For those who have been following along on my blog you know when John and I first met, through online dating, we became “just friends”. We both started dating other people, but because of his columns that I was editing, we talked almost daily.
He would come over and sit on my deck and we’d talk for hours about our lives. We played tennis and met for coffee several times a week. We shared our stories with each other and helped each other through difficult breakups.
My favorite times together where when we sat on that deck and John talked about his childhood, his family and growing up. He had some of the funniest stories to share, and they found their way into his columns.
His readers loved it as much as I did.
He shared with me his time in the Air Force Honor Guard. Pride flowed from him when he spoke of those days. I loved hearing about the close friendships he still had with several of the guys he was in the service with.
We talked about love and getting married and how happy he had been with his little family. I read somewhere that Irish men mate for life. I could tell John would have stayed in his marriage until death did them apart.
But that’s not always how things work out.
Listening to the anguish he clearly still felt, sharing the details of his divorce, his hurt tugged at my heart. The man he spoke of – the married guy with the two kids – seemed so different from the one sitting there on my deck.
When I mentioned this to him, he said, “That guy is gone, and I don’t see him ever coming back.” I knew what he was saying was, ‘don’t get any ideas, I’m not a keeper’. And I think he truly meant that too.
John did his best to keep up the façade of being the happy-go-lucky player who just wanted to have a good time and move on. He was convinced that was his path in life now, and repeated to me several times that he was “a loner”.
It wasn’t just his divorce that had him believing this. No, he had his share of hard knock relationships and we had way more in common on that front than either of us cared to admit.
He dated a woman like my “Rob”, fell in love with one like “Judd” and almost married that one. Each time a relationship failed he had another example of “relationships don’t work out”… we were polar opposites on that mark.
A true romantic at heart,
I knew my person was out there every bit as much as John knew there was no one for him. We had heated discussions on the matter of love, with John holding fast to his belief, and me to mine.
After careful examination of our respective relationships, I determined that John consistently picked girls that wouldn’t work out. This would further bolster his claim that he was a loner.
Where I was sure every relationship I was in would work out, but when it didn’t I was quick to move on, because I knew my person was waiting for me…somewhere.
So I still have to wonder how one night sitting on my sofa talking together, our hands touched and we both felt a spark that would change our lives forever.