Over the past year and a half or so, I have learned some very painful, but beautiful and important lessons about myself, about relationships and about life. These are lessons that most people will experience throughout different times in their journeys of self-discovery, and will likely be the most important lessons they learn. If we live long enough, we all fall in love. Some will get the fortunate experience of choosing correctly the first time, most will not. And then will follow the inevitable pain, which will vary in intensity depending on how strong the feelings were in the first place. Unfortunately, in my case, because I loved more deeply than I had ever loved in my life, I also felt more pain than I had ever felt in my life.
But to back up, the story must be told. I will keep it to the basics and change names, though most reading this post know whom I am referring to. It started about a year and a half ago. I had just recently begun dating again after a divorce. I wasn’t brave enough to meet men face to face at that time, so internet dating became an easier and better option for me.
Before my marriage, I did not have many relationships. In fact, I never had a real relationship before my marriage. I had dated a few men, but I always knew on the first or second date that it wasn’t going to go any farther. So, I spent a lot of dateless weekends in my single years. Since I’d had so little experience with men and dating before my marriage, I vowed, now that it was over, that I needed to simply have fun for a year. I wanted nothing to do with a serious relationship, love, nor anything like it.
That was until I saw Aaron’s picture. He simply took my breath away. He responded to my flirt, we chatted, and then we talked over the computer. Three hours later, as the conversation ended, we both knew it was love at first sight. Or so it seemed. The following weeks, we shared several conversations and emails passed back and forth between us. The love between us continued to grow. Aaron said such beautiful things to me and I, in my naiveté believed every word he spoke. No man had ever made me feel the way he did. Words like “soul-mate” and “my other half” were being spoken by both of us. It wasn’t long before the topic of marriage began to be discussed between us. It was a fairytale come true.
Unfortunately, fairytales don’t exist and I was forced to come crashing down to reality. I traveled to London, England to meet him in person for the first time. Through Aaron’s choices and the whims of Fate, we only saw each other one night: three beautiful hours in each other’s company…passionate, electrifying, and unbelievably romantic. But two revelations dimmed the ecstasy of the night. First, he finally revealed to me that he was still married. They were separated and getting a divorce, but he was still married. The second was that he hoped to convince me to share his bed. He knew how I felt about this as I had clearly stated my religious beliefs beforehand and I said no. This was, unfortunately, too much for him and it wasn’t long after that the night ended.
Even with the obstacles between us, I innocently believed that this was not the end. I believed that because of our love for each other, we would somehow find a way to work this out. As he escorted me to the underground to catch my train, we stopped, he took my face in his hands and said “Stay beautiful, Melissa.” I looked up into his eyes and whispered “I love you.” He paused and then said softly “I love you, too, Melissa.” We shared one last kiss and then I left his arms. I turned back around and we blew each other a kiss. I never saw him again.
To be continued….