I thought I knew a lot about love and myself but I was soon proven wrong. One summer evening, I was on a dating app and came across a particular Italian guy’s profile. His smile captured me and I thought, “why not?” and the messaging started.

The texts flowed organically and we were drawn to each other. He was intrigued to know everything about me – the small and the big things. The more he expressed an interest in who I am, the more I fell in love with myself. I know this sounds crazy, but as I revealed more about me, I had a chance to listen to myself and how far I’d come.

I’ve never had a man who truly listened, who actually wanted to know the inner workings of who I am. My thoughts, feelings, insecurities, fears, successes, happy moments and everything in between. He was so genuinely invested that it gave me a chance to look at me with a lot more depth.

While this whole experience made me fall in love with him, it actually gave me a chance to see how remarkable of a woman I am (without being vain). I realized I didn’t need someone else to see the beauty within me or to see the resilience I have (I say this with modesty and humbleness). He held up the mirror and for that I am forever grateful. But it was a reminder that the attractiveness he saw in me as always been there and I had almost taken myself for granted.

I saw how amazing he was. I was constantly in awe by who he was and how kind and gentle he was with me. But what I forgot was that he was that with me because my energy (who I am) gave him that space and confidence to be that. This is not to say that he wasn’t all those things because he was. We behave a certain way with certain people based on how they make us feel. We respond to how they see us or make us feel; energies go a long way.

We are different with different people. We are goofy with those that don’t take themselves seriously. We are giving to those that are open to receiving. We are romantic with those that are dreamy. The reason I fell for this guy is because I brought out his qualities like he brought out mine. There are certain aspects that I needed a boost or reminding and perhaps the same is true for him.

Each time we meet someone, they bring out something in us. At that moment, we may be unaware of what it is but in time, it all gets revealed. Each person brings a new experience, and with that experience brings growth if we allow ourselves to see beyond the surface.

May the new year and decade bring you the people that bring out the best in you and you in them. I hope in 2020 I bring out what they need reminding and they in me. With each new year, I hope to grow and experience more of me through the people I meet and the experiences I have.

To love and life.