Since witnessing my parents' horrific divorce when I was young - though old enough to remember! - I decided that the one thing I'd never do was break a girl's heart. In my naivety, I presumed that the only way to acheive this was not to ever find a girlfriend so that the complication of ending a relationship never came up.
Considering it was a pretty bad plan constructed by a 6-year old (as a knee-jerk reaction to events out of my control!), it lasted a long time. Even once I had realised the flaws of eternal loneliness, I was still too afraid to try for love because I lacked experience and therefore self-confidence!
My first real attempt at love came last summer at camp. I met a cute, kind girl who shared a few of my interests and who could make me laugh. We became good friends quickly and I decided that I should ask her out - not wanting to lose her to some American "plastic" when the camp opened and the Philadelphian counsellors arrived. I spent 4 days thinking of nothing else and finally plucked up the courage. Within a week of meeting her I asked her out!
She said no. I was told that I had flattered her but since I wasn't really her type, it wouldn't work out. Considering I had waited more than 2 years to build up the confidence to make this move, it had been a lot easier to take than I had expected. Obviously, I was still devastated but I felt relieved that she didn't hate me and felt stupid that I hadn't waited a bit longer!
Again, I slipped into a routine where girls didn't really feature and tried to get on with my life - instead deciding to let them find me. I increased my self-esteem, felt happier and hung on to my "nice guy" morals - only with confidence! Although I met a few girls in different situations in Canada, I didn't really feel the need to chase one and was content to have my own life.
In April, at Kids Club Camp, I saw a female leader who I didn't recognise from previous Kids Club meetings. I thought she looked cool but (despite being one of the loudest, most outgoing leaders at the camp!) was scared to approach her - since I had spent the weekend acting oddly for the kids and didn't want her to think me a freak!
A few days later I returned from work to a new "friend request" from a name that I didn't recognise on my Facebook profile. I decided to add the girl, check out her profile and then delete her if it turned out that she was not somebody that I knew.
As I was scouring her profile, wondering how I knew her, I stumbled across her "favourite music" section and was immediately intrigued. Whereas most people I had met on this trip had never heard of Sigur Rós, she had it listed in her top 3! Deciding to ask her about some Canadian/American music that I had never heard which she liked (since our music seemed very similar!), we got talking about the Radiohead concert this summer and I decided to buy her a ticket so that I had a true music fan to go with!
Over the next few months we became much closer and began spending long periods of time online or texting each other. When questioned I defended that we were just friends and I honestly hadn't considered a romantic relationship much at all - still waiting for the perfect girl to show up in my life.
After mistaking a kiss for something more serious with another girl, I began telling close friends and family that I had found a girl (who admittedly I wasn't madly in love with - but I figured that I could work on that!) and one of the people that I told was Jill.
She text me back with a confession that she had actually also had a thing for me. As the day unfolded the other girl started giving me reasons not to like her and by the end of the day I wasn't even interested in talking to her. I went out that night and decided to think things through - quizzing some of Cory's friends about my dilemma since I really liked Jill but didn't want to do anything too quickly, having just been messed about!
The next day I texted Jill a lot before chatting to her on MSN. We discussed our feelings for each other as well as how we thought our friends and family would react to the relationship. After deciding that we'd ask her Mum - and receiving a very positive response - we made it official and changed our planned night to Prince Caspian to be our first date.
Walking back along the dike as the sun set on a clear evening,
offering a breathtaking view of the mountains and the water!
The night went well and we have seen each other a few times since (though not every day) and are definitely amazing together. On the following Sunday I was taken to a Malaysian restaurant by my cousins, aunt and uncle for my birthday and brought her along. She seemed to get along well with everyone and it was an awesome day. We can't see it ending for quite some time and are very happy together!