Six months ago, I was single. I had been single for three years. I had been unhappily married for many years before that. Not to a bad man, just the wrong man.
When I split from my husband in 2016, I had no intention of finding someone else any time soon. I grieved the failure of my marriage even though I had wanted it to end for some time. And then, my Dad was sick so the focus was on him.
Occasionally I thought I might be ready. It never lasted long. I would dally with online dating or chatting but would quickly get bored or recognise signs in myself that I wasn’t ready.
At the end of October last year, I decided that I would try dating again. I was ready. But I decided that rather than focus on finding a long term commitment, I would just happily enjoy communicating, flirting and dating. No pressure, no rush.
I was surprised at the amount of attention I received. Sure, some I wasn’t interested in. Some were just after one thing. But I was enjoying myself, taking my time. A couple I really began to enjoy talking to.
And then Wild Card came along. I’d joined Facebook a few weeks before as my friend had recommended it as a good way to chat to people, men and women, and to build my confidence. She felt it was a secure way to talk/flirt with men as they often lived too far away for them ever to be more than online flirtations. Boy, was she wrong.
I said I’d give it a try. I joined a few groups that I was interested in, and that was enough. And then Wild Card sent me a friend request.
When I looked at his profile, my immediate reaction was that he was very attractive. And he was single, so possibly a bit of flirting material? Why not, I thought, and accepted his friend request.
And then he messaged me. And we started to chat online. And then he wanted to videochat. I was reluctant at first, shy, but soon gave in. He was funny and attractive. I enjoyed talking to him. But I quickly decided that was all it would ever be. He was a distraction, a bit of fun away from some of the other men I was in contact with.
But, the more I talked to him, the more I liked him. Soon I liked him as much as an online date I was in regular contact with. And then, I liked him more.
And now, now we are a couple, a pair.
I have no doubts that I am in a relationship with him. I recently let go of my fears and jealousy and have felt all the better for it. It has helped me see all the ways that he shows me, every day, that he loves me. Maybe not the way I expect or even want. But he really does show me.
Except for today. Today, my 40th birthday, he has told me by creating a beautiful and heartfelt video of our pictures, videos and memes set to poignant music. He tells me he loves me, that he loves every moment. That he wants to be with me.
I am in a relationship. I’m one half of a pair. And six months ago, I would never have seen this coming.