I’m In Love With Another Man.

I have 15 minutes to write this and then I have to leave. Here’s the deal: I’m in love with a man, well, several men. I cannot get enough of Abby Jimenez’s books right now.

I finish one in a few days and immediately cue up the next one.

I confessed my crush to my husband and told him- I think you need to read one.

Curious about my obsession, he started in on Life’s Too Short the next day. I’m wondering what kind of conversations it will spark in us.

There’s just some sort of magic to the men in Abby’s books. I have been racking my brain these past couple of weeks trying to figure out what is it… Why, when I dive into her books, do I instantly feel enamored with the guy?

I’ve read many a romance novel, but these… these hit different for me. I have a serious chemistry with the fictitious man.

The pull is strong and irresistible, it feels primal. It’s awkward to feel how he comes to life for me. This kind of love is possible, I believe again. It happens every time I’m transported into the world between the pages. I try my best to savor the book, but I can’t stop myself. I want to be there, okay I want to be with him. NOW. I want to be in the presence of this sexy, charming, considerate man.

I can feel my heart flutter when he steps onto the scene. My cheeks turn red from his romantic gestures. The smile curves across my face when he makes Vanessa laugh. My reactions have bothered me so much these past few weeks, I can’t stop thinking about and wondering what the hell is going on with me, with this?

Am I starting to believe in love again, in the reality of sweet romance, or am I simply falling for the fairy tale, the unrealistic ideal I know all too well?

Will these storybook crushes be the ruin of my marriage or will they revive it? Will they spark the flames of intimacy anew with my first love or will we part our ways peacefully knowing we both deserve more in a marriage, and sharing life together doesn’t have to be a grind, a frustration, a source of resentment, a convenient co-habitation with another human?

The main question I guess would be: Could this kind of relationship between a man and a woman possible? Could I find (or do I have already) a partner like Adrian from Abby Jimenez’s book, Life’s Too Short?

What makes him so alluring to me? Why is my heart desperately crying out for a relationship like he and Vanessa cultivate together with each chapter?

The answer I’ve landed on for the moment is this:

It’s the little things.

The men Abby creates are nuanced- full of both these seductive yet simple traits, quirks, and interests. They feel natural and normal, like a sweet neighbor down the road, and yet they have this knack for treating the woman in their life like

she is special,
unlike anyone else in the world,
like she is wanted and gorgeous beyond belief,
like she can be strong and confident and tender and timid.

Romance is tended to in the tiny details. I miss this. I want this.

A relationship that isn’t so much about splitting up household chores evenly or planning the costly getaway to a charming bed-and-breakfast or having a fancy date night and spicy sex every Friday, but about being enchanted with one another in the every day coming and going.

It’s catching one another’s eyes from across the room and mouthing, I. love. you.

It’s a feathery kiss on the forehead.

It’s a come sit by me, I want to hear about your day.

It’s constant encouragement in who they are as a human.

It’s leaving love notes in unexpected places.

It’s a thoughtful gift tucked under a pillow.

It’s winking at her in adoration as she walks down the stairs in her workout clothes.

It’s picking a bouquet of flowers and placing them on the table.

It’s cleaning the toilets and mirrors without being prodded.

It’s the glass of water or cup of tea.

It’s shared giggles and inside jokes.

It’s a “Can I run you bath?” or “Give you a back rub?”

It’s pillow talk about your dreams for life together late into the night.

It’s cuddling under a blanket with no strings attached.

It’s knowing what makes her burst into laughter.

It’s talking about her with your buddies.

It’s about putting down your phone when she walks into the room and that knowing gaze.

It’s telling her you are going out with friends for a few hours and you can’t wait to see her when you get home.

You get the picture.

And perhaps it is just a picture, locked away in the paper pages of best-selling books.

Could my heart be thumping for what will never be possible on this earth? It feels cruel and disappointing.

Do I stop my dangerous love affair?

Or do I allow myself to go there, to imagine, to hope, to step into the story of what could be?

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