Nine years ago, I remarried after being widowed for eight years. I found a great guy who understands me—yet, amazingly, has never tried to run off.
That I know of.
Because I found happiness again, single women often ask me how I met my husband. As if how I met David would work the same way for them.
My advice to them is to pray and wait. Do things you enjoy, learn something new, help someone less fortunate, and spend time with your family and friends. If God has someone for you, He is more than able to bring you two together—without your help.
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. ~ Proverbs 27-13-14 (NIV)
Why am I qualified to give this advice? Because I did everything wrong.
Most of my seeking was on faith-based, online dating sites. Though I found a number of men in my age-bracket, our other brackets didn’t line up. I know “wacko” isn’t a nice word, but let’s just say, I had family and friends who would’ve chased these men off with a stick.
- The man who took turns doing jail time with his fourth wife on domestic abuse charges. He told me, “Don’t worry, we’re getting a divorce.”
- The man who refused to date a woman who had ever had a yeast infection.
- The man who lived in the woods while waiting on the Lord to give him a trailer.
- The man who lived in a trailer while waiting on the Lord for the right time to downsize.
To be clear, I didn’t date many men at all during those years. Sometimes just reading their profiles was enough (or should have been). However, I did communicate with a number of them via the websites, email, or phone.
I often asked myself why. Why did I respond to every inquiry? Why did I continue after the initial exchange? Why did I agree to speak by phone?
The answer is complicated. Since I was lonely, bored, and insecure, empathy played a big part. I felt bad for them. I didn’t want to be mean or rude and make them feel worse. Sometimes it was the writer in me, rubbernecking from a safe distance. Their lives were so different from mine; I wanted to get up close, but not too personal.
I knew my curiosity wasn’t healthy. It got the best of me the night I agreed to meet one of the online bachelors at a Borders bookstore. I knew we weren’t a good fit the moment I saw him. Yet fascination drew me in. And there was the whole not wanting to be mean thing.
We ordered coffee and found a table. He sat facing the window; I sat facing him and the store. Since my interest had peaked prior to the date, when he told me that he and his older brother lived with their mother [Did I mention they were in their fifties?], what little interest that remained waned.
Trying to salvage the conversation, I asked, “So what do you do for a living?”
His face lit up. “I mow lawns. My brother has a paper route.” [Did I mention they were in their fifties?]
Pretending to pay attention is a lot like lying. And I’m not good at it; I felt guilty. So when an eerie pale-faced, bald man dressed in black slithered through my peripheral vision, I thought I was being chastised.
I recovered my composure and changed the subject. Since his profile had been on a Christian website, I asked, “So what church do you attend?”
“We attended a great church in New Jersey, but we haven’t found one we like here yet.”
“Oh. How long have you lived here?”
I tried to morph my “you’re kidding me” face into a calm “I see” expression. My disingenuous reaction only stirred up an even more ominous-looking apparition, which skulked back and forth behind my date’s chair.
It didn’t work. I started seeing witch hats and broomsticks between the books shelves. And it was June.
But when Harry Potter himself sat down nearby for a chai latte with Professor Dumbledore, I had to ask my date if he saw them, too.
“Sure. J.K. Rowling’s latest book. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince came out today. Most of the staff and customers are in costume.”
I scanned my date for the umpteenth time. Was he dressed up, too? Did I dare ask? I considered his two possible answers. Neither would brighten our future.
The very next day I surrendered my will and my search and deleted all my online dating accounts. As I was doing one final click-through, Yahoo Personals popped up–a site I had not joined. Or had I? I did a quick look to be sure.
And—yahoo!—I found David.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. ~ Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)