The need for approval is something many of us seek out at an early age. In the beginning, we try to find it from parents by acing exams and doing well in sports or extracurricular activities. Over the years, we turn to our friends for guidance when choosing boyfriends and colleges, and in adulthood, we make decisions together with our spouses on buying houses, figuring out finances, and the schools where we should send our children.
Obviously I haven’t made it that far yet. But this weekend I introduced Bryan to my best friend and I realized how much I wanted her approval. She has always been a voice of reason for me and knows me better than anyone else in the world. I really wanted her to like this one. I’ve been with guys over the years that she had reservations about and she would often see things I was too blind to notice. We tend to see the world through rose-colored lenses when we are in the throes of a new romance.
I visited my parents this weekend to meet the new dog in their lives, and Bryan stopped by Saturday night to pick me up for dinner at Veggie Heaven. After dinner, we intended to visit my best friend’s house to attend her small housewarming. She’d heard stories about Bryan for months and was excited to finally meet him.
In a room full of eight lesbians (a tough audience for some of my previous boyfriends), Bryan was a hit. Maybe it was the way he held my hand under the table, or the fact that he helped me navigate around the icy patches in the driveway, or the subtle glances he exchanged with me from across the room, but I relaxed into his presence and realized that, even though I did still want her approval, I had already found my happy place.
As one of my friends was leaving, she gave me a gentle squeeze and whispered in my ear “I like him. And he’s CUTE!”
My friend later text messaged me to tell me her girlfriend picked up on some of the nuances and they both thought he was awesome. The word “happy” appeared three times. She was happy we had stopped by and happy to see me happy.
I was elated.
After the shindig, Bryan dropped me off at my parent’s house and stayed for a while. As we shared a toast with my family, he picked up Pepe, the sweet little schnauzer, and placed him in his lap. Without even trying, he had made another friend.
That was the moment when I realized that I am madly and hopelessly in love with a 32-year-old banjo-playing vegan.
And also this little guy: