…and all inside of ten short little months.
Surely I can guess what you’re thinking. I bet that you’re thinking, c’mon, Meredith, what kind of click-bait BS is this? Are you going to try and sell me something? Have you become a relationship expert? Is this about how to snag a guy in just three easy steps or some other kind of nonsense?
Absolutely not and I promise you, this is nothing of the sort. This is instead a true story about what I’ve learned about life, romance, and relationships in the not-so-recent past.
So after my divorce was final, the first thing I did was take time to heal. And after approximately a year and a half of healing time but no Hallmark movie-esque relationship miraculously popping up on my horizon, I thought well, maybe it’s time to start dating again so I don’t die alone surrounded by a billion cats.
First of all, I hate trying to go out places so I turned to online dating. Previously, I’d done the online dating thing in my early thirties and been somewhat successful. That being the case, I thought I’d give it another try. However being on the shady side of forty, I quickly learned that the dating pool for a middle-aged childless divorcée was not very well stocked. At all.
After two dismal meet-and-greets, and one disastrous date, I nearly gave up on dating altogether. Then, I met a seemingly nice single guy who seemed to have it all together. He had a good job, owned his home, drove a nice car, and had no kids. Clearly he sounded great on paper but in reality?
Not so much. In fact, we decided to call it quits after about five months of dating (and, AHEM, me making most of the effort). Fine. Goodbye, adios and good riddance. However, I’ll never forget his parting shot. Know what he told me?
“Although you check nine out of ten boxes on my wish list, I don’t want to settle.”
HE DIDN’T WANT TO SETTLE? This man who had more issues than a magazine stand didn’t want to settle for a nine out of ten? EXCUSE ME? DAFUQ WHAT? The guy who checked maybe four out of ten boxes for me? I was furious after hearing that! But I also learned an important lesson on the subject of settling.
So what did we learn?
We learned that I did not want to settle for someone either. Period. Four out of ten boxes isn’t enough, and neither is nine out of ten. I wanted either ten out of ten or I’d have nothing and be single for the rest of my natural life.
Dying alone was starting to look pretty good. Heh.
I kid, I kid. Mostly.
Look, the idea of getting comfortable with the real possibility of being single for the rest of my life and thereby dying alone was about as appealing as sliding into bed with a cactus. But you know what? That’s exactly what I did! And wonder of wonders? I actually became very comfortable with the prospect. So comfortable in fact, that I was starting to seriously enjoy being single!
As for dating? Well, I wasn’t ruling out the possibility of a date should someone ask me. I didn’t see how that was going to happen since I refused to step foot outside the house other than work, and work wasn’t exactly teeming with single men. To be honest, I hoped I’d meet someone organically on Twitter no matter how much folks want to snipe, TWITTER’S NOT A DATING SITE, MEHHHH!
No, Twitter is not a dating site, but I’ve seen plenty of relationships begin and thrive there. I’d hoped I’d be one of them. Still I was not going to actively look for a relationship. In fact, being a person of faith and like the meme goes, I decided I’d “be single until God tap me on the shoulder and say this you, fam!”
Little did I know I’d get that shoulder tap when I absolutely least expected it.
Let me add that I always hated the phrases “love will happen when you least expect it” and “when it happens, you’ll just know”. When I was single, those axioms always sounded like smarmy pot-shots from every coupled-up person I knew. Ugh! I would get so mad at well meaning friends on Twitter who would inevitably trot those tired old clichés out into my mentions when I was on a “single forever and dying alone” tangent. But you know? I found out that tired old clichés are absolutely true.
Matthew dropped into my life on Twitter one late spring evening. I did not expect anything would come from following this bespectacled guy with the cute smile after seeing a tweet I liked on a mutual friend’s Twitter feed. I really didn’t think much about it even after he followed me back. So later that evening imagine my surprise when Matthew direct messaged me telling me how much he enjoyed my Backyard Weather Reports, that he loved what he saw of my personality, and he wanted to know more about me.
At first I was pretty cautious and slightly worried that he was a fake or playing some kind of weird game that would wind up with my head in his freezer. Hey, I watch Lifetime movies just like everyone else! But Matthew was so sweet and engaging that I couldn’t help but let my guard down pretty quickly. That Saturday night, we talked for hours.
The only hitch? Matthew lived 2,000 miles away.
In the forty-two days prior to meeting in person, (believe me when I tell you he was making flight plans within a week) we moved swiftly from the Twitter DM to daily texts, phone calls and Face-timing every night. Feelings grew to the point that we were completely smitten. However, Matthew and I were both realistic enough to know that moving our relationship from online to offline hinged on the visit we planned.
When the big day arrived, I KNEW that as soon as I opened the door that we would spend the rest of our lives together. And so did Matthew.
After our week-long visit in July, Matthew flew home and gave his two weeks’ notice. Then he sold his house, packed up his car, and moved out to Bakersfield where he found a wonderful job and started a brand new life with yours truly. If that isn’t enough excitement, Matthew popped the question January 11th of this year and of course I said yes. No, we’re not having a big wedding, but we’re having it very soon. Finally, I gotta tell you that not only does Matthew check ten out of ten boxes, he checks boxes I didn’t even know I had!
I can honestly say that my Matthew is truly the most amazing man I’ve ever known, and I’m particularly lucky in that my mother loves him too. Best of all, my husband to be loves me exactly the way I am and I’ll freely admit I never had that before. Happily ever after here I come.
Ultimately, I’m SO glad I didn’t settle. I will say it’s hard to believe that becoming comfortable with being single and refusing to settle led up to the best relationship with the most wonderful man I’ve ever known, but here we are. And so THAT, my loves, is how I went from dying alone to happily ever after…all in the space of ten months.
Lecture over, class dismissed.
Thanks for reading,