I have been living a fairy tale for the past 2 1/2 weeks.
I have also learned some of the most amazing life lessons, things about myself that are going to prove invaluable in the future.
Where do I begin???
There was the first date. Then the second. Then the third. I was being pampered, complimented, surprised, swept off my feet. Things changed on the third date. This man, whom I like to call Mr. Wonderful, picked me up and I felt so averse to him all of a sudden. I texted my friends and told them I was soooo over being treated like a princess and now I was bored. That it's boring being told how great you are all the time. I was thinking these things the whole way to our third date (a baseball game) and decided to just ride out the rest of the two weeks and then he'd be gone.
About halfway through our date, he made a comment about me dating other people while he was back overseas for 4 months. I turned to him and said "Listen, I have to date other people while you're gone. I really appreciate all you've done, really and love how you treat me. But I'm just not ready for a relationship and I have to see what's out there."
He was pretty much completely unphased.
And then, all of a sudden, he was totally and completely irresistible to me. Total confidence, total masculinity, and a real desire to see me and know me. ME!
The pressure seemed to be off, and we both let loose. We laughed, we talked all night, we learned about each other. The next day he sent me flowers. My mom called and upon learning of the flowers, informed me that she thought he was just trying to pressure me and she was suspicious. And then it hit me why I had become so averse to him that night: my mother has brought me up to believe that if someone, particularly a man, is nice to me...they must want something. And it can't be good. No one could actually be that nice, I'm not worth someone treating me that way, is the message I got.
I'll admit that about some men, she would be right. But I've been soul searching for a year now. I've learned how to stand on my own two feet and not only that but to be happy that way. I've graduated from therapy. I've done the support groups and read the books. I know what I am doing now and I trust my instincts. This guy is seriously just plain crazy about me, from what he knows so far, and happens to know how to show it. And why shouldn't he be? I'm a pretty good catch.
Many dates have followed, including a few nights of staying up and talking all night. We texted all day and all night. I wanted to know everything about his life, and he wanted to know everything about mine. He has the utmost respect for me, and for my life. The night before he was set to leave to go back to Afghanistan, I got the most amazing card from him...the card every girl dreams of. I thought about sharing it here but it is just too sacred to share word for word. Here is my favorite part, that made me cry: "I cannot believe that anyone could be so blind as to do anything to risk losing YOU."
Sunday morning was our goodbye. We stood at my front door. I couldn't hold back the tears. I can't explain the connection that has been made between the two of us in only 2 weeks. Except that if you have ever fallen hard for someone and something has just been so RIGHT, you know exactly what I mean. I didn't want to let go of someone who not only gets me, but respects and appreciates me. Treats me the way I always dreamt about as a little girl. I've always said in this blog that I would know a guy was worth my time if he felt about me the same way my friends do. And he does, so much. And I've loved learning about him, his fascinating life, his family relationships, his passion for music and the world and all the little things in life. So yes, I cried saying goodbye to him. He left, and I decided to give myself a day to recover, climbed into bed, and we texted back and forth his whole ride to the airport.
We sent messages of wishing we had just one more night together. How hard it was going to be to let go of something so amazing so soon after finding it. And then he let me know that his flight was delayed. And then delayed again. And possibly cancelled?????
I was at the grocery store when he called and said "So...what are we doing tonight??" I left my grocery basket right there in the store, ran to my car, sped to the airport; and we had a movie moment of me jumping out of my car in the middle of the road and us embracing. We both laughed the whole way home at how it was like this was all pre-ordained, the universe trying to tell us something. We spent another amazing night together.
He sent an email to his boss in Afghanistan asking for one more week. He said that realistically, he was doubtful...but for some reason we both felt it was supposed to work out...and it did. He's still here, and we have two more date nights together before he leaves on Saturday.
I know some will worry that I'm getting ahead of myself. Here are my thoughts on that.
I knew exactly what I wanted from someone this time around, and I have fine-tuned my instincts and I'm watching for red flags.
He knows that I will still be dating other people while he is gone. I still look at this 4 month separation as the best thing that could have happened. I will have the chance to finalize the divorce, date a little bit, get things in order, and have him come back to someone who is very sure and thinking straight. If it's truly meant to be (and doesn't it seem like it is??) then it will still work in November. He isn't crazy about the idea, but he understands it.
While he is overseas, he will be sorting through the whole children thing. I let him know right off the bat that I am D-O-N-E DONE having kids. He wants his own. The fact that he does makes him even that much more desirable to me. But I just can't and I won't compromise on this one. I wanted to tell him now so that if this is a dealbreaker, we can break it off now rather than years later when things are more complicated and serious. I don't want to waste his time and don't want mine wasted either. As I told him, I've done the marriage and kid thing, and now I am just looking for the love thing, and that is all and that is what he gets with me.
So many more details that I would love to write down for my own records, but I'll refrain because they are just so sacred. This is an interesting new twist and one I never expected in MILLION years, especially not this soon. But I am feeling somewhat vindicated. It has been an awful 2 years. Actually, my entire 20's were pretty damn horrible. I deserve this, damn it. I SO DESERVE THIS. Whatever "it" is...even if it is just for 2 1/2 weeks.