We met each other in the good old fashioned way, on a dating app. I saw that I had this message sitting unread for a day or so and when I clicked to see who it was I was immediately captured by how cute and handsome he was. I thought okay, let’s talk a bit, see where this goes. But something was different when I was talking with him. I just enjoyed connecting and getting to know who he was. There was none of the typical exchanges that I had before. It felt very real.

I remember watching him arrive to my place from my street side window and thinking that he was as handsome as his pictures portrayed him. I waited for him to ring up and I let him in. I wasn’t as nervous as much as I was excited to meet him but then again there were always those nervous little butterflies before meeting someone in real life.

We hugged and I let him in. Hours passed by with us just talking and drinking, telling our life stories to each other. Each conversation brought us both physically and emotionally closer to one another. At a certain moment, I looked at him, feeling comfortable enough to tell him my one secret. “I have never told this to anyone that I met before, but I feel that I should tell you…I am recently broken up with a girl and am only recently out.” He was kind and understanding. He hadn’t minded that. The conversation naturally dimmed away a bit but our attention on each other never waned. I knew what was about to happen and I went with it. Our eyes locked, I leaned in closer and closer, and I kissed him.

That kiss turned into many kisses and we eventually sat there cuddled together, naked, on the couch just looking deeply into each other’s eyes, exploring every part of each other, just smiling. It was bliss, fireworks, perfection.

We spent the next days together – nonstop. I kept coming back to the thought of “am I dreaming” because it just seemed too good to be true. How could a guy like him be so attracted to me? I cherished, and still do cherish, our moments together. He is sweet to me in a way that I have never really understood. He makes me feel happy even when I was not having the best of days. It was something that I had never felt from someone with whom I was romantically and intimately entangling myself. It all felt right. I was the happiest guy in the world when we made our relationship official.

I didn’t really know what love was until I met Karel. One day I had just gotten back from a work trip in Croatia. When I got back to Ghent, I immediately went to his old apartment. It all felt right and I knew how I felt for him. That evening we laid on his bed all cuddled up in each other. My head was buried in his chest, I could feel his heartbeat. I looked up at him and said, “I know it is early for this and I don’t want to scare you away by saying it.” With a coy smile, as if he knew exactly what I was about to do, he responded, “I’m not easily scared.” “I love you, Karel” I said. “I love you, too, Don-Paul.” he replied smiling from ear to ear. We laid there for what seemed like forever just two smiling guys, happy and in love.

I am so happy we found each other. We are building our lives together. We can approach issues or sensitive topics with each other. He doesn’t hate me for my career nor my passions; instead, he loves them with me and is interested. I am happy to build my life with him and to wake up everyday next to him. I look forward to our future together and what each day brings for us – as long as we are together.