“I was working at a marketing firm in San Antonio; it was about 4 years ago when this new girl named Nicole Rodriguez walked through the door. She was very bubbly, vibrant, and it didn’t matter who was in the room — she was always center of attention. I didn’t really think anything of the feelings I had for her because I technically was her ‘mentor.’ I would go about my day like nothing was happening, but for some reason, every time she walked into the room, this happy feeling would take over my body. I had to ignore it because not only was she was in a relationship at the time, but I was her mentor.
I had already been at the company for about 6-7 months and was very close to getting promoted to open my own office. Nicole has this natural ability to get people to open up and I haven’t met one person that does not like her. Her work ethic was also something I admired, and I knew if I was going to open my own office, she would be one of the people to come with me. She knew she was one of the candidates I had in mind and did everything she could to make sure she was picked.
Here is where it got tricky… remember when I said she was in a relationship? Well, that guy proposed to her! Plot twist — she couldn’t go with me to open up my office. I was pretty upset because she was one of the only people I knew I could trust, but I had to respect what happened and go about my life.
Fast forward 5 months: I picked up my life and moved with two other coworkers to Orlando, Florida, to open my new office. Nicole and my mentor mentioned, ‘Well, maybe Nicole can come out and help for 2 weeks.’ Of course I wasn’t opposed to that, and neither was she. We made it happen and she came to Florida for 2 weeks. (She was still engaged) Her daughter was with her dad in Texas and Nicole had planned to only stay for 2 weeks. But in those 2 weeks, I started to see Nicole in a completely different way. I gained feelings for her. I was very confused because she was engaged, and again, I was her mentor. My mind would race every single day and night trying to figure out what to do with my feelings. Nicole didn’t have a clue how I felt. I would text my one of my good friends Lauren Bixler every day asking her what I should do. She owned her own marketing firm as well, so she knew I probably couldn’t pursue my feelings.
After the 2 weeks finished, Nicole went back to San Antonio to live her life and continue to work at the marketing firm there. But she realized if she wanted to get promoted quickly, Orlando was the place for her. It was a small office of 4 and she was my right-hand woman. She knew moving to Orlando would be a huge sacrifice though because she wouldn’t be able to move her daughter there for another few months. Nicole was gone for about a 1 to 2 months and in that time frame we still kept in touch and began to fall in love. I remember the exact moment I told her I loved her. I was on my way to work and was sitting at a light. I was on the phone with my friend Lauren, telling her I was falling in love with Nicole. Lauren just told me, ‘TELL HER!’ So I did — through a text, haha. I was never really an emotional person and was afraid she didn’t feel the same way, but she replied immediately and told me she felt the same way. Oh man, was that a weight lifted off my chest! I was putting myself out there which was a first for me. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was very happy when she said it back. That’s when I knew what we had together wasn’t going to just pass by. I knew in that very moment she was my soulmate and someone I wanted to be with forever.
Nicole and I have now been together for 3 years and we couldn’t be happier. We had our downfalls while Nicole was trying to figure out why she was in love with a girl. She had always pictured herself ending up with a guy, and the thought of ending up with a girl was not in the plan. We didn’t tell anyone about our relationship besides our closest friends and even that was after 4 months because we both weren’t sure what was going on.
Fast forward a year and a half… Nicole and I had talked about getting engaged but we really were in no rush. In my eyes, I wanted to get a house first together. I never really understood why people wanted to spend all this money on a wedding. Nicole respected the way I felt and we ended up getting a house, with full intention of getting engaged about a year or two later.
Well, we had no idea we were both planning to propose this year! I turned 28 this year and haven’t had a huge party since my 18th birthday party, so I wanted to invite my family and friends to have a huge birthday party. I knew if the majority of my family came, I would want to pop the question with all of them around to experience our great moment. Apparently, Nicole was feeling the exact same way, and told everyone who was attending but me. In my mind, I was planning a proposal on my birthday and told my family and friends about my surprise a month before. Little did I know, my family and friends already knew she was doing the same thing! Everyone kept the secret a complete surprise from us.
We are both still in so much shock that we decided to do this on the same night. At first, I didn’t even say yes. In my head, I was like, ‘Nooo, my plan is ruined!’ Of course I said yes after the shock wore off, and then I grabbed her ring and got down on one knee. I thought my plan was perfect and everything was going so smoothly, but then the plot completely twisted. She had me open many boxes before getting to the ring and even wrote a letter for me read out loud. At the end of the letter it says, ‘Let’s make it official.’ Because I was so wrapped up in reading, I HAD NO CLUE SHE WAS PROPOSING until she took the ring out and asked!
My plan was to have a photographer come in at 9:45 p.m. to take candid pictures of our dinner party. At 10 p.m., we would all take a group picture. My best friend was going to have Nicole turn around to make sure she was ‘camera ready.’ Once Nicole turned around I would come up behind her and get down on one knee to propose. I even had an entire speech ready! I would drive to work every day thinking about what I was going to say – it would always make me teary eyed. My plan didn’t pan out the way I envisioned, but the way the night turned out was more than perfect.”
Nicole told Love What Matters she was at first confused about her feelings for another woman, but now she “could not imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else.”
“I had known for a while I wasn’t happy in another relationship. What was even more hard is I was falling in love with a woman, at the time I was almost 30 years old. I felt lost because I thought I knew what I wanted and who I was. After falling for a woman, it took me awhile to accept I loved her. Once I did, our lives started. We have a beautiful life together. We bought a home recently and have a gorgeous daughter as well.
Victoria is a great person who opened my eyes to loving her and myself just as much. After all this time together, we still stay up for hours talking about our days. We are inseparable, and I could not imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else.”
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