All right, I admit it. I’ve been sounding like a supercilious, know-it-all model of perfection, talking about making my own luck, creating a plan B, and setting certain standards for myself. The reality is that I’m winging through life like the rest of us. The one thing that I have gained since my divorce is distance and perspective. It has been six years, after all, since my marriage dissolved.
I remember feeling starved for the affections of a man a few months after our separation. I’d been ½ of a couple for so long that I didn’t know how to be single. Six months after Bob left I was feeling at my lowest. My family urged me to attend a conference that I wanted to back out of, telling me the change would do me good. I drove to the conference, which was 240 miles away, crying the entire distance. Once I got there, I had no time to think about my situation. There were so many workshops to choose from, activities to attend, and people to meet, that I found relief from the constant stress I was feeling.
On the second night I attended a social gathering, which included a Karaoke Bar. I joined a small group, singing back up to a really good singer. We had such fun, and I began to laugh and truly enjoy myself. Before I knew it, the night was over. There were only three people remaining in the room: me, another woman, and a man. I walked up to them and said how sad I was to see things end. The three of us began to talk, but it was late and I needed my rest. Reluctantly I said I had to leave.
The woman said something to the man, who turned to me and said he would escort me to my room (it was dark and we had to walk outside.) That’s when I took my first good look at him, and thought him strangely handsome. I say strangely, because in every way possible he looked different from Bob.
Like a gentleman he escorted me back to my room, answering my questions, and posing a few of his own. At the door he kissed me, my first kiss from another man in over 29 years. It was electric and surprising, surprising, because I was convinced that no one would ever replace Bob. When I saw him the following day, I handed him my business card.
Two days after the conference I received a note from this man, a sweet little missive stating how much he enjoyed meeting me and hoping he’d see me again. He wrote down his number, and said he would call me soon. We both took a long time to get things started, as he’d been hurt tremendously by his ex. However, we kept in touch, meeting for lunch or dinner once a month, and talking by phone every other week. When my divorce became final, we began seeing each other steadily.
I knew about rebound relationships, and I was quite cautious about my relationship with "N." In fact, it WAS a rebound relationship and it was doomed from the start, since our expectations of each other were unrealistic. However, he healed me in many ways, and I know I healed him. We were two hurting creatures when we met, distrustful of the opposite sex in general, but we were always good and kind to each other. We had a wonderful, fun filled relationship for four years and then it ended. Though the break up was painful, we are still good and loving friends.
So, in addition to viewing yourself as someone who is in control of your life, also try to keep your mind open to all possibilities. Don’t hide behind a thick wall. From the most unexpected source and when you least expect it, something wonderful will come your way. Don’t dismiss a new person or possibility right away because this is not what you wanted or expected.
A good friend of mine dismisses all options that don't fit her preconceived plans. She is a sad person with few friends, and very little hope for her future or situation. Yet from my perspective I see a woman with a beautiful home, two wonderful sons, and more talent in her little finger than most people ever hope to have. What is wrong with this picture?
Another friend of mine told me that she always dated a new man three times. If after the third date, things hadn’t gelled, then she broke things off. Usually, there were no hard feelings, as they'd had no time to bond. I like her philosophy. It means that she is keeping her options open and willing to give others a second chance. She's a younger woman and, needless to say, I think she'll go far in life.
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