For those skeptics that wonder if anyone still believes in love at first sight, let me assure you that plenty still do. Unfortunately, as people get older and suffer some disappointments, they start to build up their guard. This is natural, and it is healthy– to a point. We all need to be able to let our guard down at some point if we are ever going to let others into our lives. For those with trust issues, this may take a bit longer, and no one should be rushed to move at a greater speed than is comfortable– for a relationship to flourish, you need to patiently move forward at a pace that works for both.

In the past six years, I have had to re-learn the dating game rules. At times, it may have seemed like a pointless exercise, but I chalked it up to a “social experiment.” Well, that experience has finally come in handy, although not in the way most would have expected for me.

Learning to take turns with 20 questions, to set a good pace, to take time to process information, has all come in handy the past few months as I have gotten to know my lost family. The “Elders” as I have affectionately dubbed them are a wealth of information about the past, and extended family full of Gen Ys have been a great source of entertainment, but this week was the best. It is like they saved the best gift for last– I finally connected with my half-brother.

At a time when I was totally starting to lose faith in the existence of an adult man that could possess my perfect trilogy– smart, cute and kind, I found it in my own brother, who has in just one week managed to restore my faith in mankind. It has often been said that the greatest acts of kindness often come from places where you least expected. Well, this is the perfect case in point– I had no idea how this would play out, and yet it is sweeter than I ever could have imagined. The guard is totally down, I have taken the biggest leap of faith ever, and in return I have regained that amazing feeling of what it is like to fall in love all over again.

We all have fears of rejection and abandonment, but in the end, I truly believe as FDR once said that the biggest thing we should fear is fear itself. In order to connect with others, we have to find the strength to put ourselves out there, and we have to put down our guards. You need (figuratively speaking) make yourself jump out of the plane and find the perfect parachute, just as Prince William did today when he found his lovely princess.