It always comes as a surprise.

For the past several years, I hadn't really had much luck with men or the dating scene. This was particularly frustrating living life in London. Despite being one of the largest and most vibrant cities in the world, ironically it can feel like a lonely one — especially if you don’t have someone to share it with. When I was about to move away from the United States in 2011, I had just exited a 9 year relationship and immediately began dating someone new. In retrospect, it was a rebound relationship that helped me to deal with my emotional state and anxiety of moving to a new country. We invested in what we thought was something special, despite it being a long distance relationship. The relationship evolved into something negative and drained me...emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I finally ended it in 2013. During the years that followed I dated a few people, but nothing came of those short-lived flings.

Fast forward to 2015. I had come to terms with single life, and wasn’t really looking for a serious relationship. And that’s when Luis entered my life. We met on a dating app, and honestly after our first date I knew he was different. I was immediately intrigued and wanted to find out more about him. Thankfully he was equally intrigued, and that began a summer courtship which continued to flourish.

By the time autumn arrived, we were fully into one another. Both of us realised that we had gone from confident single men to a beautiful, solid, mature relationship. The list of his attractive attributes is endless: artistic and creative, articulate and intelligent, Theatre Designer by trade, broad and varied music taste, well-travelled, diverse group of loyal friends, solid and connected family, values health and fitness, fantastic cook, impeccable sense of style, romantic, conflict averse, speaks four languages, and of course ‘ticks all the boxes’ in what physically makes a man sexy to me!

The best part of it all? Our relationship has continued to grow and be incredible ever since. He is, hands down, the most extraordinary man I’ve ever dated. I feel so very fortunate and lucky that I have met the man of my dreams, especially when I didn't think it could ever really happen. We have already shared so many exciting memories during our time together, and we have so many things to look forward to. He lifts up my days and has truly made me believe in love again. And, perhaps most important, defined what love should be.

To celebrate our first Valentine’s Day together, I created a special Back to Mine soundtrack for him. If you’d like to experience this soundtrack of our love, you can enjoy the Soundcloud stream below or podcast (note, this podcast link does not work on mobile devices).

As our love evolved, Luis and I spoke about eventually getting married. This was quite an interesting thing for me to ponder, simply because I never really imagined that I'd get married to anyone. During most of my life, and being raised in America, I was under the belief that gay men don't get married simply because it wasn't legal nor socially acceptable to do so. Of course this has changed in recent years, which is still a bit of a shock to get my mind around. Ultimately though I've known in my heart that I will spend the rest of my life with Luis, and that culminated in a surprise proposal that he arranged on the weekend of my birthday in February 2017. On Saturday, 11th February, Luis took me out for a wonderful evening of drinks and dinner. We ventured to Vertigo 42, a swanky champagne bar in central London overlooking the magnificent illuminated city. After a few cocktails, Luis proceeded to give me my birthday present — which turned out to be an extraordinary "Engagement Box Set". The box contained three components: a custom made photo book filled with pictures of us and our families and friends spelling out the words "Will you marry me?"; a box with "44" embroidered with ribbons to showcase my birthday; and then the very special "Love Wins" box that contained a set of rings made of gold, titanium, and responsibly sourced deer antler with Mark and Luis 11 February 2017 engraved on the inside. The photo inside the "Love Wins" box was taken by Luis in 2016, when he along with thousands of Londoners marched in solidarity with Orlando after the Pulse nightclub shootings. Words really can't fully describe this box set...let alone my flurry of excitement and emotions that rushed through me that evening when I had the realisation that I was actually getting engaged to this man I loved. Needless to say, I said yes! Here are photos of the box set experience:

So now Luis and I are engaged to be married which fills my heart with so much love and joy. We will be formally tying the knot in the summer of 2018 in London, and the plans are shaping up to be something amazing.

Thank you, Luis, for being in my life and for all that you have done for me. My life truly is complete now that you’re in it.

Want to know more about Luis and me? Email me.