In honor of our third anniversary and due to the number of messages that I receive daily on dating, “how I knew R was the one”, and related topics, I figured that I would sit down and write a quick post answering a few of those questions. First things first, I dated a lot of not so great people before I finally decided to stop “playing the game” (side note, I LOVED the chase, the game, etc). I loved a good challenge. I loved the anticipation.. and then I didn’t anymore. A few heartbreaks later and a lot of wasted time, I realized that it was time to start focusing on me, deleting those numbers from my phone and moving on. Want to know the interesting thing? I met Rico literally two weeks after I promised myself to just focus on myself and to stop engaging with the dickwads (sorry) that didn’t deserve me, or my time. Kind of funny how it works out that when you stop looking for something, it appears.
I can promise you that: I wasn’t looking. I had just decided that I was going to go to graduate school and that I was going to chase my dreams. That’s when God decided, hey girl, I have someone I have been saving for you, for when you finally come to your senses and stop trying to control things and make things (aka, those above mentioned dickwads) something that they aren’t meant to be (or at least, thats what I like to think God was thinking when he plopped Rico down in my life, lol). I met Rico early in June when I was nannying about 8 young kids. I had a good friend who played on the Purdue Football team that texted me that same day asking what I was up to, and I mentioned that I was nannying and he said “after summer workouts, i’ll stop by and meet the kids.” Well, he did just that, and he brought along a few guys, one of which who ended up being Rico, but, I thought his name was Albert (and I called him Albert for all two of the hours that they hung out with the kids playing football, and basketball– he didn’t have the heart to tell me that wasn’t his name). So, two hours later, I order pizza to thank the guys and feed the kids and as I was serving up pizza I looked at “Albert” and asked “do you want cheese or pepperoni”… only then, one of the little guys I was watching spoke up and said “Grace, I don’t know who you are calling Albert, but, his name is Ricardo, Ricardo Allen and his face is on the side of a bus.” Oh, cue the armpit sweat and extreme embarrassment. I was kind of sad because I had been watching Rico all day. I was so impressed by him. But, in that moment I knew that I would probably never talk to him again.
Fast forward four days. I got a DM on Twitter asking me to go get ice cream, and it was from Rico. I agreed to ice cream, but I promised myself before I left that I wasn’t going to fall for this guy because I was going to focus on me. Well, friends, God had other plans. I left the house at 3:30pm and told my Mom i’d be home by dinner. Dinner time came and I didn’t even realize that 3 hours had passed. Our conversation flowed too well. It was like talking to the male version of myself. He had goals. He was driven. He was insanely honest– about who he was, about what he was typically* like with women, and about what he wanted for his life. Remember, I wasn’t going to fall for him. I went into this whole thing thinking that a friendship was good enough for me. 3am, I got a text from my Mom, I still remember it “Grace, just checking to make sure you’re okay.” Lol, so much for those being home by dinner plans.
I went home around 3:30 am, went to my summer job the entire next day, and back over to Rico’s as soon as I finished work. This became the routine for about 8 weeks. Want to know the really amazing part of this all? Rico didn’t attempt to even kiss me for 8 weeks, and we literally spent every waking moment together. It was like nothing I had ever experienced, and truth be told, I knew I was falling. But, for the first time in my life, I wasn’t scared. From that very first day that we hung out, it was honest from the get go. Was it kind of awkward hearing about how he was with other people? Yes. But, looking back now, this is what established the foundation of honesty and trust that our entire lives, marriage and now family, is built off of. I never once wanted R to be anybody other than who he was, and he wanted the same from me. We showed our ugly straight up from the jump. I knew who he was. He knew me. We were honest to a freaking fault, and we still are. Somedays, this really sucks. There is zero sugar coating anything in the Allen family (a big reason why a lot of people don’t make the cut, year after year. just being honest). We critique. We do accountability, and more than anything, we love and we support and we remind ourselves when days get hard that “the grass is greenest where it’s watered.”
August 1st I was down in Miami with my family, Rico checked in for his Junior year of Football camp. I was in the Target produce section in Miami when I got a text from R that read “so, are we going to do this thing or what?” which, in normal people terms means: “do you want to be my girlfriend?” to which I responded “fuck yes, let’s do this thing.” and friends, the rest is history.
All I can say is this: when it’s meant to be, it’s easy, it isn’t forced. when it’s meant to be, you don’t have to beg for someone’s attention, or respect. when it’s meant to be, the other person will be more interested in your mind than your body. when it’s meant to be, it’ll be. wait for it. I promise it’s so worth it.
Yes, I remember how scary it was in the days before R when I wondered what my life would look like, if I would ever be married, if I would ever have kids. I have been there, and honestly, I wouldn’t trade a single second of it– because, it’s led me to where I am right now. The truth is, I knew I was going to marry Ricardo after the first three weeks of spending time with him, God literally told me. It was one of the times in my life that I heard His voice most clearly, and even though I knew it wouldn’t be an easy road, I trusted that voice, and I chose to roll with it. I’ve had Rico’s back from the very beginning and I will until the end of time. Most of the world these days, sucks. Honestly. People are out for themselves and whats in it for them. There is nothing like knowing that no matter what comes your way that you have someone who is going to back you until the end of time. I am that to him, and he to me.
Happy Anniversary to the one I love. xo, G