Catch of the Day
Last week we had the pleasure of hearing from guest blogger, Carol Lloyd, about her experiences meeting her husband online. As promised, here is Part 2…
Two weeks later the same guy writes.
“You’ve been on my mind a lot the last few days. Would you mind, if I give you a call?”
No, I guess not—but why? Had anything changed about his plans?
As it turned out, I had already planned a trip to Washington for the following long weekend. So I proposed meeting for coffee. No expectations on my part, after all, I’d gotten a “Dear Jane” letter! Nevertheless, he drove the two hours to meet me in Seattle. We had coffee, talked, had dinner and talked. Our first meeting IRL (in real life) was four and a half hours. At the end, when saying goodbye, he asked if he could call me. He asked—big points!!
We called, visited and in the middle of the dating process I panicked! I think he’s very serious – now what?! Prior to this revelation, I had mapped out, for example, when he should travel to visit me, but I didn’t tell him. This was only an agenda I had in my head based on proper male attentiveness (according to Carol).
He actually arrived according to my mental agenda!
So I proceeded to make my signals of interest clear; after all, there was a agenda. Then, he became serious! Oh no! Do I really want to get married? Am I in love with this guy? What will his (grown) kids think of me? Am I too analytical and in my head? (Well, maybe sometimes.) Nonetheless, my questions and emotions needed sorting. I required answers!
Why am I panicking? He isn’t a jerk or a wimp.
I was afraid because I didn’t know what to expect; I needed time to process my feelings. Not only that, but I compared us to other couples! The first two reasons are not surprising. In a relationship it can be difficult to know what will happen, especially a long distance one. Or, on the flip side, did I have expectations that I was unaware of which necessitated definition and resolve? I found myself in both categories, so I had homework. Time, in part, was my answer. I had to deal with my expectations known and unknown, as well as process my feelings. Women should never short change the time required to process feelings, and it is best if some of that processing is done with a close friend or family member.
The third reason for my crisis involved sabotage. Yes, I was the culprit destroying my relationship! Anytime someone compares, corrosion ensues. Comparisons are rarely helpful, especially in regard to relationships, because another couple’s situation, their temperaments and life experiences are always going to be different than mine, or ours in this case. Our path was as valid as any other couple’s. Once I navigated the minefield of expectations and comparisons, I was home free to understand my feelings.
He proposed four months after our first coffee time.
I hemmed and hawed, considered the ramifications, logistics and potential outcomes. After all, I’m quite practical in nature, remember?(Actually, I did none of those things.) By the time he was done with the proposal, we were both teary eyed and I replied with a resounding YES! As mentioned, I did those mental gymnastics while I was panicking and even after the initial crisis subsided.
Don’t forget, fishing often takes time.
This kind of fishing is not like the “catch of the day” at a restaurant, thrown out when it’s spoiled. This lasts a lifetime so impatience does not serve us well. Honestly, I didn’t think there was a guy out there like Brian. We are very well suited. I’m always learning more about him, adjustments are perpetual, and life and marriage can bring struggles. Bottom line, I would do it all again and love having him to share a life together. Having known him for four and a half years, we now have a wonderful mixture of time-lines, where it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long but we’ve known each other forever! Although dating and marriage are not one transcendent experience after another, I am blissfully happy, married to a wonderful and imperfect man.
What expectations or comparisons have you brought to your dating situations? How do you process your emotions?
For more great blogs from Carol, find her at www.timeforcoffee.blogspot.com