However, when my happy-in-relationships friends suggested that I have some faith in dating, I always said, “Never again. Never gonna look at another man, much less love one.”
As if on cue, they always said, “Never say never.”
I am the humiliated owner of three divorce decrees. In my book that’s more than enough evidence that I should mold on my couch alone.
The first time I was by myself I had a baby, an hour commute to work and a weekend job too. When my son was 6 years old I went back to college. I had no time to think about anything past survival.
When the second union ended I still worked a couple of jobs. But with my son away at college I definitely felt the sting of divorce. For the first time ever, I had no one to take care of and no one to talk to at night.
By the third trip through divorce court, I was over 50. The lack of job opportunities at my age scared me to death. So I moved to Florida, thinking that a great tan and sunshine every day might help me feel better about it.
A year later breast cancer came around. So two years of healing followed, two years to think about my three failed marriages, two lost breasts and a growing realization that the world is made for couples. I was too terrified though, to even consider being coupled.
When I saw older couples walking the beach, tears dripped off my chin.
But I never took a single step out my door toward romance.
Last June I moved back north. Last September a certain man’s sweet face and thoughtful posts kept popping up on my Facebook page.
Last New Year’s Day he invited me to a party at his home. But I didn’t go. I assumed he had a girlfriend. And I sure didn’t want to see my secret crush with another woman.
So anyway, by spring time, we started walking in the park, laughing and talking a lot. Then he told me that he has been reading my work for years, that he likes to dance, that he cooks (and we all know that I don’t).
Every time I saw him my stomach jiggled like it did at the eighth- grade dance.
Even though I tried not to think anything of it, I secretly thought everything of it.
So here I am, officially in a relationship. That’s kinda sweet. Right? Winking at 60 and I get to be someone’s girlfriend?
When I get scared I remind myself that in the last couple of years, I have survived breast cancer along with some other painful moments. Of course I have the courage to open my heart.
Still though, I sometimes wake up in the night and think, “I am crazy for doing this. He will never stay this kind and gentle and patient.”
That’s when I take a deep breath and tell myself, “Never say never.”
Sherri Coner is an award-winning journalist and humor writer who speaks to women’s groups. To learn about her books for women and to join her on Facebook, visit www.sherriconer.com.