As I contemplated leaving, I remember thinking about my life post marriage entirely alone. I was so afraid of ending up with the same person, making the same mistake over, not trusting myself to know the difference.
I think it is a testament to a fabulous therapist that I would even consider dating after it was all said and done, much less look on it as a huge adventure. Adventure aside, through the interactions I have been able to more clearly define who I am, who I am not, and what it is I need.
It has been an entirely positive experience and I have been amazingly lucky to have met super nice people. No psychopaths, just great guys, though some more memorable than others. I have some favorites….
I was very fond of Henri, who lured me with his keen appreciation of shoes and the offer to take me shopping – Nine West, Via Spiga, Christian Louboutin; he knew a peep toe from a stiletto. It was not important, though, that I would be like a geisha with bound feet, unable to walk in said shoes. He wanted to buy them for me. He was devastated the day I reported wearing flip flops. It turned out to be a deal breaker.
Chocolat, a chef whose salted dark chocolate with a rum caramel center and candied ginger on top made me feel like I was meeting my dealer. I knew it had to end when I asked him right out, do you have my chocolate? Clearly he did not understand the effect he had on me, and was quite put out at my eager greeting for my fix.
Skippy, who had the most endearing innocence about him. He made a fabulous fellow adventurer, wide eyed and bushy tailed ready to explore any new horizon. He had a combination of intellect, breeding, and attentiveness, and was persistent for months to win my affection before I gave him a glance. We had no predetermined agendas or outcomes, and were in perfect sync to just ‘be’ in each other’s company. Two freedom loving people, it was difficult to pin either of us down to anything resembling the ‘r’ word. Nor could we see each other in either’s social settings. Delightfully whimsical, but doomed.
There is a friend who I adore, James, with whom I have actually never been out. I’ve found myself explaining the term ‘friend’ to the one or two serious contenders, which is sometimes as confusing to me as it is to those who are doing the inquiring. For the record, I don’t know what it means. Make of it what you will. We just are. In truth, we are not.
Most have been brief. I feel I hold the title as the two date queen. Having taken considerable time to identify what qualities I find imperative to a long term relationship, it seems pointless to continue with someone who does not meet the criteria. Not that it is a guarantee. It only provides the foundation for a start.
My experience with my marriage and its traumatic ending has taught me a relationship is not unlike a ship. One has to consider who they bring on as crew, because when it is all sun and fun and the conditions are calm, anyone will do. It is when the storms come, and they will, that you need to have someone you can trust unequivocally covering your back. A person with whom you can share the close quarters of your heart, yet both maintain your individuality in that small space you share, working together to reach your destination, willing to change course if needed. They understand tiny details taken care of in calm water become important when it starts getting rough, and are clear headed enough to see solutions rather than crisis when it does. Someone committed enough to not jump ship at the first sign of distress.
That is the mate I seek. First. Soul. I don’t know.
“It’s so easy, to think about Love, to talk about Love, to wish for Love, but it’s not always easy, to recognize Love, even when we hold it…. In our hands.”Jaka