He had me at hello. The first time we met, there was this instant connection. No, really, it was instant. You know how it happens in the movies, and you’re there thinking, that never happens. Well, let me tell you, it does. It did. He was like no one I had ever met before. And no, it wasn’t for the way he looked, or the way he dressed, or the way he spoke. It was just for the way he was. He just had this way about him. It was almost annoying – people were just drawn to him, you know? And I was one of those people. I cannot compare him to anyone, because he is not just anyone. He’ll never be just some guy I dated once. Sparkling baby blues. Sandy blonde hair. Six foot two. Financial Advisor. Family man. Surfer. Abs to kill. Northern Beaches Lad. Ladies, meet DAVE*.

March 2015: When it came to an end, I found myself wishing he would walk through the door and we could meet for the first time all over again, because to be honest with you, I have yet to feel that, ‘you had me at hello’ feeling since, and that sucks. Dave set the bar when it comes to how it’s supposed to feel. He had me hook, line and sinker, unintentionally and unknowingly. Damn him, seriously.

My fondest memory: Dave and I laying under the sunshine at the headland at Balmoral Beach, looking up to the clouds, hands intertwined. We exchanged words I never dared to speak before, but with him I spoke them without hesitation. As did he. The month of March was filled with many open conversations about the future, our past travels, our desire to travel more, and about life and love, and more often than not, these conversations were had by the water, wine in hand.

Dave was fit. Super fit. I did mention the abs, right?  Triathlons were his thing. As was surfing, cycling and soccer. He seamlessly fit in anywhere and everywhere he went. He had a close-knit group of friends and was very family orientated. He was well-travelled and knowledgeable and just to top it off, he was very quick witted. Dave was the ultimate all-rounder. He was a keeper.

But then, just when I convinced myself Dave might just be the one, the unthinkable happened.

The phone rang. It was his sister. Hello, Dave. It’s Dad.

That morning, Dave’s Dad walked up a set of stairs at his local train station when he suddenly collapsed. People immediately came to his aid, including an off duty ambulance officer.

Dave’s Dad fell into a coma that morning. He never woke up. When Dave called me to tell me, I broke down and cried. He didn’t cry. That made me cry more.

Needless to say, this unexpected event changed everything. As much as I wanted to be there for Dave, I knew it was not my place. I reached out, but he pulled back. I offered my company, a hand to hold or a cuddle, but it would not suffice. He was heartbroken and I was heartbroken for him.

Within a week of his Dad’s passing, Dave made the decision to move to New York. He had the realisation that life is short and living and working in New York was something he always wanted to do, so he was going, and he wanted to go at it alone. Sadly, I was never a part of the equation. I really wanted to be part of the equation.

And so, for Dave and I, that was that. I couldn’t bear the thought of following his travels on social media so I deleted him from everything. But, this is what I know: Dave didn’t leave for New York until around the October. And just before he left, the unthinkable happened.

Dave met a local girl and well, she became part of the equation – he took her with him.

You see, what I have found with relationships, with dating even, is that there is always one person who is less invested. And I must admit, more often than not, that person is me. I’m usually the one who is cool, calm and collected. But I wasn’t with Dave.

And nevertheless, in despite of all of this, I still find myself wishing he would walk through the door and we could meet for the first time all over again.

And that sucks.

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