My Super Bowl Love Story

Okay, so the title is a bit deceiving.

I didn’t find love at the Super Bowl. Or because of the Super Bowl. Or even actually during the Super Bowl.

But, John first said “I love you” last year, on Super Bowl Sunday—and I said it back.

It was February 2, 2020.

We’d been dating since January 11th, so not quite a month. But, John had already asked me to be his girlfriend, and I’d already agreed to go to Chicago with him for Valentine’s Day. I knew then that I loved him, but neither of us had declared it yet. I guess I was trying not to rush things (like I had in the past) and let God have control of my love story. And, I didn’t know if John loved me, so I decided to let him be the one to say it first.

So back to February 2nd.

At church that Sunday morning, our pastor began his message by acknowledging the recent, tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. He challenged us to appreciate every single day we have with those we love and to tell them we love them, not knowing how many days we have with them in this life.

That afternoon, John and I took a long walk. We had plans to watch the Super Bowl with my sister and brother-in-law that evening, and the very next morning, I was headed to New Orleans on a business trip. So, that walk was our last chance to squeeze in some one-on-one time until I returned from NOLA at the end of the week.

Several miles into our trek, John suddenly stopped and said he wanted to tell me something. Instantly, I knew what it was. I knew he was going to say, “I love you.” And I was right.

Immediately, I blurted something like, “I love you, too, and I knewwww you were about to say it!” I also shared that I’d already loved him but decided to wait till he said it first—a fact that he still teasingly insists is not true.

As special as that moment was, two things made it even sweeter still:

First, John explained that he couldn’t wait another day to tell me he loved me after hearing our pastor’s reminder to make sure the people you love know you love them. Being that I was leaving for New Orleans the next day, John felt especially compelled to make sure he said, “I love you” before my trip.

Second, though John didn’t realize it at the time, February 2nd was my grandparents’ wedding anniversary. My grandpa passed away in 2006 (and my grandma passed in June 2020), but they would’ve celebrated 63 years of marriage in 2020.

John unintentionally choosing my grandparents’ anniversary to say “I love you” and his beautiful reason for saying those three words on that day still melts my heart.

That’s the sappy way of saying it. But in all seriousness, it’s a moment in our love story I cherish so so deeply.

That night, we watched Super Bowl LIV as a couple in love. This year? Still in love, but we’re watching it married ❤

February 2, 2020

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