Insta-love. Love at first sight. Immediate connection. Whatever you call it, I believe in it.
Many readers and reviewers complain insta-love is unreal and improbable, but in my experience, it’s not.
I’ve fallen in love twice in my life: once at twenty-one and again at thirty-seven. Both times it was fast, hard, and overwhelming. At twenty-one, I came home and told my mom I’d met the man I was going to marry – despite having a serious boyfriend. Within a year, Bug and I married and lived happily for the next thirteen years.
Then our life fell apart. Bug’s personality changed from his traumatic brain injury, and I no longer knew the man I was married to.
But let’s get back to twenty-one – before all the bad stuff happened. Bug’s smile killed me. His self-confidence was sexy. And the fact he wanted me was icing on the cake. So when he asked me to marry him after six weeks, I didn’t hesitate. Who cared if we were young? I knew I loved him deeply and always would.
It was insta-love, and now I’d have it no other way, because for me, it worked. We complimented each other and made one another better versions of ourselves. It was, in my opinion, a perfect marriage. I loved my life, and felt blessed and proud every day to be married to such a wonderful, generous, loving man.
Fast forward to thirty-seven. I still wanted the thrill of insta-love, but I also wanted something deeper, richer, and with more substance than what I knew at twenty-one.
Basically, what I wanted at twenty was different than what I wanted at forty – I needed more than blind faith. I wanted companionship, a good father, and a rock. In many ways, I wanted my old life and husband back, but improved and shinier.
During that time, I wanted to rabbit hole back to twenty-one and have a do-over. I wanted to unmarry Bug. I wanted so badly to believe our insta-love was real, but how could I when it seemed to have a shelf-life?
The expectations of how my life was supposed to be disappeared and so did my belief in insta-love.
As a kid, I didn’t dream about forty the way I did my twenties. I didn’t fantasize about mortgages, hospital bills, and sick parents. I couldn’t fathom affairs, abuse, and emotional damage at the hands of someone I loved dearly. At twenty, I couldn’t see beyond dreaming of my future husband, the names of our kids, what my wedding would look like, and what kind of career I’d have.
Mid-life was something off in the distance. Something I knew would happen, but I pretended not to see. Because forty wasn’t supposed to be about love and romance. I mean, who fantasizes about the mundaness of life?
Much like my attitude towards mid-life, I didn’t think about what my new life with my husband would look like. All I saw for months was the pain his new personality caused me, and I wanted out. The love was gone.
Until one day, there was smile. A gesture. A desire.
A turning point.
And I fell fast. Hard. Completely.