Dating. Just one word which, years ago, would have sent me running for the hills. I ran after relationships at one point and was burnt so badly and so quickly that I gave up. That wall was one I just accepted in my life with a certain hopeless finality. I would forever be alone. I knew that. I planned for that. Every dream I allowed myself to have included no partner. I never created my perfect wedding, named my kids, giggled over babies. I would be, forever alone.
(A guest post by Elizabeth Reed)
I wasn’t even sad about it. I was just burnt out. I had never been in love. I did not know if I could ever be in love. I doubted it. Besides, romantic love is for fools.
Then one day, I woke up. Before I knew what I was doing I was browsing dating sites.
I’m just bored, I told myself. I figured I was just looking for new friends, that it would be kind of fun to go out to dinner with someone once in a while. I claimed I wasn't looking for anything more.
I found a free site and filled out my profile - being true to my personality. I would have been shocked had anyone contacted me.
I got a few emails and went out on a few dates. They were nothing special. I never invested myself into them because I knew I was going to be alone, so why pretend otherwise?
I gave up. I visited the site a few more times but never made an effort to reply to anyone. The emails slowed to a crawl.
Then one guy emailed me. He'd actually read my profile and commented on it, so I gave him a shot, barely. After a few half-hearted emails I didn’t go back to the site for a week. When I did return I expected him to be gone, but he wasn’t. He was cocky, a know-it-all and very smart. However, like I said, he was persistent and somewhat charming. After putting it off a couple of times we set a date to meet.
Getting ready for the date I was less than enthusiastic. At best I hoped he would be a good conversationalist. At worst I could suffer through the meal and escape as soon as possible. As I sat in my car outside of the restaurant I had to talk myself into getting out.
I walked up to the door and caught a glimpse of red hair. He stood up from his seat and our eyes met. My heart sputtered and coughed. He looked more than acceptable. An unusual feeling crept up inside me, one that I didn’t recognize - attraction.
This feeling grew as he talked. I don’t remember anything I said, or anything he said, I just remember wanting to hold his hand. Conversation flowed. Silence was comfortable. Unlike all previous dates I had no sickening butterflies or stressful tenseness. It was just easy.
Every date afterwards echoed this easiness. Unlike forcing myself to find a date’s eyes attractive or thinking,
Well, at least he has a nice smile. I fell into love, true love, with him without even knowing it. And he also fell in love with me.
I never expected to fall in love. I never expected to date. I never expected to spend my life with someone. Every date and every effort of my own making had failed. But when God wanted it to happen it was easy. I almost missed what a miracle it was. All my efforts were in vain before God selected the right time for me.
Elizabeth Reed is a freelance writer and a resident blogger at Liveinnanny.org. She particularly enjoys writing about parenting, childcare, health and wellness. In addition, she is an expert consultant on issues related to household management and kids.
Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here.