32 years old and single: that’s how I ended up ringing in 2018. My sister had died 11 months prior, my parents and brother were all paired up, and I had moved back to my hometown after being away for 7 years, so I didn’t have many local friends. To top it all off I had just been dumped. To say I was lonely would be the understatement of the year.
I had been in several relationships in my 20s and early 30s, but I either picked the wrong men or I used my hangups to royally screw it up. As a last resort I joined Match.com and low and behold, I met my future husband and father of my child.
Charlie was a rare find. He had been in a four year relationship and then took a year and a half off from dating, so he wasn’t ruined by the millennial dating apps or hookup culture. He was a shy, sweet, and genuine man looking for love. According to Charlie, he knew I was the one from the moment he saw me waiting in the bar for him on our first date. We felt very comfortable with each other very quickly, and although I pretty much packed a bag shortly after meeting him and stayed at his condo every night, he never pressured me into anything physical. I had never encountered a man so respectful who actually valued my company first and foremost. And we truly loved being around each other, even if it was just to watch SVU reruns for 12 hours straight.
Like every woman who finally meets a good guy, I had my brief moment of doubt. I think it’s biologically programmed in us somehow – some ridiculously irrational fear of ending up with a guy who treats us the way we deserve to be treated. But he waited for me. And thank goodness I overcame that stupidity, as I think the most exciting thing that could ever happen to me is finding a man who would wake up at 2 am to change a diaper, who writes me love emails after a few beers, makes me laugh like crazy, and stands by me whenever I need him (Forbes better or worse).
Charlie has an amazing sense of humor, is kind hearted and sensitive, is a Southern gentleman, and absolutely adores me. He’s my best friend, partner, and teammate. As I said in my wedding speech, I knew he was the one the moment he came to rescue me and my stranded car, a few months into dating. And after we went through our first tragedy together 30 days into our marriage, I never felt closer to anyone else in my life or fell more deeply in love with him. So despite all the bad that has happened in life, I am so fortunate to have amazing family and friends, as well as a wonderful man by my side, to experience all of life’s ups and downs with. He’s my happy ending, despite our shared loss.
I rang in 2019 even more sadly than 2018, as Charlie and I had lost our daughter on New Years Eve. But unlike 2018, this year I wasn’t alone. In just one year I had met and married my best friend, gained a dog I absolutely adore, bought our first home together, went on our honeymoon across the globe, carried our first child for 3 months, and became a Forbes. He gave me everything and for that I will cherish him forever.