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Could This Be Love?

July 12, 2021 (412 words)

Coming out of a 35-year marriage (and a 39-year relationship) you’re not supposed to fall for the first person who smiles at you. There are a lot of fish in the sea, and you’re supposed to sample at least some of what life has to offer in the way of female companionship.

The idea is to approach the search for a new love interest with an open mind and a casual attitude. Dating a series of women, and not honing in on any one person too quickly, will allow you to develop a clearer picture of what you are looking for, and who might be the best match.

All of which sounds swell in theory. But this playing the field can be a time-consuming pastime. Making the initial overture, arranging for that first meeting, then plowing ahead through a few actual dates. Repeating this process with several women in sequence can eat up a precious amount of calendar. And keep in mind, the women you are taking the measure of are not standing idly by, patiently waiting for you to make up your mind. What if, after six months or a year of testing the waters, you realize the woman you dated back in the beginning might just be the one? What happens if that individual has moved on in her own search, and is no longer available?

You’re not supposed to fall for the first person who smiles at you, but what if you luck out and meet an unusual female early on who is an appealing combination of practical and ditzy, hard-working and easy-going. A lover of children who naturally tries to facilitate everyone else’s happiness. A true romantic, based on her continuing search for what she describes as a trusted friend. What if your sensibilities and life experiences seem to sync up after only a few encounters? What then?

I’m brand new at this, but already I’m making an adjustment in my approach. There seems to be no point in going through the motions of multiple dates with any woman unless you both feel something right from the start that might extend beyond the admittedly important criteria of physical attraction.

Of course, there is no guarantee such a kernel of kinship will pan out and develop into something alive and well. But being hip and casual and doing a series of trophy dates with pretty people I might want to horizontal mambo with makes no sense to me now.

Robert J. Cavanaugh, Jr
July 12, 2021

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