I spend all day every day thinking about other couples and their love stories. I talk to them about how they met, what their first date was like, what are their favorite things to do together, and so on. However, rarely do I get to tell my own personal love story, so here goes nothing.
For a long time, I was filming weddings for couples, and it generally made me so happy to see true love and to get to capture it in a way that made those couples so happy to remember that special day, but there was always one time during each wedding when I would get a little sad. It was normally when the bride and groom had a special moment to themselves, away from the cameras. I would catch the groom whispering something to the bride and she would just grin from ear to ear with pure happiness. I always wondered, will I ever have that?
It was something on my mind at every wedding or, after, when I would be editing their video. I couldn't help it. I always focused on bettering myself, learning my craft, and starting and running my business successfully. I never got to concerned with getting married until I started being around engaged couples constantly. One day, about two years ago, I finally got to the point where I knew who I was and what I wanted out of my life, and I realized that it would never matter how successful I became in my business. It wouldn't mean as much to me, if I didn't have someone to share it with and come home to at night. I was done with school, I had been focusing on my career for a couple years and was ready for the next chapter in my life, and like any woman, I know how to multitask, so I decided to start dating again.
Unfortunately for me, it was 2020 and we were in the midst of a global pandemic (millennial probs... am I right?!). Dating, as we knew it, no longer existed. Online dating had become the new norm, and I was sort of okay with that. Online dating in the form of Tinder was the cheapest way to go and it really showed it's value through it's prospects. Tinder (and other dating sites like it for people my age) is one of those things that is horrible and somewhat good at the same time. Most men seemed to either be really weird, just want to hook up, or they would match with you and never message you. I wasn't going to be the one to message a guy because I wasn't looking for a guy that would make me message him first. I was looking for a man who had to get to know me, who wanted to message me first.
So I would get on the app for a couple weeks, get discouraged and depressed by the lack of adequate suitors and lack of progress, and I would delete the app only to download it and start the whole miserable process back over in a couple of weeks because, sadly, it was just about the only way I was going to meet someone. I just kept praying and telling myself that if you truly believe there is only one or a few people who might be right for you, you have to go through a lot of no's to get to that one yes, so I soldiered on. Finally, I came across a profile that was different and stood out to me in every way. This man didn't have any pictures with other girls, he didn't wear douche-bag shades in all of his pictures, his caption wasn't that cheesy or lame, and he was incredibly HANDSOME! He was quite literally the definition of "tall, dark, and handsome." He also had such a cute picture of him as a little boy at the very end. He seemed like an actual catch! So I swiped right (this is very funny if you have seen the short film I wrote and directed - look it up)!
Turns out, he actually super liked me! I was honestly shocked. I couldn't believe I found someone decent on this horrid app, but obviously I wanted to know more. The first good sign was he messaged me first. He actually messaged me for the first time one day after I had just found out my best friend had died unexpectedly of cancer. So naturally, I thought about whether or not I should message him back. I was extremely sad at this time, and it somehow felt wrong to want to message him back, but ultimately, I knew my friend would want me to find some happiness in this time of grief, so we began to talk. I found out that he was my age, his name was Bruno, and he was from Brazil, but not just from Brazil, he currently lived in Brazil!
We began to talk every day for a week and the weeks turned into a month and the month turned into a few months and pretty soon half a year had gone by. Everything about him was everything I had ever prayed to God to have in a man. We both couldn't believe we managed to find each other online during a pandemic. When we talked, it was like we had already known each other from a past life and we were just catching up. It just felt right. We talked every single day, he met my parents via video call, and then, one day, we decided it was time to meet in person. He turned out to be the sweetest and most genuine human I've ever met. He is kind, humble, smart, hard-working (an electrician - I know, shocking!), romantic, creative, and he fell in love with me just as much as I fell in love with him. My parents were so supportive and even helped me foot the bill for the plane ticket. You know what happened next? That's right. This GA-born, southern accent-havin', coke zero-drinkin', never travelled out of the country before, Louisiana girl travelled for 17 hours to meet a man named Bruno in Brazil!
I know what you're thinking... How could you fall in love with someone over the phone? How could you ever trust him enough to travel all the way to Brazil!? Are you crazy?! To answer some of these, I'm sure you're thinking... it's actually really easy to fall in love with someone over video chat and using the phone than in real life, when you are looking for the right things. If you're only worried about sex, this is not your ideal way of dating. With online dating, you aren't worried about all of the physical pressures of dating in person. The physical side of things can give us butterflies and make you feel like your falling in love, but, in reality, that's only a tiny part of a real relationship. The real stuff comes in the deep conversations you have with one another and the hard questions you ask each other. Getting to know each other online is a great way to get to know someone, and when there are no physical distractions, their true personalities shine through.
As far as trusting Bruno, I never trusted anyone more in my life, besides my own mother. Honestly, it was hard for me at first because I, like most people, have past traumas that unfortunately carry over into current relationships, but seeing him on video call almost every day and having everything else he said check out, I had no real reason not to trust him, only my anxious wildest paranoid thoughts. Am I crazy? Maybe a little, but I believe you have to take chances sometimes in life. You have to take a deep breath and don't think, just jump, and hope you land on your feet surrounded by joy. In this case, it worked out very well for me...
To be continued...
*Even though I met a very kind and trustworthy person online who ended up being my fiancé, this is, unfortunately, not the case for everyone. Please be careful when looking online for love. Don't ever send anyone any amount of money for any reason. If they are asking for money, it is probably a scam. There are many red flags you can look for when trying to find out if you're being scammed or not. Sadly, this happens all to often to many people, but don't let that stop you from falling in love with someone online or from another country. Remember, not everyone is bad or has bad intentions. Some people just want to be loved and to give love in return. I will leave a link to a website on how to look for signs that you are being scammed below. Just one or a few of these red flags does not necessarily mean you are being scammed, but use your best judgement and be smart.