Over the more than 2 years that I seriously dated in my late 50’s and then again in my early 60’s, a few things happened on first dates or early on, that led me to believe I had met “the one”.
They were minor occurrences, but with the promise of romance and love in the air, I built them up to be of major importance. Somehow these things convinced me that we were “meant to be”.
Consequently, I wasted too much time hitching my wagon to men who weren’t capable of having the kind of mature, nurturing relationship I wanted . . . mostly based on coincidental events.
If I had properly assessed these potential relationships from the start, I would have nipped things in the bud, so I’d be open to someone who was right for me.
By the way, the desire to have a special story doesn’t plague only women. Plenty of men suffer from it, too.
4 Romantic Notions That May (or May Not) Mean You’ve Found True Love
Here are four things from my dating career that I placed too much significance on:
1. My date and I saw a rainbow driving to a restaurant for lunch.
It was one of those rainbows that seemed to be only a few feet away, over a pond we were driving by. The colors were especially spectacular and distinct from one another, and we could see the entire arching effect.
Even though rainbows ARE pretty special, I read way too much into it.
After seeing the rainbow, we began seeing each other several times a week. The romance lasted for about a month.
But he was all wrong for me. He saw that before I did, and broke things off rather insensitively (by phone). I was devastated for a while, but then realized things weren’t right in the relationship, and I went back at dating seriously again.
I got lucky and met Sam about a month later. If I had stuck with the rainbow guy, I never would have been open to dating Sam.
2. My date and I had the same birthday.
When I look back on the 2 months that I dated this man, I can see so many red flags that I chose to overlook, or just didn’t see, at the time.
This was early in my dating career when I had very little experience dating different kinds of men, so my radar was wobbly, to say the least. I had yet to understand that I was attracted to men who were all wrong for me . . . or for any women (in my opinion).
If I was paying attention, I would have seen right away that he was a manipulative narcissist, just like my ex-husband.
He was incapable of emotional intimacy. And he was a “player” who needed to have dates every weekend night to feel good about himself. So I was just a link in his chain of revolving potential dating prospects.
Also, he was a terrible listener, not much interested in what I had to say. He went radio silent on me several times. He’d often call me for a date last minute. In other words, he was disrespectful in many regards.
The fact that our birthdays were on the same day somehow elevated him in my mind as a potential partner, despite all the red flags.
Clearly, I wasn’t thinking straight. But I can commend myself for figuring it all out fairly quickly. I gave up on him after 2 months, said “No” when he called for a date a few months afterwards, and set my sights on finding someone better suited to me.
3. My date and I shared a love of the same obscure musician.
Before I met Cosmo in person, we communicated for a week or so by email before moving to phone conversations. From the beginning, we learned that we both had eclectic taste in music. I would email him YouTube videos of people and groups I liked. He did the same with me.
I wanted to test Cosmo’s musical taste and knowledge, so I sent him a video of Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, early in Dan’s career, when he was on the Flip Wilson Show.
It struck a chord (pun intended). Turns out, Cosmo was a huge fan as well.
We both came to feel that this shared fandom sealed the deal with our relationship. It seemed to tell us something special about each other.
Of course, that’s pretty much nonsense. It was a sweet little thing we had in common, but we had so many other things going for us that made us compatible and soulmates. Surely, our mutual love of Dan Hicks had only a tiny impact on our mutual love of each other.
4. My date and I lived across the street from each other, but only found each other through a dating site.
Well, this was Cosmo again. I’ve mentioned this coincidence several times before on this site, but it really is such a good story, I want to tell it again.
Cosmo had been living on my street for about 7 years before we met. I had been living where we now live together for about 15 years. Property lots are on the large side, so neighbors are not located very close together, and are not at all chummy with each other.
I never saw him take out his garbage or walk along the street. Since people here aren’t friends so much, we wouldn’t have met at a neighborhood gathering.
We both know we never would have met, if we hadn’t both been on the same dating site, at the same time.
This is one of the reasons we both recommend online dating to anyone.
A Great “How We Met” Story Isn’t All That Important
Everyone wants a great first date or “how we met” story. This is so important to some people that they invent one.
These things are great, but they don’t indicate that you’ll have a compatible, loving relationship.
Even though two of my romantic notions above resulted in me finding true love with Cosmo, these things in and of themselves did not seal the deal. They’re just sweet little things that happened to us.
Instead of hanging on to some random event as evidence that you’re meant to be, date smart by going into it already knowing who will be right for you.
And, when those magical things happen early in a potential relationship, stop and think.
Are you swooning over that coincidence and having a good story to tell about it, or is this really the right kind of person for you?
Sometimes that good story, like in my case, does go hand-in-hand with having a soulmate relationship. Sometimes it’s just a nice little thing that happened, and no more.