I 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.
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.