For the last ten years, Dylan has been my boyfriend. It’s a bit crazy to know that we’ve been officially together for that long. He always claims that we were dating way before then and we can’t agree on what our first official date was, but we can agree on the day that we officially became “exclusive” as boyfriend and girlfriend.
It was about a year after we met in Greece during a study abroad program. We had been really close friends after we got back to the States and he had been to Austin several times to visit and hang out. On my way back to school in Arkansas, I stopped by his house for the weekend. It was the same time the Red Dirt Round Up was happening at the Fort Worth Stockyards. He took me to eat brisket (which is definitely a favorite food of mine) before the concert. We danced that night to Robert Earl Keen and others. On the drive back to his parents, he held my hand. That was the moment we BOTH knew we were officially more than friends.
I say both knew because we were such close friends prior to that and Dylan had been telling my family for MONTHS that he was my boyfriend, but… he had never asked me. So, naturally, I thought he was trying to be funny with my family. My sister called him my boyfriend before I did. My mom just called him “the boy” – even until we were married. We had been hanging out one time at Krause Springs and they want you to sign in. Dylan signed for us and signed us in as husband and wife – before we were dating. I feel like he was testing the waters as to how I would react to being called his girlfriend/wife before actually wanting to ask me about it.
At the end of that school year, my boyfriend bought me my first DSLR camera. He gave it to me as a graduation gift, but my family called it my “engagement” camera, instead of my engagement ring. He’s the one that saw how important photography was to me and was also the one who encouraged me to take the leap into wedding photography before I thought I was ready. I can honestly say that I would NOT have this business if it wasn’t for having Dylan in my life.
At the end of that summer, I moved to Corpus to be closer to my boyfriend. We had spent the last year about 14 hours apart, so this next step let us know what it was actually like to spend so much time with our significant other. We had fun together! There were lots of dates to concerts at Brewster Street Ice House and the beach. We probably will never turn down a good Texas Country concert or a trip to the beach to this day.
Even though we’ve been married for almost 8 years now, it’s still important to us to take time to date each other. He’s still my boyfriend. He still holds my hand when we’re driving home. He still makes me fancy dinners, brings me flowers, knows my favorite wine, and when I need quiet time. He encourages me to take risks I wouldn’t without him. He motivates me to be a healthier, more fun human. He challenges my beliefs when I’ve gotten content or stagnant. He is my self-confidence when I have none. He still believes in me and my dream of a successful wedding photography business and he says so.
To the boyfriend who has held my hand for the last ten years, from the first time to that time at my grandmother’s funeral to that time we met our Lola girl for the first time to that time our parasailing experience almost turned tragic, you’ve had my heart for the last ten years and I love you. Here’s to ten more decades of holding your hand in the best of times and the not so great ones.