In spite of our best intentions, love has a way of coming round again. Here is such a story.
I was divorced and had been on my own for thirty years. When we divorced I thought, I don't think I'll be doing that again. I got on with my life. There were lots of dates and experiences. I traveled and had a wonderful life.
After retirement I went to Chatham to help my sister move into a house that she had built. Before I left home I had friends at my house in Baltimore. I mentioned my upcoming trip.
"I know this wonderful man there," my friend said. "He's been bereft over his wife's death. She died a few years ago. You'd like him. You should call him."
I didn't like being fixed up. I had many dates and plenty of alone time. I hadn't met anybody that made me want to marry again. I wasn't very open to marriage.
You'd like him," my friend said.
"I'm not going to marry some guy whose wife died," I responded.
"I put his name and address in your purse. If you don't want to see him you could give it to your sister. She's new there. He's old time Chatham. He knows people that she might need to know, like plumbers."
"Yah, yah, Okay, thanks."
I went to Chatham to help. After three days of moving furniture I'd had enough. I was bored. I thought, I've got the name of that guy in my purse. I'll call him and get out of here. I called him and explained who I was.
"You're welcome to come over," he said politely.
I raced right over there. We sat in the backyard. He had a beautiful home on the water. I thought, We don't know a thing about each other. What are we going to talk about?
"Where do you live in Baltimore," he asked.
I told him.
"I grew up in Baltimore," he said.
All of a sudden we had a connection. We knew the same people and had almost the same circle of friends. We talked and talked.
He was a cultured, rather shy academic, an Ivy Leaguer and an oceanographer. I'm not a scientist type. It was an odd mix, but there was an attraction there. He was different from the guys I had dated who were suave and egotistical. This man had a sense of self that was strong but not egotistical. I sensed that he didn't know women very well. He had married a girl after they had been friends for a long time, so he didn't have experience with women like I'd had with men.
Their marriage was happy, and he was still mourning. However, I could see that he was ready to get out of it.
We decided to have dinner the next night. We saw each other more times. I returned to Baltimore and we started corresponding. I think we fell in love over email. We started this long-distance romance. We decided that we would travel together. He came to Baltimore. We went on other trips. Traveling together really lets you know about people. This was a man that I had feelings for and those feelings kept growing.
His lack of experience with women had me worried. I could tell that he was a marrying man. This relationship was turning serious but I, as a social worker, had counseled couples in love and saw what happened later! I was cynical about how things can change. I decided that he needed to know himself better in relationship to women. He had had this wonderful wife. Not all women were like her. He was serious in his commitment to me.
"You need to date and find out about yourself in relationship to women," I said.
At first he resisted, but he got interested because I made the idea sound so intriguing.
"How are you going to find these women?" he asked. I'm not going to pick somebody up."
"There's this dating site. It's for people who have attended the Ivy League schools."
I helped him put his profile up. He received many hits. Women were very interested in him. He had all the right stuff. He's a good-looking man. He made dates with women from Washington and Philadelphia and used my house as the base.
While I pushed this, I was getting a jealous even though I didn't show it. When he returned home, I needed to hear all about his experiences. He didn't ask any of the women out; they always asked him.
We took a trip to whale watch. During our drive down to the ship, I would be in our hotel and he would be on a date. On our ship, our room was the size of a closet with bunk beds for very small people and one small mirror. I'd brought all my makeup. I put it under the bed, so this was the real me. This wasn't the glamorous me anymore. We had a great time. It was the best trip we had.
After one of his dates he asked, "Could we stop this now? Could you just come to the Cape this summer, live with me and see how it goes?"
"Yes," I said.
Now it was a question of getting married.
"Why not live together?" I asked. "What's the matter with that? We'll just be partners. It will be just like we're married."
"I don't want to call someone my girlfriend at this age. I want a wife not a girlfriend."
So we planned our wedding.
We've had a very happy marriage. It's a good life.
No matter how alone you are, there's always somebody out there. He might be around the corner.
You just have to take those chances.
The complete story is in "Heartbeats, True Stories of Love" available now as an e book and very soon as a paperback on Amazon and Smashwords.