I believe in true love. The real thing. The kind of unconditional love that you thought you could only receive from the family dog.
Soul-mate love. Yes, I said soul-mate. Those dreaded words. You’re either a firm believer, because you’ve experienced this mysterious and delectable treat, or you’re a complete skeptic because you’ve yet to taste all the delicious layers that this non-paralleled relationship provides.
I discovered it in my 40’s. And I found it on the internet. Take that, skeptics. I’d been married before. So I’d learned what love wasn’t, and I’d learned what marriage wasn’t. But I was a brave soul and was willing to see if the kind of love you always hear about really existed.
After my divorce, I approached the whole internet dating thing very carefully. I wasn’t like some of those desperate people I saw on the site, quite literally throwing themselves at each other as though there were a time limit involved. I could almost hear the taunts. “Last one without a marriage proposal’s a rotten egg!” My plan was more casual. I’ll go out with Robert to see the latest movie and David to hit the hiking trails. I certainly wasn’t looking for love.
But then something funny happened. While exchanging pictures on the internet dating site with a potential suitor, instead of receiving the usual photo of a man carefully airbrushed to reduce that receding hairline or the fact that he may have lost most of his own teeth many years prior, I received a photo of… an iguana. That’s when I knew. This man had a sense of humor! This man was real and natural and not afraid to be himself. The women on the site that I’d befriended warned me “He’s got to be ugly!” I said “So what? He’s got a remarkable personality! I’m going to get to know this man.”
During the next few days, which included many delightful conversations, proving that my instincts about him were right on the button, he did send me a photo. In fact, he sent a couple of photos. He’s gorgeous. Somehow, that made the ladies even more upset. Go figure.
We decided on a picnic for our first real date. I didn’t suggest he meet me at the park. “Yes, I’ll be the one with the blue hydrangea tucked behind my ear.” I just couldn’t so that. It seemed so phony, and why start a relationship off on that foot? So, I gave him directions to my apartment. When the doorbell rang, I was a nervous wreck. But then another funny thing happened. I opened the door and this gentle man was standing there, smiling. This man that I could swear I’ve known all my life. I invited him in, we said hello and he gave me the warmest hug you can imagine. And then he proceeded to invite my dog along on the picnic. Is he not perfect? Okay, he’s not but we do have this saying. We’re not perfect, but we are perfect for each other.
That was 4 years ago. We’ve been married now for a year and a half. And he is the love of my life. Oh yes, I believe in true love.
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