after I met her. Maybe it was just that she listened to me at a point in my life when I needed an ear. Or maybe because she has always been one of my biggest supporters when I want to try different things. I recently released music for the world, and I remember a conversation back in 2015 where I was frustrated and over the whole thing and she talked me into not quitting. Actually, she is the reason that you are seeing this on this website. I had tossed around the idea of doing a website for music and life, but didn’t really know how. She showed me this Squarespace thing, and I immersed myself in it. Now I build websites for other people through template sites such as these. It’s a wonderful side hustle. She was the first person to ever take music pictures with me and encourage me to pursue it. When I started playing live shows a few years back, she would come and invite her friends to come and see me play. I could keep going on, but just know she has been 100% since the start of this whole thing.


I know what you are thinking. If all of this is true, then what took you so long. Let me explain. I am deathly afraid of rejection. I don’t like the idea of it, and I hate the feeling after being rejected. I always get in my own head and end up not doing what I wanted to do. This was no different. Because we know so much about each other, she knows all of my flaws, mistakes and skeletons in my closet that I am afraid to talk about. I assumed that was just because we were friends, but she would never see me as more than that. I assumed she saw me like I saw myself. So I didn’t say a word for the longest. So I should have pulled up and just shot my shot, but I was scared. Scared that she didn’t feel like I felt. Scared that I would just be the idiot who fell for someone who didn’t fall too. Little did I know that she was feeling what I was feeling.


Present Day

So I am sitting in the drive-thru at McDonald’s about to get dinner one night, when I see her. On this dating app that I hate so much. And I am faced with 2 options: left or right. Now in 2019 I am a different person. I am a communicator, I am in touch with and honest with my feelings, and I am totally good with being vulnerable. As I am sitting here considering whether to swipe or not, I think about something. I say to myself what is the reality that maybe she did too? I assumed not, but what if? What if we just finally have a conversation, spill everything over the past years out, and go our separate ways? I think about how risky it may be to even connect with her again. I haven’t been sitting at home alone all this time. I have been dating and so that could mean letting all of that go. Is it worth it? Do I even want to? (Yes, I thought about all of this while wanting to get a Big Mac). My answer was simple: Yes. I fell for her once before, and I have some stuff to get off of my chest so even if we have one conversation, this is happening. And yes, if we go on a date and everything that I felt before comes rushing back to me then I am going to embrace it, and go with it. I don’t believe in coincidences. This is an intentional moment. For what? I don’t know, but it is. So I swiped. And it’s a match. I cuss to myself in the car and throw my phone in the back seat. I am paralyzed. I couldn’t even get my order right. I ended up with a quarter pounder (which I despise). Then I waited. I couldn’t say a word until she did, this is how this app works. So I waited until she did. She says “funny seeing you here”. Is it funny? I am not laughing. I am freaking out. So I smoothly respond, and thus starts this conversation. That lasted for like a day or so. Then I was like just text me instead of talking on this app. Again, now I’m being smooth. Haha. Or at least trying to be. We end up going on a date shortly after this whole thing started. 10 min into the drive, I was like “Yep, it’s all back.” Back yes, but different. There is a maturity about it. It’s deeper than just a date. This is starting something. Or restarting something. Either way, we are an “us” again. So we had another date, and we started spending a lot of time together. One night, we are talking about what it is that we are doing, and I started talking about dating v. relationship. In my mind, they are vastly different, and there is a level of commitment involved in it that makes it another level. Dating is just that, but it doesn’t imply just one person. You can date multiple people and everything is cool. Relationship you cannot. It is 2 people, exclusively together. Monogamous. One unit. So during that conversation, I asked her, and she said yes. So we are in a relationship. I have a girlfriend. WHAT?? Yes, I do. I am so happy with her and doing life with her is amazing. We can be totally and completely ourselves and it’s wonderful. We have serious conversation about our future, and what that could look like, but I am not afraid of it at all. It is perfect fit.

So that’s that. Now you know if you didn’t already. Thanks for reading if you made it to the end.

Tory, this last part is for you.

No matter where life has taken us, it has always been you. Mishaps, failed relationships, mistakes of that past, I have always wanted you. I could list all of the ways that you make my life better. You are supportive, affirming, gentle, kind, funny, beautiful, intentional and so many other things that I could not even begin to show how grateful I am for you. There were times where I was sure that I had lost you. I was sure that we would never speak again. There were times where I was sure our story was over. Then I would hear or see something and it would remind me of you. I saw you in books I would read, conversations that I would have. Every time that something exciting happened in my life I wanted to tell you about it. When things were tough in my life, I wanted to call you and talk to you about it. Since the day you came into my life, every moment I have wanted you to be a part of. It has always been you. Whether I was too proud to say it, or too scared to admit it to myself, it has always been you. Now that we are here, it will always be you. When I am excited, when I am sad, when things are seemingly perfect, when things come up to test me to my core, it will always be you. I can count on you to be by my side, and that I am so grateful for. You said it to me before, and I will echo it to you, you feel like home to me. And as cliche as it is, home is where the heart is. It would be really cute to say this is what I feel, but this is more than that. These are things I know. This the truth of my life. It has always, and will always be, you.