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Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Broke My Own Rule

The first date I went on, as a widow, when I decided to start dating again was with a very kind Christian man who just happened to be recently separated.  

He had not been married very long at all (6 months I think) when his wife decided that she just could not handle the thought of her ex-husband, and father of her daughter, taking another woman around her little girl so she went back to him.  

Or at least that is the story I was given and the one he believed to be true though I know there are usually several different versions of any one story. 

We met at a restaurant and he was the perfect gentleman but the main topic of our conversation?  Yep.  His ex.  Clearly, though he had assured me he was ready, this man was in no way ready to move forward and had no business dating. 

We had a nice dinner though and at the end of the night he said he'd like to see me again and that he'd call me. 

He called me the next day and wanted to see me again the next weekend.  I told him I just didn't feel comfortable getting a babysitter and going on another date again so soon though I should have just told him the truth, which was that I had no desire to get involved with a man who was still pining for his ex. 

I made a rule right then and there that I would not, under any circumstances, go on a date with anyone else who was "separated". Divorced was okay, but separated?  Not happening. 

I stuck to my guns too.  Everyone I went out with, I met through online dating services which worked perfectly for me because I could screen them out thoroughly before deciding whether or not I wanted to date them.

There were several who, though they seemed great in every other way, I turned flat down because that little relationship status box showed separated.  No matter how hard they tried to convince me it was simply a technicality, (you have to be legally separated for one full year before you can apply for divorce in the state of North Carolina) I would.not.budge. 

I had been back in the dating field for almost two years when Charlie sent me a message on Yahoo.  He made me laugh right away, which is a huge plus in my little book, and seemed like someone I could have a lot of fun with if nothing else.  And his relationship status?  Divorced. 

Or at least that's what it said on his profile. 

We met at a restaurant and I liked him right away.  He was funny, smart, tall with thick curly hair, and obviously had a lot on the ball.  Then...then...he lets the cat out of the bag!

He was NOT divorced yet.  He had only been legally separated for a few months though he assured me that ship had sailed.  

At one point in our conversation, he tells me how he sees himself having a girlfriend who, and I quote "has her own place and I have my own place and we just visit". 

I gave him a polite smile and a nod but inside I was thinking, "I hear ya, big stuff!  Next!"  

I told myself, though I had a wonderful time on our date, that I was going to line myself up another date and I did, for two weeks later.  However, Charlie and I kept emailing each other all that next week and saw each other two or three more times before time for that next date.   

I had spent the entire day with him on that day, two weeks later, when it came time for me to get ready for my other date.  But my heart was just not in it.  I didn't want to go on that date. 

I knew I was breaking my one major rule here that I said I would never, ever break by getting involved with a man not yet legally divorced but everything about him told me to take a chance on him. 

So I told him that I had a dilemma and didn't quite know what to do about it.  He seemed a little taken aback by my confession and honesty and asked if he needed to leave.  I looked at him with my No, you big dummy  look and said, "No.  I don't want to go on that date but I need to know one thing...Are we going to be exclusive?" 

He said he hadn't even thought about going on a date with another woman since the night he met me so I took a leap of faith, went against my own rules and broke that other date as nicely as I could.

We got married 18 months later. Sometimes it pays to listen to your heart and break your own rules! 

This post was written in response to Mama Kat's writer's workshop prompt.   "A rule I broke" 


  1. What a GREAT story! So happy the rule-breaking paid off. :o)

  2. What a happy take on Mama Kat's prompt. So awesome.

  3. When I got divorced last year, I swore I'd not date for a LONG time. I definitely swore I would be in any sort of serious relationship for years...I was still so sure that something miraculous would happen and my ex would change and be the man I thought I married when I married him.

    6 weeks after papers were signed, a man walked into my office that was all kinds of wonderful in so many ways...and here I am, 10 months in to the best and most fulfilling relationship I could have ever asked for.

    Sometimes our "rules" are meant to be broken for our own benefit!

    So happy you found a great man!

  4. Some rules are made to be broken! Glad you found your happy ending, that's awesome!

  5. I love that picture of you guys!! And I love that you broke the rules. Love it.

  6. Great story and a lovely picture!

  7. LOVE this story! So glad you followed your guys are a great looking couple!

  8. That picture is beautiful! I'm glad it worked out so nicely for you. He sounds great!

  9. What a wonderful story! :) See, sometimes you NEED to break the rules! (Shhh, don't tell my kids I said that! ;))

  10. Oh my stars. BEAUTIFUL couple. SO glad you broke your own rule!

  11. What a great story! I was reading your post, thinking "ummmhummmmm....when I started dating again after my first husband and I separated I came to realize quickly that separated was often code for 'married but cheating'."

    So happy to hear that not only was that NOT the case with you, but that breaking a rule turned out so beautifully for you both.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today via Mama Kat too!

  12. I love stories like yours. I too went through divorce and remarried. Second time is a charm!

    Glad to see you got your happy ending too!

    Added myself to your Google Friend Connect!

  13. So glad you broke that rule. You two are so happy together.

  14. What a great story and happy result of breaking the rules. I always laugh at some of the rules Ive imposed upon myself. only to break them and wonder why I made them in the first place.

  15. Stopping by from Mama Kat's, Thanks for sharing that!

  16. You followed your gut on this and it totally worked out! Yay!

  17. I love stories like that- I have broken many of my own rules & most of the time it turns out pretty good in the end :)

  18. What a wonderful story! When it comes to love, the rules go out the window! ;)

  19. What a wonderful story! We always have to go with our heart/gut/whatever you like to call it...we usually regret it when we don't!

  20. Lovely story and I'm glad you broke your own rule!

  21. Sometimes your instincts just know when it's okay to break a rule... it's like a sixth sense. I so need to start on line dating... it's on the list!

  22. I'm glad you broke your rule. Turned out ok, eh?