A big part of life is dating and looking for a potential partner to share your life with. It consumes us and is a constant ebb and flow, at least for me. Breaking up with M was difficult, yes, but necessary. It taught me more about myself and helped me prove to myself that I was stronger than I thought. Having gone through a divorce, casually dating, and then a relationship with M in which I loved again, I've really learned a lot about what I want and need in a significant other. A failed marriage showed me that on its own, but having dated, it opened my eyes to just what I was okay overlooking. What were red flags, and what weren't? What were deal breakers? I got to decide these things for myself. I didn't want to be with someone that I was embarrassed to be seen with, or someone that I felt I had to change in order to see a forever with him.
I decided to take a little break after calling it quits with M and enjoy some time with my family, and then I felt the longing again. Like I've said before, I'm a lover. I love love, and I know it's out there for me. I prayed about it and really felt that it was time to put myself out there again. So, I opened my heart once more and started dating again. But this time, I started dating with a goal in mind, to be in a relationship with a potential future husband. Not that I am looking to get married again anytime soon, but I want to be in a long-term, committed, healthy, loving relationship with someone that treats me right and reciprocates my loving and caring nature. Was that really too much to ask?
I started talking to a few guys I really liked and went on a few dates. They had Christ at the center of their lives and were focused on bettering themselves. They were motivated, successful, and driven. They were smart, could carry on a conversation (you have no idea how many guys out there can't seem to form a single sentence on a date...wow...), and were genuinely interested in me. So I kept at it, feeling confident about the relationships I was forming. But something wasn't right and just felt off. It was a time in my life that things all around me just felt out of balance, and I finally turned it over and gave it to God. I knew for certain that I needed to be with someone whose faith was important to them. Sadly, I learned that the hard way and knew what kind of failure would become of a relationship without it. But once I did that, something pretty amazing happened.
I met up with a guy that had been communicating with me through an online dating site. It was a first date I was pretty excited about, but I was nervous. Would he still like me in person? What if he's nothing like his picture? What if there's no connection? What if it's a total bust? You know, the typical questions you run through your mind five million times before meeting someone in person that you've only talked to online. #onlinedatingprobs
That date was amazing and probably one of the best dates of my life, at least first dates anyway. He was super sweet, paid for dinner, took me for ice cream (in the cold), and I laughed and smiled like I never had before. Something about this guy was different. Our connection was different than I've ever had with anyone before. He then asked me to date him exclusively the same day, and the rest is history! Okay, not "history", but that's for another time. Let's just say that I fell in love and haven't stopped falling since. :)