I’ve been thinking of true love lately. One could say, well Lexxie, you’re a romance author, of course you should be thinking of true love. Every day in fact, but that’s not neccessarily the case. When you write romance–and in my case, sometimes violent, aggressive romance–you spend a lot of time thinking about conflict, anger and heartache. There is no HEA if they are HATT (that’s Happy All The Time *grin*) so a romance author will spend quite a bit of time thinking of how her/his characters are to be torn apart, how their internal conflicts will be impacted on by their external conflicts, how dark to make the “dark” moment of the plot, how “mean” to be to the characters on the page. (On a side note, one of my favourite review quotes is “Ms. Couper is not one to hold back in order to make us feel better about how things happen.” It’s true. The twisted side of me obviously decided sometime ago that the characters in my dark erotic books need to suffer a bloody lot before they get their HEA.)

The reason I’ve been thinking about true love of late is probably due to the fact I’ve just celebrated my 11th Wedding Anniversary. And the funny thing about this is the fact very first time I met my (then to-be future) husband I went through two very very clear emotional responses to him. Two responses that now makes me realise he was my true love story from the very beginning.

I’d moved to the big city I now call home from a small country town. I’d moved to study art at university and a guy I’d more or less been in a relationship with (kinda) moved with me. We shared a small apartment (in a platonic understanding) half way between uni campus and his new place of work.

Two days after moving in, I went to visit him at work (he’d left his lunch at home and I was on my way to uni to spend a quiet Saturday in the dark room so I thought I’d drop it in to him). I walked into the store he worked at and was approached by another sales assistant who didn’t know who I was.

This guy…

To this day, I will never forget my reaction to “this guy”. I stood motionless, gazing up into his gorgeous face. He was 6ft 3 at least (I’m 5ft 3), lean with broad shoulders, thick black hair hanging over his forhead in a shaggy tumbled mess, straight thick black eyebrows, irises so dark I couldn’t see their pupils and a strong hawkish nose. I was instantly in lust. I thought he was the most sexy, gorgeous guy I had seen in my entire twenty-two years of life.

I introduced myself, my belly twisting into a nervous, excited little note.

Five minutes later, I walked away from the sexiest, most gorgeous guy I’d ever met thinking “what an arrogant bastard”. He was. And you know what, he still is. But now the words I use to describe “this guy” are “supremely confident”. Two years after meeting him in a store, of hanging out with him and his friends, of helping him with uni assignments and having him help me (he was studying a degree in Industrial Design at the same uni as I) I went on my first, honest-to-goodness date with him. We went and saw “Interview With A Vampire” and despite never taking my eyes off the screen I can’t remember a thing about that movie. Four years after that first real date, we got married.

We’ve been through some up and downs, but on the night of our wedding anniversary (last Saturday) my husband and I talked about why we made it to 11 years when so many of our friends and family said we wouldn’t. Y’know what we realised. Even after seventeen years of knowing each other and fifteen years of being in a relationship, we still like being with each other. We still like each others company. We still enjoy each other on every level. We still laugh together, get upset about the same things together, get angry about the same things, get angry at each other about the same things. We still worried about the same things. We are very very different in personality (he’s black and white, I’m all sorts of gray), we have different approaches to every day life (he’s a perfectionist organisationalist, I’m unorganised and way too laid back) and at times we have different philosophies on raising our daughters but we compliment each other so well we’re lost without the other.

When I think of true love, I don’t think of a blissful anger-free existence. I think of my husband, my lover, my best friend and I realise true love is wonderfully real.

Happy Anniversary, Sexy Man. May the next eleven years be as real at the last.

Now, I’ve told you my true love story. You tell me yours. Or even your true love for now story. Go on…you never know what it will make you realise 🙂