Nearly two months ago, I attended the wedding of one of my former favorite clients. As a dating coach who works mostly with mid-life post-divorcees who were in decades-long marriages, marriage is usually not a priority for them, so this was a special moment.
While I sat in the audience, watching the realization of all Kiel had dreamed and hoped to find come to fruition, I was awestruck by three little words he said. No, it wasn’t THOSE three little words.
It was three other words he whispered quietly to his bride Tiffany.
I would have missed this amazing moment had I been sitting on the other side of the aisle. Kiel had already spoken his vows and it was now Tiffany’s turn. She was overcome with emotion, teary and having a hard time beginning. As they faced each other, he visually held her hands tighter with a little jostle. Then, he said to her softly, “I’ve GOT you!”
The hand jostle and whispered words made me all misty-eyed myself. And it practically made my heart stop with a huge revelation about what I and maybe we, should all really want in our partners. When I spoke to the happy couple at the reception and told them how amazing that moment was, without skipping a beat, Kiel said “That’s my job!”
How many times have we heard someone say, “He GETS me” or “I’m just looking for someone who GETS me?” While I agree this is so very, very important, and there is nothing more validating than someone who gets you and loves you anyway. Someone who GETS you, may not completely understand your own brand of crazy, but they get WHY you have it. Someone who GETS you, looks at you deeply, sees you and instead of looking away, they look deeper into your eyes while smiling and longing to know you more. Someone who GETS you, considers it a privilege to understand your needs and works to meet them.
As I sat in the pew of the church during the wedding, I realized we also need someone who can say “I GOT you” and back it up with their actions. Fine-weathered friends end up not being much of a friend at all, but fine-weathered partners will only lead to lots of disappointment and loneliness, even while coupled.
We need the partner who is going to sit with us and patiently wait until we are ready to share our heart, while we wait by the phone for tough news or test results and yes, we even need someone who wait until we are ready to say those vows we are so excited to pledge.
We also need someone who has GOT us when we are sick and brings us tissues and soup, when we are overwhelmed will take something off our load or massage our shoulders when they can’t, and someone who freely gives to us when we are in a place of needing support knowing it’s our turn to receive what we can’t yet give back in return.
We also need someone who has GOT us when we face an adversary or difficult situation, when we are going through a rough patch with our best friend or teenager, when we are fighting an injustice, and someone who will step in and set boundaries when the in-laws are trying to attack.
Perhaps most importantly, we need someone who has GOT us when we are naked in our vulnerability and share the part of our heart that we’ve rarely, if ever, shared with another. Someone who realizes the sacred ground of those moments, protecting it fiercely and making us feel oh so safe. When working with clients, one of their homework assignments is to explain what love means to them.
For a word that often is overused, we can’t define it as easily as we might think. We often assume the person we are speaking to has the same definition as we do. The answers I hear run the gambit of what it feels like to be loved to what it feels like to love someone else, to a list of single word feelings or characteristics.
Before this beautiful wedding, I would have personally defined love as someone who sees me, strengths and flaws, and chooses to go on a journey of life, love and learning with me. In other words, someone who GETS me.
After this wedding, I would define love as both someone who GETS me AND someone who has GOT me. I’ve been sharing my new revelation with others, including a new friend who around that same time, began to turn into so much more. Besides him being more than I ever dared to dream up, (if we could just order a partner on Amazon), he also seemed to “GET me” almost from the start.
This week, he also had the opportunity to demonstrate the “I’ve GOT you” kind of support this single mama has lacked for many years. He was there for me in ways I easily try to be for others. And even more than verbal, physical and empathy-driven support, when the hard part was over and things turned out better than they could have, he celebrated ME with a special night out.
This is yet another way he GETS me and GOT me, and I loved every minute of it, not because of ego, but because of who he is and who we are becoming together. And I fell even harder for his beautiful soul, (if that is even possible.)
Intentions matter…so if you’re looking for love and sending your wish list out into the universe, don’t limit yourself to someone who just GETS you, you also need someone who has GOT you.
Photo: Getty Images