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Perhaps you’ve heard about this romantic story circulating the internet. It’s about a man, Ryan Leak, who overheard that his girlfriend, Amanda Roman, wanted to get engaged and married in the same day. This was two years into what would become a five year courtship. Ryan kept that information in the back of his mind and when he finally decided to propose to Amanda he did so after he had already organized not only the proposal but the wedding too…in an entirely different state. The story is amazing and beautiful and if you’re like me, you may find that you shed a couple of tears watching how everything unfolds.

And while their story was tear-inducing, chest clutching, romance inspiring loveliness, there was one moment that made the record player in my mind scratch.

“Up until this moment, when I’m proposing, I had never told Amanda that I loved her. And for me, I didn’t want to use that phrase until I felt like I could back it up with every fiber of my being. And I felt like saying ‘I love you’ that day, I felt like I’ve been through enough in the last year and a half that I believe myself when I say it.”

Oh lawd! People are posting this story jokingly writing about how they want their own “Ryan Leak,” a man who listens and who cares enough to make grand gestures with your dreams in mind. And it’s true who wouldn’t want a man like that? But Ryan Leak is also the dude who didn’t tell his girlfriend he loved her. While I’m sure, based on the effort he put forth in planning his proposal and their wedding, that he had shown her on numerous occasions that he loved her, the words never came.

I had to ask myself if I could have ridden out with a man who didn’t feel comfortable saying he loved me…for five years, or 1,825 days or 43,800 hours. I couldn’t say. And while I know that actions speak louder than words, it doesn’t mean that words are all together worthless. They’re quite important. There’s something that happens when you hear someone you love, say they love you. In the moment, hearing that ‘I love you’ is  security (whether real or imagined), it’s validation, and acceptance. It’s what I like to call “the tingles.”  The tingles are like someone throwing glitter as your soul swirls around collecting it in a glowing orb, all while soft twinkling sounds fill the air. And you get to watch. It feels good. So good.

And while we all would prefer to hear those words when we’re sure the person absolutely means them, I think I would want my man of five years to know he means them before we talk about spending the rest of our lives together.

And even though I say that, there’s still a small part of me that wonders if we’ve become so infatuated with the idea of love that we feel we have to say it early and often just because we’re all on some type of time clock. A race to be settled, committed or just one step closer to being wifed up.

I don’t know. All we can see is that Amanda was cool with it. And while I think she took a bit of a risk, she knew what she was doing and it looks like it paid off pretty well…pretty well indeed.

Congratulations to these two! Love this story.

Check out the 30 minute video of the planning, proposal, rehearsal and wedding on the next page.

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