A few weeks ago, Slim Jackson wrote Do Men Think About Their Wedding Day? Because I haven’t thought much about my wedding day, the post actually made me think about the mortality of my parents. While EBM came under fire for expressing similar sentiments, I couldn’t care less about my wedding day. It’s one day. I’m worried about the marriage. I’m focused on the “until death do us part” part.

Over the years, some women I’ve dated have accused me of being too caught up in the future. They’re right. It’s pretty difficult for me to focus on the day to day if I haven’t figured out the year to year. I sometimes struggle in relationships and have ended some, perhaps even preemptively, if I realized early on that I couldn’t see forever with a particular woman.

I recently heard Frank Ocean’s Thinking About You; the words, especially the chorus, inspired me to think about the woman I’ll one day Love. Some believe she exists in nothing more than my imagination. Others are outright rooting for this to be true but I’ve never harbored such doubts myself. I believe in love, happiness, and yes, forever. I’ve seen healthy and happy relationships demonstrated in my parents 30 year marriage and in my great aunt’s 70 year marriage just to name a few. You can focus on the 50% divorced if you choose. I’ve chosen to focus on the 50% married. I’ve always believed my future wife and I are being drawn toward one another by a force I can neither understand or control; more than anything I’ve ever desired in my life, I look forward to loving her…

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A tornado flew around my room before you came
Excuse the mess it made, it usually doesn’t rain
In Southern California, much like Arizona
My eyes don’t shed tears, but boy they bawl
When I think about you

The Past – I’ve broken a few hearts in my day. I spent years chasing the inconsequential. I was insensitive, selfish, and insecure. I was … a boy. One day, I had my own heart broken. I deserved it. For years, pain hemorrhaged relentlessly from the wounds of my broken heart, enough to debilitate emotionally without actually killing. I realized I wasn’t worthy of you, yet. I had to grow up. In time, I accepted I had to prepare myself for you. The woman I wanted to be with deserved better than the boy that I was. I had to strive to improve for you. I had to take, fail, and then pass life’s test. Years later, I emerged weakened but with a new mature perspective on life. I collected the fragments of my shattered heart and used the strength of the hands of time to heal it for you.  I had to earn the right to be with you. I had to become a man worthy of your company.  I walked away from loves that weren’t as great as what you and I would one day build together. I began my journey filled with emotional turmoil, constant personal reflection and self-doubt. I emerged a man.

Yes, of course I remember,
How could I forget?
How you feel?

The Present – Every word on Love I’ve ever written has been a subconscious dedication in your honor. Every weight I lift, physical and emotional, is meant to ensure I can support you when the time is right. I’ve reached a point in life, career, and personal growth where I feel I’m ready for you, but rather than grow complacent, I continue to strive for improvement. I genuinely look forward to being the man you choose to allow in your life. I vow not to take you or the gravity of your choice for granted. I want you to feel confident in your decision and trust in my words, because my actions always serve to reassure you. I want to remove the doubts you ever had about true Love. It’ll no longer matter what you went through apart from me. As a part of me, you will trust that I will take care of you.

It won’t ever get old, not in my soul
Not in my spirit, keep it alive
We’ll go down this road
Til it turns from color to black and white

The Future – I have daydreams of falling on one knee before you with the knowledge that we’ve found something exceptional in each other. Having witnessed the Love we’ve nurtured, the congratulations of friends and family will flow freely. I imagine how beautiful you’ll look on our wedding day. I see myself trembling with anticipation, struggling to hold it together, as tears of joy plead for a late invite. I’ll stand taller than I’ve ever stood as the weight of patiently waiting on you, my wife, the woman I will Love, finally lifts from my shoulders as I watch you approach. You will have been worth every passing minute. Standing a mere few feet from my destiny, your hands clasped in mine, in the radiance of your beauty I see reflections of our son’s contagious smile. I secretly wonder if the joy in our daughter’s eyes will reflect from irises more reminiscent of yours or mine? The melodic rhythm of our unborn children’s adolescent laughter is the soundtrack to the visions of the family I look forward to raising with you.

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When I finally gather myself I realize, for now, it’s all a vivid fantasy of the woman I’ll Love. Sometimes I wonder if you’re out there, wherever you are, having similar dreams of our life together or…

Do you not think so far ahead?
Because I’ve been thinking about forever.

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