He holds my face in his hands and says before kissing me, “Are you feeling this?”
“Yes,” I answer, relieved. “It’s not just me, then?”
“No. It’s not just you,” he says.
“Has this ever happened to you before?” I ask.
“Nope.” He smiles into my eyes.
But we just met. This is only our second date.
How is this possible? How can we both be feeling what we’re feeling? Is this purely driven by our physical attraction to one another? Definitely not, I’ve felt that before–this is something entirely different. And I was attracted to him before I even met him. This is something I can’t describe and all of my skepticism all of my cynicism, all of my doubts that love like this exists in the world is immediately gone.
And I can say that this is worth everything preceding it, no matter what follows…
The first time I see him it is through the glare of my laptop screen.
I am smiling as I look at his profile pictures. My smile is almost obtrusive because I can’t make it stop. “Why are you smiling like this?” I say out loud. “Stop. Seriously, this is ridiculous. It’s just a profile.” But I can’t. I am talking to myself and smiling and struck.
There he is.
All smiles himself with lovely dark eyes that are smiling even when he is not, the outline of his dimples showing through his beard. In one picture he is holding his daughter on his lap, she one of two children he mentions in his profile.
“They’re incredible. And tiring. And funny. And totally worth all the hard work.”
I scan his stats.
He’s 6’3″, clearly gorgeous, gainfully employed in a position he loves. And then there’s his smile. And my smile. The one that is still on my face. Obtrusive and still there, five minutes later.
What is going on? This is nuts.
I had logged on that afternoon to delete my account on OkCupid.com. I had gone on one really awkward date and couldn’t bear the thought of going on anymore. It would be a waste of time. And I don’t want a man that badly. Not bad enough to do that again.
Before deleting my account I stopped, noticing a stock pile of inbound messages. Hmmmm…. who were these from? I scanned the inbox. Nah, nope, gross! And then there was his face and a message.
Evidently we’re 0% match, 41% friend, and 50% enemy. I think that’s pretty funny, because based on how you describe yourself and your “manperson”, I think we’d actually get along pretty well. So, guess I’m just saying Hi, and I’d like to talk sometime.
Keep being awesome.
We find out later we were 50% enemy because I hadn’t taken the time to properly fill out my profile. I write back immediately and after a few exchanges we have made a Saturday coffee date.
That day I can’t think about much else and after Benjamin marches off to Margaret’s house across the street, she’s my soul mate single mama neighbor, without whom I don’t know what I would do. We both trade our children back and forth all weekend, every weekend. This is one of those times and she’s happily acquired Benjamin so I can get dressed. But I can’t get dressed.
This never happens to me. Sure, I have trouble deciding on what to wear, but in this instance I am literally unable to even find something, anything to wear. The butterflies aren’t just flying around in my stomach–they are throwing punches. I end up electing to be on time rather than super cute and choose an old sweater over a t-shirt. Completely boring but at this point, this is a huge win–at least I am dressed.
On paper he is everything.
But what will he be like in person?
When I walk in, I see him on the couch. He jumps up and greets me and I can tell he’s just as nervous. He’s taller than I imagined. It’s not every day that six foot, three men are standing before you. His face is warm, sweet, kind and interesting. And in an instant I can tell that he has lived and survived through pain, real pain. The pain of divorce, the pain of raising two children through that. He is equally as strong as he is sensitive and caring. A dad, through and through. I immediately like him and feel like I’ve known him forever.
When we sit down the conversation starts and it doesn’t stop. We are talking (and laughing) for hours. I find out he has recently moved back to Ohio after four years in Texas, my favorite place on the planet. He has passions: his motorcycle, his songwriting, his children, who are five and six. And then, the coffee long gone, we take a walk from Cup o’ Joe into the Short North. We window shop, eat ice cream and when it’s time to get back to Benjamin he tells me he’d like to see me again.
And so it began…
And here we are, kissing on my couch.
The butterflies are there, the lead weights are there. Everything is there and I have absolutely no reservations, no compromises, no settlements. I also have to stand corrected. On the Prince Charming stuff. While I don’t need to be rescued in any way, he definitely exists because, I have found mine.
To prevent any worries on your end, my sweet readers, because I know some of you may be thinking–that I am insane or that my body has been taken hostage by dopamine and other chemically, or hormonally induced forces… there will be no rushing the children into things. As badly as we want everyone to meet, introductions will be made slowly, very slowly. Like a month from now slowly. And even then we will be friends who have play dates once a week or bi-weekly.
We have both learned in the past that being a single parent dating requires patience and planning.