A True Valentine's Love Story

Despite having a caring relationship with my husband, I divorced him. We'd never had the deep connection I wanted. I was looking for a different type of connection. I started getting attuned to what I found meaningful rather than what seemed possible. I felt lonely because I wanted to have the man who was my soulmate in my life. I hadn't met him, but had faith that he was there.

Friends recommended that I make a list of what I was looking for, suggesting that I collect the wonderful characteristics of people in my life and make those into one man. One night, I created a peaceful place in my living room. Then I listed these qualities about my dream partner.

After that, when dating, I knew immediately. Nice person, but not the one. It seemed sad because I would meet someone and think: nope. However, I didn't waste any time.
I worked hard at my exciting career, but I needed a break. I went to Rome. I planned to meet a man who would fly into Rome after Christmas. He didn't show up. So there I was on my own.
Oh why am I in this situation of being by myself?

I'd had enough of aloneness; I wanted to be with people. I went to a wine bar. I stepped into one wine bar and thought, It's not the right place. In another wine bar, I experienced the same vibes and left. Entering a third wine bar I felt nervous but chastised myself.

Relax. Sit down and have a glass of wine.

A man came up to me.
"Is anyone sitting here?" he asked.
"No, help yourself,"
"Are you on your own?"
"It's a long story."
"I have lots of time. My name is Alessandro."
"I was supposed to be here with someone, but that person didn't make it, so now I'm here by myself."
"Are you okay?"
"Yes. I've been wandering around, not really sure where I was going, but I always end up where I want to be and am happy."
I described the Christmas I'd just had with my family. Later he told me that, as he listened to me, he thought, she's so nice. I could fall in love with her.
Alessandro was there with a friend. At closing, Alessandro wanted to drive me home, but also had to drive his friend. At 3 a.m., we squeezed into Alessandro's Smart Car.
As we drove through a wooded area, I thought, I'm with two Italian men that I just met in a wine bar. People are going to read about me in the news, saying, "What was she thinking?" However, I felt safe. I sensed a kindred spirit as we talked. We shared the same view of life.
He dropped off his friend.
We kept talking. It seemed strange that this handsome man and I had such a deep connection. I dwelt in the moment.
He stopped at my hotel and kissed me. I was shocked. With our strong spiritual connection, I forgot I that we were a man and a woman. The kiss was so beautiful.
The next morning he sent a wonderful email, then called and came to meet me. I looked at his face and laughed inside.
Where have you been? I've been waiting forever. I know who you are.
"Ask me anything," he said. "I want to tell you."
"What is most important to you?"
"My kids."
I saw how much he loved them.
"Are you divorced?" I asked.
"No, but I'm not really married either."
"I'm very idealistic about love. I know how you Italian men are. I'm not interested. Please take me back to my hotel."
I felt so connected to this man already that I could never remain on the perimeter of his life.
He tried to talk to me, but I said, "No, just take me back to my hotel."
We embraced and kissed.
On the way back to the hotel I cried and laughed. Here I sat on a scooter behind this him, going through the winding streets of Rome. It was so iconic. When he dropped me offl, he said something that I'll always remember.
"I don't know if we'll ever meet again, but I can tell you that you are not alone anymore."
I cried even more. We embraced and I walked towards my hotel. When I turned he was standing on the corner.
In my room I sobbed. That was New Year's Eve.
The next day he began calling me.
"I told you not to call me," I said.
"I know, but I have to talk with you."
He called all day.
"I told you not to call," I said each time.
"I'll call you later."
He did, at midnight.
"I'll talk to you tomorrow," I said.
"I need to talk to you right now. I'm outside your hotel. I'm not leaving until you come down."
So I did.

"I'm not divorced because I never married the mother of my kids. She was my business partner. We have kids together. Our relationship is caring for them. We don't have a romance and never really did.

I knew this came from his heart.

I thought - distance, kids and possibly getting hurt. I felt afraid. However, Alessandro was exactly the man I had asked for. When fate had handed me this man I had asked for I realized: How could I refuse, especially because it's inconvenient or that I might get hurt?
The complexities of our relationship, two countries, Alessandro's children, don't make a convenient relationship. But I was always clear that I didn't seek "convenient". "Meaning" is more important.

Several years later we remain together. It's amazing how much we've done, experienced, and accomplished despite what people would say - that what we are doing is the impossible.

Heartbeats, True Stories of Love is a collection of fifty uplifting and inspiring stories and can be found on Amazon.