Month: February 2016

e-Dating at 60

eharmonyinsideI met him on a dating sight. We talked on the phone a few times. He wanted to meet, so I suggested coffee. But against my better judgment, and my friend’s advice, we met for dinner.

Rigid and uptight, I knew instantly he wasn’t for me. We hugged, but he was awkward and stiff. I tried to steer our conversation toward the personal. I wanted to know about his kids and grandkids. But the most he revealed was their names and ages.

I’m not one to judge people by their past experiences. I want to leave room for men to have learned from their mistakes. Nor do I want to rank my dates by whether or not they’re good enough for me. It just sounds arrogant. So divorce doesn’t make me pull away, even if it’s been two or three.

But I’ve learned broken relationships have jaded many of my potential suitors. And the majority of the eligible bachelors my age have, possibly unknowingly, created walls around their hearts keeping them from ever experiencing much of what I took for granted in my 38-year marriage.

Yes, the bible tells us to guard our hearts. And to be hurt by someone you love as much as a spouse, can tear it to shreds. But there’s a big difference between guarding them and hardening them. And maybe that’s where Tim and I succeeded.Tim and Ellen

Somehow, though I’ll never understand it, Tim and I never crossed that line of hardening our hearts toward each other. Many times, after inflicting our wounds, we turned away, but we always came back.

Maybe there’s no big secret to a successful relationship. Sure, our mates should share many of our passions. Especially our faith. But maybe 29 dimensions of compatibility are overkill. Maybe we underestimate the power of forgiveness and simply staying in the fight.

So I’m not looking for the perfect man. And if you knew Tim, and you know me, we were far from perfect. But I am looking for a fighter. A man strong enough to go into battle – for love. Because that’s the kind of man I married. And I now know, they are the hardest to find.

It Wasn’t Funny Then

Tim and Ellen 20th Anniversary 1993Every Valentine’s Day I cry. Because I miss him. I miss the flowers, the candy, and the killer jewelry.

I also laugh. Because I remember the year of my knee surgery. How I was all alone in our big house on four acres. How I stepped out on our balcony to grill a steak for lunch. How the door locked behind me, leaving me stranded in 40-degree weather.

Had I not been on crutches, I’d have shimmied down to the ground. Had I been smart, I’d have worn more than my pj’s and slippers. Had my frustration not gotten the best of me, I would not have hurled that steak across the yard.

Left with just a fork, I did my best to jimmy the lock. I prayed the UPS truck would pull up our gravel driveway. I swore I’d scream forcing him to walk to the back of our house. I figured any shame would be worth getting back inside.

But nothing worked. So for the next five hours I huddled in the corner and tried to stay warm.

The image is frozen in my mind. Through the French door, I see Tim enter the living room carrying a box of roses. His brows furrow. He cocks his head struggling to grasp why I’m on the balcony in a flood of tears. Why I’m jumping up and down. He opens the door and wood chips from where my fork did its damage, flow down.

It’s all funny now. But it wasn’t then. Just like so many events of our 38 year marriage. What seemed like a tragedy was really not that big of a deal. So much stuff that just wasn’t worth the trouble.DSC02134.JPG

So today, I challenge you to give your Valentine a big ole hug. And make a new vow to see the humor in your story. To not dwell on the little things. And to save your energy for what really matters.

I can promise you, what you’re sweating over today, may just be what you laugh at tomorrow. So why not start the party early.