Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Outside My Comfort Zone

Published:Monday | April 18, 2016 | 4:00 AMKrysta Anderson and Davina Henry

We all have a type. Whether he is tall, dark and handsome, or a brown voluptuous beauty. But what happens when the man or woman of your dreams doesn't quite fit your happily ever after?

Welcome to Outside of My Comfort Zone, where couples share how the love of their lives turned out to be not what they had ever expected.

Kaedianne Wilson* told Flair, "Normally, I like tall, dark, strong and independent men, who are generally licensed firearm holders." Over time, however, she found them to be disloyal. They had a tendency of being complacent, putting out little to no effort.

"That really caused me to shy away from 'my type'," she confessed.

Wilson met her new beau in an unlikely place - at a 5K. "I was standing alone waiting on my friends when I saw someone approaching me. I wasn't in a good mood, so I moved before he could say anything. Of course, this drew him even closer. After a few minutes, he broke the silence with small talk, and I responded, pretending to be on my phone. Finally, I glanced up and realised he had brown eyes. So I smiled, and tried to be a bit more friendly. He told me his name, which I honestly didn't remember, and asked for my phone number, which I gave to him."

They talked on and off for a few months, as casual friends. While he fit her physical criteria, she realised that he would always make an extra effort to call her every morning, afternoon and night, something she was not used to.

"I think that was when it dawned on me that he was different and was actually serious about trying to make it work. After that, we moved from just friends to a little more personal."

DEEPER CONNECTION

He would tell her he missed her, wanted to see her, and he spoke about their goals - individual and collective. "I was also not accustomed to that. One day, he came to Kingston to see a family member and visited me after and we connected on a deeper level. We had our first kiss - amazing - and we've been together ever since."

Even though this is all very new to her, she revealed she is at a happy place with her boyfriend. "As it relates to the future, it's still a mystery. There is still a lot to process, but for the first time in such a long time, I am hopeful."

Latoya Palmer* shared a similar sentiment when she stumbled upon the love of her life at work. "That was the last place I ever thought of having a boyfriend. I had heard all the horror stories and had set my mind against it." She noted that he would walk the passageway and they would exchange glances. She was captivated by his brown eyes, but taken aback by his height. "I was hesitant because I am used to dating taller men. Not only was he short, he was small in body, too, and all that kept going through my mind was if we were to get physical, I felt I would break him into pieces." Boy, was she wrong! Since their first date, he has changed from lean to comfortably thick while she has traded in heels for sandals.

Palmer said that she usually has a thing for bad boys, and he was nothing but good. "He was a nerd, but he was hot, too, so that was definitely different for me. Being told how beautiful I was all the time, being showered with love and affection and gifts took some getting used to as well. Whenever I felt down, he would pick flowers just for me. Whenever I was happy, he indulged in my celebrations and tolerated my craziness. He was always there for me, and for the first time, I was myself and a man loved me for it."

ROYAL TREATMENT

Birthdays, in particular, she confessed, weren't a big deal for him, but because it was important to her to celebrate, he went all out in making her feel like a queen. "The last birthday I celebrated was a dream come true. He orchestrated everything, from the birthday dress to dinner reservations. And to know that he did it just for me was amazing!" she exclaimed.

What was particularly new to her was actually being friends with her boyfriend. "We have an understanding, know what we both want and are working towards those dreams together. He loves to play around and with him, I feel like a child all over again. Not only was he outside of my comfort zone, he took me outside of the zone of 'comfort' when it came to other men. And we found ourselves in love with each other."

Three years later, they live together and are stronger than ever.

* Names changed upon request.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com or davina.henry@gleanerjm.com