Finding ‘the One’

Frank Sinatra sang “The Best is Yet to Come” and I now see how right he was. The summer of 2021 came around and life was settling into a post-Covid “normal” and I was still researching online dating sites. One weekend I had four dates, the first three of whom were not right for me, but the fourth piqued my interest. Rather than the corporate type I knew so well and expected to meet, he was an artist (like my late husband), and I loved his creativity, his imagination, and his intellectual curiosity. As with every date, I texted him afterwards to thank him, and when he didn’t reply I texted him again — I figured I had nothing to lose — and asked if it was “something I wrote,” and he replied that no, he wanted to see me “ sooner rather than later.” He asked me out for Thai food which I purported to love, though I really don’t except for pad Thai noodles.

We had a ball - he was funny (and equally important he found ME funny!), well read, shared my very strong political beliefs, was a great listener, ate with gusto, and when we sat on a bench in downtown Rhinebeck he kissed me , and I swear it felt like coming home (that said, he swears that after he walked me to my car and kissed me goodnight I couldn’t leave quickly enough, but that may have been confusion/ guilt because something felt SO right to me).

On our second date he invited me and my poodle Charlie for dinner. I can’t imagine a better way to a woman’s heart than through her dog and indeed he had several biscuits for Charlie.

We dated until the end of the year , talking a lot about our relationship and what it meant for each of us, and who doesn’t love a man who will openly talk about his feelings. He had a long and generally happy marriage, a divorce and then a two-year relationship, and I had been dating for two years; we each admitted we were not sure each other was “the one.” I’m five years older than he is and he had spent most of his life with much younger women; my late husband was 12 years older, and brought me thematurity and self-confidence that I was seeking. Nevertheless, it was one of the many things we’d each have to think through, so we decided to take a break.

For the next six months we were each back on Match, busily meeting even more people, but we remained each others confidante, critiquing the people each other met and definitely not meeting “the one.” We then realized we’d never know if we could really build something unless we worked at it, so that June we became “exclusive.” In October we moved in together, and a year a half later we remain the best of friends and lovers; we count on spending our remaining years together , convinced we could not be any happier.

We’re probably still not each other’s “ideal” person, but for starters neither of us wants to ever date again, and we love just being together, having someone to ask “how was your day,” sharing our histories, and creating our own memories. Back in the day it was so important that the man I chose was liked by my mother (seriously? I was almost 40), by my friends, grew up the way I did, attended a similar college and so on, but I realized that none of that mattered any more. Now I only wanted to feel certain we would be happy growing old together, and would always be there for each other. When people asked what drew me to him I’d say that we never ran out of conversation, and I realized that was a pretty good indication of what our life together could be . Can we make each other crazy — absolutely — we have a combined 155 years of baggage that’s part of who we are, but we never try and change each other. We may tweak a few things along the way, but at this stage in life you fall in love with a fully developed human and you need to accept the whole package.

I continue to urge friends to try online dating — of course you kiss a lot of frogs — but you have the ability to present your best self, pick and choose , and sometimes if you’re very lucky, find THE ONE, as I did.

Gwen Greene is retired and lives in Pine Plains with her partner Dennis, her puppy Charlie, and 2 Angus cows, also retired.

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