If I had to say one thing about falling in love it would be this: it’s never the same twice.I mean, how could it be? As we grow older and collect experiences we become different people, don’t we? The person who fell head over heels for someone as a teenager, most certainly is not the same human who has lived, and hopefully loved, decades later.
I know I’ve written before about life’s chapters and respectfully appreciate those who have written their entire romantic history, in multiple chapters, featuring the same person. That is an absolutely beautiful story, however, it is not my own.
The Book of Love, for me, has had a number of important people present. There was the nice guy who didn’t understand why I felt the need to live on my own and pursue a college education, followed by the not-so-nice guy who encouraged me to obtain my GED and get my ass in school. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
A man I dated in college, who broke my heart, was directly responsible for my packing up and running away from Albany immediately after graduation. Had that relationship not ended, there wouldn’t have been an opening at the restaurant where I worked and my eventual husband would not have been hired to replace me. Life would have been unimaginably different.
Who one chooses to create a family with, and who one selects to partner with post-parenting, don’t necessarily share the same characteristics. It was important to me that the father of my children be a man with an involved extended family. I wanted aunts, uncles and cousins for my children, a desire that I’m sure was born from my own lack of relatives growing up. I couldn’t be happier with the family for which our boys belong.
Since the end of my marriage a decade ago, I’ve discovered that dating without an end goal, (such as raising children) is a much different experience than what I knew in my twenties. In many ways it’s easier, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more simple.
I’m not seeking a co-parent for my sons or a financial mate. At this point in time, I’m established with a house, career and traditions I cherish. These parts of my life provide me with satisfaction and a constancy which I very much enjoy. What I’m looking for in a partner isn’t a person to create a foundation with, but instead someone to take me beyond that stable ground to someplace I’ve never before been.
The men I’ve been involved with in the last ten years have each brought something previously unknown, and appreciated, to my life. The time spent getting to know each of them has been valuable and helped me become the woman I am today – both good and bad. I refuse to regret any of these relationships because the lessons I learned have helped me to understand that what is paramount to me is someone who believes, and lives as if, life is an adventure.
There’s someone new in my life who has impressed me with his directness and comfort with being emotionally open. The experiences he has collected and cultivated appeal to me and demonstrate a commitment to exploring the world. I’m not sure what the future might be with him, but I’m certain it wouldn’t be dull.
We recently enjoyed our first getaway together. For the scenic train ride, I brought along a bottle of Veuve. He surprised me by bringing almonds, crackers and cheese.
It was Manchego.