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Sometimes I wonder if my attraction to dramatic love stories is because I was destined to live out my own. I don’t talk about my private life much, but it’s fair to say I’ve had a few soap opera moments. The one person who has been in my life the most is Lisette. We’ve experienced varying degrees of closeness since 2002, and when pressed to describe our relationship to others, I’ve found the easiest way to do that was to say “It’s complicated.”

It is. We are. Complicated and passionate and funny and dramatic and soul mates, though it took a lot of back and forth and two breakups and lots of long, heartfelt discussions to get to that point. And it’s still work, as most relationships are. We’re navigating something new for both of us.

We’re getting married.

So many emotions in that one sentence. Elation, anticipation – I’m excited and terrified all at once. How strange for me that I’ve written about this kind of happiness in so many stories, but hadn’t quite reached the pinnacle of it myself yet, and after 15 years, it feels like we’re just beginning.

One of the best things about our relationship is our blunt honesty with one another. That probably sounds terrifying to some people, to be so blatantly open with someone, other people would blush if they overheard. She and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t know who we’d be if we couldn’t be our unvarnished selves with each other.

I’m lucky that she accepts all my craziness, my perceived faults – not just accepts, but values them. She values me as I am, not for what she’d like me to be. And I love, accept and value her just as she is – brash sense of humor, bright smile, sharp mind, good heart and everything in between. We’ve been through so much separately and together, it’s a comfort to know we’ll always be there for one another. Having been tested, we know we can’t be broken again.