Some years ago, I was celebrating my 26th birthday with two friends in a beach city called Nha Trang, Vietnam. That day we went out to dance at this bar, where I met a beautiful South-African girl, half African and half Dutch. She had tanned skin, green eyes, and curly hair, she looked like a pretty girl from Brazil. We danced and talked all night. She ended up being a scuba diving instructor. I said to myself: she is pretty and interesting! I was attracted to her. In the end, I walked her back to her home. We walked and got to the entrance of her apartment, there we kissed and she told me: I would like to invite you in to stay but I share a room with a roommate so I can’t, but here is my email and here is where I work, look for me tomorrow. The next day, after I had recovered from the hangover, I saw her email, and the pictures we took that night. I wanted to see her again but I thought: she must have been very drunk when she gave me the info, I don’t think she really wanted to see me again, what if I go looking for her at her job and she says “Who are you, what are you doing here?”. And so I didn’t look for her, I spent that day by myself walking around the beach instead, thinking of her. Days later when we had already left I still had her in my mind, so I emailed her back, she replied and said: “Hey why didn’t you go see me? I wanted to see you again, are you still in town?”. She did want to see me! “Man, what an idiot!” I said to myself.
Years later, on a winter night in Coronado, California, I was at the beach talking with this beautiful girl, she was Mexican, with British roots, she had beautiful green eyes, a nice smile, and a big heart. A story that comes to mind about her was that one day, while we were walking, she saw a guy struggling with his car, I hadn’t even noticed, but she pointed it out and went to ask if he needed some help, that was the type of person she was, always looking to help out. I had met her some weeks earlier and I really liked her. She was pretty, fun, and spontaneous. We were at the beach, and all of a sudden she told me: Angel, let’s go skinny dipping! I thought to myself “Man, I really want to do it, but she is going to see that I’m not fit, that I don’t have a great body and she is going to laugh or worse, leave”. Did I want to do it? Yes! Did I want to see her naked? For sure, but I said no. The next day I thought about that moment and said to myself “Man what an idiot! Why didn’t I say yes?”.
Some years went by, I was in Alice Springs celebrating the end of our Outback trip. I had been traveling with this group of people and we had become very good friends. There was this girl in particular, a pretty German girl, with whom I’ve had a very good connection. She was 19 at the time, and I was 29. She was very mature for her age, and I was not as much for mine, so we met up right in the middle. For the last day together, we went out bar hopping and dancing. I spent the whole night with her talking, dancing, and having fun. At the end of the night, she, a friend, and I shared a cab to our hotels. They dropped me off first. When I was getting off the taxi, my friend yelled at me: “Angel! I think she wants to spend the night with you”. I immediately laughed, I thought “This beautiful girl doesn’t want to stay with me, I’m pretty sure he’s just messing with me to make me look bad when I ask her and she says no”. So I didn’t, I laughed, said good night and went to my hotel. The next day, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, was it true? Did I make a mistake? So, I texted her and asked if it was true, she texted me back and said “Now you’ll never find out” with a wink at the end. “Man, what an idiot!” I thought, she did want to stay and I blew it.
By now you can see there was a pattern. I would say to myself “I’m just not good with women, I guess I’ll just be single for the rest of my life”. Fortunately, years later this would change. My friend Jamal recommended me this course called Landmark Forum, he said it was life-changing, he couldn’t really explain in what way, but my interest was peaked. I did it, and on the first day, when they asked me why I was there I said I had no idea, that I was just curious about what it was all about. And what an experience it was. There I found out that it was not that I was not good with women, the reality was that a decade before I was in love with someone who didn’t feel the same way, and it broke my heart. So, as a defense mechanism, I created the story that I was not worthy of love, not worthy of being loved, especially by someone that I felt was out of my league. I created this story to avoid being hurt again. What a revelation this was, it made perfect sense. At the end of the course, I promised myself that next time I would go for it, I would say and do what I really felt, I would act with the heart, consequences be damned.
In 2020, I got a chance to apply this. At an online class I was taking with other 100 people from all over the world, in our first Zoom group call I saw this beautiful girl, she had this friendly and approachable air to her that really captivated me. It was love at first sight. But I knew nothing about her, was she single? Married? Where does she even live? It took me some weeks to talk to her, we texted for some days, then I asked her if she wanted to have a Zoom call with me. We talked for hours, it was an instant connection. We had so much to talk about, we made each other laugh, and hours just flew by. She had it all – intelligence, humor, joy, fitness, a love for her parents, shared interests, fluency in 5 languages, a fantastic job – the list just went on. Honestly, she was everything I could have ever hoped for in a girl, and even more. At the end of our first call, I was in love. I wanted to talk to her again, as soon as possible. I wanted to invite her on a virtual date, but part of me said “No! She is going to say no, she is too out of my league, plus this is too soon”, another part of me said “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no, what do you have to lose?”. Thus, I did it, I asked her and she said yes! We talked for some weeks, she lived in London, and I lived in San Diego. She invited me to go live with her, and 6 days later I was on a flight to London, I bought a one-way ticket. After less than a week of living together, I knew she was the one, this time I was listening to my heart, my brain could not be trusted. After two weeks of meeting her in person, I asked her to marry me. Was it sudden? Yes. Was I scared she would say no? For sure. But you know what? My heart was telling me to go for it, so I did. And as they say, the rest is history. We’ve been married for over two years and have a beautiful one-and-a-half-year-old boy.
Good thing I stopped thinking I was not good with women…
Lesson: we are all worthy of being loved