I never had much trouble finding a significant other. I had trouble finding one worth keeping though. And that’s an understatement!
In high school, I dated a cute bad boy who turned abusive and nearly killed me (literally). Then came a free-spirited, hard-to-catch guy who doted on me to the point that I was sure he would always love me. But he was actually sleeping with my “good” friend. In college, I dated an ex-pro athlete who was gorgeous. He was an alcoholic. And then the one who was much older, successful and very manly, but also a little misogynistic and emotionally abusive.
I needed a change. I needed to do something different. I decided to join a dating club called Great Expectations. I created a profile and then the date requests began. The quantity of guys was definitely in my favor, but the quality left something to be desired. Instead of giving up, I decided to take a look at the selection for myself and that’s when I found him.
It wasn’t his looks that caught my attention. Though he was handsome. It was what he said in his profile. It was like it was my own…so many similarities. I wanted to meet him.
He was quick to accept my invitation and picked me up for our first date in his candy-red sports car. We dined at a swanky downtown restaurant which was attached to a jazz club. The conversation was effortless, and we opted to listen to some music after dinner. A couple at the next table asked us how long we’d been together, and we told them it was our first date. They were stunned, saying they thought we’d been together for ages. It was clear we were comfortable with each other.
In the next few weeks, we spent a lot of time together. It was a little rough. You see, something didn’t feel right. He never argued with me and he was kind, and polite, and respectful. I wasn’t used to this and didn’t know how to handle it, or even if I wanted to. It wasn’t long before he said those three words every woman wants to hear, but I didn’t say them back.
One evening, we met my best friend for a drink, and she said to me “He’s exactly what I would wish for you.” That’s when things changed for me. I decided to get used to being treated well. And my life became infinitely better. I let go of my fear and allowed myself to feel connected and loved. One night after a lovely dinner at the beach, we walked along the boardwalk. He told me about some unusual challenges he faced that day at work. I stopped him, looked at him and told him “I love you too.” I asked if that made his day a little better and he said it “made his whole life better.” My heart melted.
Over the next while, he swept me away on exotic vacations, bought me jewelry and theater tickets, made me the focus of his attention and supported me in everything I dreamed of doing. Ten months into our relationship, we went out to dinner at that same beachfront restaurant and walked along the same path where I first told him I loved him. He suddenly stopped me, looked at me, kissed me, and then he said, “This is where you changed my life and where I want to change yours.” He knelt down and asked me to be his wife. I accepted.
Twenty-four years have passed. We’ve lived all over the country and have raised two amazing daughters. In him I found a best friend, a life partner and constant source of support. I found this all because I decided to break free from the normal routine, try something different and have great expectations.