Alfred and I met in fall 2018, on a dating app. I usually hate using them, because the only thing guys seem to want is a nude pic and shallow conversation. But, I decided to give it a go with very little expectations. Little did I know my soulmate would be waiting for me on the other side.
Back in 2014, I made a difficult decision to quit my stable job that I've been at for 5yrs, leave a relationship that I was in for the last 14yrs and follow my heart to the other side of the world to Seoul, South Korea. I spent 1yr there living my dream with a man who I thought would be my lifelong partner. We went back and forth for 4 years Korea > Canada < Korea to be together, until finally in 2016 I decided to marry him. Fast forward to the beginning of 2018 and our relationship had already started to deteriorate. I was devastated and tried everything I could to make it work until I realized, you can't force someone to love you. You can't make someone stay who doesn’t want to. I beat myself up constantly hearing the words of friends and family (and even my internal instinct) of “you should have known better” or “why did you give everything up to do this?”, I put my job in jeopardy, lost friends, money, a lot. Considering we were married I felt like I failed. These would be two failed relationships for me and thought “maybe I don’t deserve to be loved”.
But this story isn’t about failed relationships, it's about opening your heart up again and being vulnerable to real love. As I mentioned at the beginning of this story, I thought I'd give the dating app another go. At the very least, maybe I will find someone to occupy myself to get over the heartbreak. I wasn’t expecting to meet a nice guy, they don’t exist on these apps, do they?
Enter Alfred. This guy only wanted to “talk” on the app. Didn’t ask me for risqué pictures, didn’t ask me to jump into bed with him on the first conversation, in fact, all he wanted to do was talk. And we talked, for hours. Non-stop. Chatting, texting, calling. For weeks. I learned that he too struggled with a bad long-term relationship, which led to alcohol abuse. He was single for almost 4yrs afraid of getting back into a new relationship. See he had overcome the demons that drove him to drink, he was 4 years sober at this point and thought the same, maybe I should give it another go.
After a few weeks of chatting and getting to know each other, we finally decided to meet. That night was magical. I learned We met for dinner at a cute Thai restaurant near my place. We could not stop staring at each other, we had a great conversation, and after the meal as we left the restaurant, he grabbed my hand and walked me down the street. Normally, I feel shy to show public affection, but for some strange reason, I felt comfortable with him. It was weird. An instant connection, that very night I knew he was the ONE for me. My soulmate.
We went on and continued dating for a few months, we were inseparable. We texted and chatted throughout our workdays, met each other after work for dinner and dates. He would send me flowers to work, just because. He met my family and friends and they loved him, until, he broke up with me, over text in the middle of the night randomly one day.
Did something happen? Nope. Nothing, in fact, that same night we went out dancing on Church St with our friends and it was GREAT. He dropped me off, kissed me goodnight and I woke up to his TEXT. Yes, a TEXT! Man was I livid, and confused! You see, for him, coming from years of living in a very unhealthy relationship, he couldn’t understand why things were so easy. Where are the fighting and yelling? Why isn’t there this lustful urge to just want to have sex all day? It seemed like we were just best friends that really enjoyed each other’s company, that can't be love, right?
So we moved from “dating” to be “friends”. “Friends” that texted and called each other every day, and said good night to one another before bed. We continued to go out and have fun, we said “I love you”…it was weird. And it was confusing and I wasn’t sure if I could continue on with living in this false reality. We weren’t “just friends” and we both knew that. One day, on my birthday (about a month and a half since we broke up) he showed up at my work with two dozen roses with a card that said “I choose you, I've always chosen you”. Tears. I was elated.
Needless to say, we were inseparable from then. He moved in with me a month later, we decided to purchase our first place together later that year, we traveled to Mexico, France, Iceland, and New York City. And we eventually plan on saying our I do’s. When we’re ready.
The moral of the story is, fight for your happiness. There is such a thing as “Good Love”. Not all same-sex relationships are fleeting. You know you’ve met your soulmate when it's easy. Things just flow and you get one another. We all deserve that and I'm so glad I decided to go back on that app.
Lots of love, from Ryan and Alfred.
Ryan is the Location Manager for a travel company and specializes in LGBTQ travel.
Alfred is a College Professor and part-time fashion model and artist.