We’ve Met, from Her Point of View

Do you know how it feels to have a sequence of more than 10 years of trying and trying and trying to build a relationship as you would like it? And always ending by feeling that you make too many compromises to keep it alive? Dozens of beginnings and endings, with the feeling that there is something wrong with you?

I lived that. I’ve met men – always in the “real”, tangible world, never online. Sometimes, I felt like I was in love. Sometimes, I felt like “he seems a decent guy, let’s give it a chance”. But I always felt like something was missing. Sometimes I felt needy, attached. There were times when, even if I was not happy, I was still too afraid of being alone again, so I stayed.

Deep inside I was wondering where my life was going. Having a decent but unfulfilling job, I was looking for a man “to change my life”, to give a sense to my day by day living.

People around me got together, sometimes split, sometimes had children… I was always the divorced woman, either in a fresh relationship, or in between, with trials of a few months, or longer, trials that went on and off.

It was not like that at the beginning, but after two long term relationships that ended in tears, before the age of 33, somehow deep inside, I had a conclusion that it was not worth it anymore to believe in love.

Then for more than 10 years I made compromises. Smaller or bigger, I made them and I did not acknowledge that in fact I wanted a different life in a couple. Acknowledging that would have meant accepting that I need to change firstly something inside myself, in my way of thinking, in my attitude.

Crisis after crisis, finally I started looking for what to change in order to bring more joy in my life. Workshop after workshop, retreat after retreat, book after book, there were few years of digging inside, cleaning, healing, transforming.

I was single for more than a year when I met a woman in a course I was attending. She seemed to be very happy, glowing while expecting her second child. A few months after the course, I saw a post from her on Facebook. She was sharing how happy she was about meeting her husband 5 years ago … on Tinder.

My brain screamed “What…?! Online ?!”

It was that moment when I realized how much resistance I had against online dating. In a world that works a lot based on digital functionalities, a world which is more and more global, I was still limiting my dating options to a local area. On top of that, I had already left the corporate world and started freelancing, mostly from home. So I had even fewer people to interact with face to face.

Luckily I already had few years of personal development, so I was conscious that a big resistance, once observed and overcome, opens the door for new ways of doing things.

There were layers of fears there. What if only weirdos write to me? What if opening an account will be just a waste of time ? What if there will be some nice guy, but living too far away? I took every objection, one by one. I said to myself that if I am about to open an account, then somewhere close enough, there must be a like-minded guy doing the same. I said to myself that mistakes could be done both face to face or online. I said to myself that what really matters is how self-conscious and centered I am, not what channel I use to get in contact with a man.

I opened my Tinder account in the next fifteen minutes, to avoid postponing. I simply wrote in the description how I would like to live with a life partner: trips, reading, laughing, being open and respectful about our needs and wishes, meeting friends, sharing common activities and also having each one of us a private time to do things that we like on our own.

There were several guys with whom I exchanged a few messages. It was a short and insightful experience.

Short because in a couple of weeks, David wrote me, in a very simple way that I felt was authentic. Like his look in his profile photo: genuine, authentic, straight. In his description, there was nothing “salesy”, no “write to impress” kind of approach.

Luckily we lived in the same city. He quickly said that he was not a “chat guy” and would prefer to meet me in person. I liked that he was not hiding behind a monitor, but eager to experience real life, face to face.

By that time I already had a date with another guy ten years younger, athletic … and very boring in conversation. He talked most of the time, mostly about his apartment, his dog and how other people want something from him. After the first thirty minutes it was a “no go” for me.

The date with David started very genuinely, with him protecting me while crossing the street, picking a cozy bistro on a calm little street. He seemed a reliable guy from the first gestures and words. I thought I would spend at most one hour when I first met him. We ended up by spending several hours talking, sharing ideas and perspectives, listening to each other. I felt more and more interested, he seemed to have read a lot, he had a rich work experience, it seemed that we have a lot of values in common.

It was a flow, and it all felt very authentic, natural, with no attempt to fake anything.

There are moments in life when we simply know that we are in the right place, with the right people, doing the right thing. I think that sensation of flow it’s our soul’s way of saying what is deeply true for us.

That’s how I felt spending time with David. His blue eyes seemed in some moments to be clear and genuine like a child’s eyes, opening windows to his heart.

We’ve shared our challenges, our confusions, our fears, our dreams, our vulnerabilities and decisions. I had no fear to share openly where I felt I was in my life. I felt no need to protect myself from “that stranger”.

Authenticity became our number one value, even before love. We’ve both chosen to be true with ourselves and with each other.

Maybe that’s what I was missing in my past attempts, this decision to put authenticity before anything else that at that time I used to call love.

I could say that I’ve wasted so many years and so many resources before reaching this point. But deep inside I feel that I am where I am due to all the experiences from the past.

What if, instead of blaming ourselves for the so-called (by whom, by the way?!) “mistakes” and “failures”, we would be grateful for the lessons we’ve learned through them, and for who we became through those lessons?

We don’t know where our story will go, for me and David. We just decided how we want to live it: by being, as much as we can, authentic and honest, with ourselves and with each other. That’s what I wish for you, too.