As I embarked on a new life with a new attitude and a new outlook, I began reflecting on the type of partner I wanted in my life. I started making a list. The “Law of Attraction” states “create a picture in your head of what you want, believe that you have it, and be grateful that you have received it” so I looked at the list and did exactly that. (See “The Secret” link at the end of this post for more information about the law of attraction)
It wasn’t difficult for me to envision the type of partner I wanted because I had been dreaming about him for years. I dreamt of a man who treated me the way I wanted to be treated but deep down I didn’t think I was deserving so these thoughts became my reality. I had to change my thoughts to reflect my new mentality which was that I am deserving and I am worthy. So instead of “dreaming” about one day meeting this wonderful man I felt as though I already had him. I had to picture myself with a man that had all of the qualities I wanted him to have. It was more of a calm confidence that wrapped around me like a warm blanket.
Below was the list of characteristics I wanted in a life-partner. With my new attitude I believed I deserved a relationship with a man that is filled with love, respect, compassion and admiration.
You may be thinking these are lofty expectations but I truly believe I am valuable and powerful enough to have the things I want. I put my order out into the universe and waited.
After my year “sabbatical” from dating, in February of 2013 I updated my eHarmony profile and remained confident that he would come to me.
I have to admit, I was a little frustrated on eHarmony because it was July 2013 and I wasn’t getting, what I felt, was a good selection of profiles. They were just trickling in and the ones that trickled in weren’t anything to write home about.
I called eHarmony and spoke to a very helpful representative and he explained that their process is one that is more “in-depth” which, yes, takes longer but ultimately has a higher success rate. Matt helped me tweak my profile and encouraged me to expand my geographic zone another 50 miles. I was like “No way, because if I meet someone that lives 75 miles away, I’m not driving over an hour.” Plus say I did meet someone and it became serious there’s the whole dilemma of who would be willing to uproot their kids and move. It just seemed unrealistic and pointless.
Matt (eHarmony rep) explained to me that he had the same concerns when he was searching for a mate. He said that any man that valued me and was worth my time, would make the drive. Then I thought maybe Matt was right. I do value myself and I want to be with a man that sees my value. Matt said he met a woman that lives far away and he gladly makes the 90 minute drive to see her. She is now his fiancé and he will be moving to her town when they get married.
I took Matt’s advice and expanded my geographic zone another 50 miles.
Roughly two weeks later I received an email notification from eHarmony that would eventually change my life forever.
I read his profile and thought he seemed interesting and he was handsome.
Todd, 6’ 2”, computer geek, has 2 daughters, enjoys coaching his daughter’s sports teams, enjoys trying new restaurants, enjoys traveling, enjoys his job, loves new adventures - lives 75 miles away!
I answered his questions and tossed him my initial set of pre-determined questions. He was very responsive which is always a good sign, in my opinion, and the next day he sent me another set of questions. We did this for a few days until I felt comfortable taking it to the next level…switching to our personal emails.
eHarmony is set up to let members take it as fast or as slow as they would like. There were times when some men wanted to exchange phone numbers instantly and meet right away but that sent up red flags for me. I was looking for a long-term relationship with someone who was looking for the same and I felt the process was at “my speed”. For some people “the process” on eHarmony is too slow and methodical, but in my opinion it works.
July 22, 2013 we moved to emailing and continued our conversation over the next few days. His emails were detailed and reflective. As I read his lengthy emails – in response to my lengthy emails – I became very encouraged. He answered all of my questions and passed with flying colors.
I soon realized that he was a man with a kind, patient heart and someone I wanted to get to know on a deeper level. We began talking on the phone after he sweetly asked “May I call you this weekend?” Over the phone his demeanor was confident and warm. He was intelligent, eloquent, expressive, and playful. After several days of getting to know him, we were ready to take it to the next level…meet in person.
Through our conversations he learned that I loved fashion and art so he suggested we go see a special exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago featuring paintings that reflected fashion during the Impressionism period. I was very impressed that he actually listened to me about my love of fashion but I was also impressed that he was willing to do something that he thought I would enjoy. He truly and deeply wanted to do something that he thought would make me happy. I’ve had other men try to impress me but this was different. It just seemed genuine and self-less.
For our first date Todd planned an afternoon at the art institute and a dinner cruise on Lake Michigan. We had taken a few weeks to get to know one another and we were really becoming connected so I felt comfortable trusting him to pick me up and drive us into the city. Yes we were going to spend an entire day and evening together, far away from home. Of course a part of me had some reservations about whether or not he was a serial killer. I figured a serial killer wouldn’t have had the stamina for what I put Todd through during those first few weeks and would have been on to his next victim weeks ago.
Our date went amazingly well. We continued to connect on many more levels and although it was early in our relationship, it felt different. I was still being cautious because of my previous experiences where the first four months were great, (see below the link for my relationship bloopers post) then the honeymoon was over and he starts farting in front of me. It’s almost as if they get too comfortable and as soon as that happens, things go downhill from there. Don’t get me wrong I think farts are funny but when he becomes inconsiderate about his bodily functions, that’s when he becomes inconsiderate about everything else – in my opinion.
For the next several weeks we continued getting to know each other. He came out a few days a week when he didn’t have his kids. It worked out well with his kids too because they were in high school and were with their mom for two weeks and with him for two weeks.
As the months went on, we became closer and things continued to get better and he was proving to be all of the things I wanted in a partner; unwavering integrity, compassion, kindness, devotion, love, and loyalty. At the fifth month mark, he was still the same man I had met five months ago. He continued to be supportive, caring, loving, and respectful. His devotion to our relationship really surprised me and I was slowly letting my guard down yet still waiting for him to turn into a jerk.
With each month that came and went I fell more and more in love with him. I wasn’t thoroughly convinced even after nine months that he was for-real and I continued to be cautiously optimistic. Then one night we were laying in bed talking and laughing before we went to sleep (which we did most nights) and he said something that would be “the clincher” for me. We were talking about his days as an EMT (emergency medical technician) and he was sharing a story about a patient that had a colostomy bag (a bag placed on the stomach to collect feces after a colostomy surgery.) I know this sounds really distasteful but we were joking about the day when one of us would have to get a colostomy bag and he said “You don’t have to worry honey because I will be there to change your colostomy bag.” And I believed him.
In that moment I had never felt so completely safe and loved knowing that this strong, confident, loving and devoted man would be there for me. That’s when I realized he was/is “my person.” By that I mean the person that embodies all of the things I deem valuable. The person I want to be with for the rest of my life. We continued to laugh until we fell asleep in each other’s arms.
By our one year anniversary (August 3, 2014) I figured if this guy wasn’t for-real than he should quit his day job, move to Hollywood, and become an actor because there’s an Oscar in his future.
When I look back on all of my previous relationships I can only say “thank you” because without those experiences, I wouldn’t be here today appreciating how happy I am with this wonderful man.
Whenever he asks “How did I get so lucky to meet such a wonderful woman like you?” I reply: “I ordered you from the universe.” We are about to celebrate three wonderful years together (August 3, 2016) and I am still madly in love with him. He makes me laugh everyday and I feel incredibly loved, accepted and appreciated. So, of course, when he asked me to marry him, I said "yes!"
Some other posts you may find are worth a read.
“My Relationship Bloopers” – my relationship bloopers and blunders
“Disease to Please – My Story” about my recovery
“Dating After Divorce” my post about my online dating experience
“My Humble Childhood” post is about my abusive childhood
Images are from graphicstock.com but have been tweaked for my blog