Ashley had just come out, and was going through a divorce when she first met Tyler. She describes it as her rock bottom. But, love would eventually flourish.
Words by Ashley
I wish I could tell the tale of how our souls crossed one another in an organic and pre-destined fairy tale type of way where our eyes locked across a crowded room and we JUST knew…but then I would be fibbing big time.
Tyler and I met on the App HER by sheer chance. I was fairly new to being fully out and I was traveling bi-coastal so often for work – so getting into a relationship was the last thing on my mind. However, my friend in LA at the time urged me to join the app [much to my protesting and groaning] to make friendships with queer women so I had friends in the community to hang out with when I worked in LA.
I was immediately struck by Tyler’s profile because it posted all of her world travels, and frankly, she came off as very mysterious – and I am a sucker for that type of thing [she is a Scorpio so big surprise there]. I am OBSESSED with traveling and so I just knew we could have some interesting exchanges over that. What I didn’t expect was to become so quickly infatuated with this girl I had never met.
We decided to meet up within a couple of days of messaging feverishly back and forth [I can still hear my friend saying, “are you STILL texting her?!] as my business trip was coming to an end. We met at a hole in the wall bar in Silverlake the night before Halloween. I arrived first and was so incredibly nervous as this was my first real date with a girl. When she walked in the door I literally jolted out of my chair. The connection, although awkward at first, was electric and undeniable. We danced that night and when she took my hand…it was like we had already danced a million times. It felt so familiar and yet exhilarating.
And the rest is history.
When I met Tyler I was literally at my rock bottom, and I was just trying to stay afloat. I was ending an extremely abusive and toxic marriage that I finally gained the strength to leave [10 years], and I felt scared to love again. I guarded my heart and swore it would be years before I ever let anyone back in.
When I met Tyler I was completely upfront about my pending divorce, and newly coming out, and the huge life transitions I was undergoing. It was a time when “lost” didn’t even begin to define what I was feeling.
She agreed that we should just be friends and she encouraged me to take this time to “focus on myself” and “just heal first before I got back into anything.” Although in all transparency, I found her extremely attractive- I begrudgingly agreed with her. But that completely changed once we met each other in person. I knew from the moment I met her that being just friends would be an almost impossible feat. We were inseparable from the moment we met and talked for hours and hours on end when we were separated by distance – I lived in San Francisco, Tyler in LA. We had no idea how we were going to make “us” work…but we just knew we had to try.
Until I caught the “feelings” bug.
Months into dating, I realized I was falling madly in love with Tyler and instead of butterflies and rose-colored glasses being all I could see. My anxiety and fears revved up into overtime pushing doubt down my throat at every corner. I pushed her away countless times because of the fear of being hurt again. But yet, she always stayed…she never wavered to be my support whether it was as a lover or simply a friend.
I will never forget what she told me when I asked her why should we stay with me despite the ups and downs I caused…she said, “real love isn’t only about the good times. If I didn’t love you and stand by your side in your lowest of lows, then that’s not really love is it? I love you and I am here for you no matter what.”
Through a LOT of patience, communication, a sprinkle of laughter, and a lot of love we are stronger and happier than we ever have been. Funny enough, I think it’s the obstacles that we overcame was what truly bonded us to one another and for me, made me believe in love again.
The future for us looks exciting.
Travel. Lots and lots of travel. We both have an insatiable sense of wanderlust that we connected on. When we aren’t sitting at home cuddling with our cats and dog…we are planning our next adventure.
We even made a tipsy promise on our first date to travel to Paris together, which we fully intend to keep – one day. In the meantime, we are going to the Philippines next month [it’s where Tyler is from] and we are going to relax on the beach, island hop, and eat our way through Boracay, El Nido, and Cebu.
..and Ashley is going to attempt to eat as much fresh mango as humanly possible.
I’m so thankful that our paths crossed – I can’t imagine exploring life with anyone else.
Photography by Crystal Lily Photography