Danielle Stahl – Love takes time
Couple’s Love Song: For The Longest Time – Billy Joel
When I met Josh – I had no idea how my life would change. There was no way of knowing what the future would hold… what challenges we would face… the love we would share…the tests our love would endure. I have to laugh now because he was so cute that he made me fumble on my words, and blush when we first met. The first words I ever said to him were, “Hi my name is Danielle. I have salad dressing on my hand or I would shake yours.” His first to me were, “uh okay” with a shoulder shrug he walked away. I remember thinking to myself “are you serious? Salad dressing?!” Surprisingly after this we became friends. Strictly friends. We would meet occasionally for cocktails, text jokes to one another, call each other when we had a long drive to endure – you know, things you do with someone you are starting to fall head over heels in love with.
It wasn’t long before I finally told my mom about him. I described him as a friend, and she said quite frankly, “you are clearly in love with this guy.” I was immediately uncomfortable and started describing why I was not in love, this was a friendship.
Shortly after this our conversations grew longer, and cocktails turned into dinners. I will never forget our date to Dazzle, not only because this was the first boy to ever take me to a jazz show, but because I couldn’t stop looking at my shoes. These were not the right shoes for this type of date. Hot pink and black “skate” shoes did not belong on this date with this boy in that suit. I thought to myself, “how did I get here? 23 years old and I normally spend all of my time at the track, not on dates at Jazz bars with boys in suits!”
I guess I should fill you in – I grew up racing dirt bikes and playing in the mud. My best friends were always boys and I dated just that, motocross racers that loved to play in the dirt. Josh was a soccer playing jock in a suit with a 9-5 day job that didn’t look like he had ever even experienced dirt, let alone a motorcycle. Time would prove me wrong, as his beat up Chevy Blazer and best friend, a dog Dante, would pick me up for a date day hike at Castle Rock a few weeks later.
Back to our date at Dazzle… I had never been on a date that involved low lighting, beautiful music and a well dressed boy. My insecurities could never be known as I was the most confident girl in that room, playing off my false confidence as if I had done this a thousand times before. We held hands walking to the car from the club, for the first time.
My mom was right. I was in love. Telling Josh was not an option. But lucky for me, I didn’t have to. Weeks after our first hand hold, and kisses he told me. One night while he thought I was sleeping. My heart leaped into my throat, I immediately knew that I was right where I always wanted to be.
Right where we wanted to be changed from our beautiful condo in Lone Tree, to an apartment in West Chester, PA. To a row home in Philadelphia. That’s where he asked me to marry him. Right in front of the Liberty Bell and independence hall. My dad jokes, “that boy gave up His independence on the day our nation gained its own.” We sold our house in the city, moved to the suburbs, and started to plan our wedding. Two years were spent perfecting the details. Deposits were made. Plane tickets were purchased. Work was busy, long days turned into long nights, and we drifted. The love that I never thought could falter was fading. It was a month before our big day, I was exhausted, stressed, and feeling like things just weren’t right. He must have been feeling it to because he told me the wedding wasn’t going to happen. Crushed. Destroyed. Broken. No words would describe my emotions. We were the perfect couple. Our friends and family always told us. We never fought. We supported one another. We were stuck. We agreed that we lost one another in our lives. We fell apart in the mundane, the normal. That wasn’t like us. That wasn’t who we were. We were the spontaneous couple that moved across the country, hopped on a plane to Mexico, took the train to New York City,
Spent our nights at Jazz clubs and live shows… not sitting on the couch, laptops in hand – working all night. We had to change or we wouldn’t make it. Plans were off. The wedding was cancelled.
That was last October. Today, we live happily in our “dream house” in Spring City, PA with our two dogs and the country behind us. We realized that love takes work, time and attention. Being good isn’t good enough we want to be great. We communicate our feelings to one another and we are committed to being our true selves. Never losing ourselves while focusing on one another.
Love is hard. It’s not easy. And marriage is forever. We know now the importance of feeding our relationship and never forgetting to dance in the living room, run through the rain, hold each other close, and know that the real work that matters is the work we put into one another.
Being married at Dazzle would describe our relationship and fits into our desire to be spontaneous. Thank you for reading our story.