Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Divorced Kat Swipes Right and Finds Love Again

My one-year anniversary with Rick is tomorrow, which inspired me to write a long-overdue blog entry about my love life.

In 2014, I was at peace with my divorce and ready to find a relationship. Who knows, maybe I would even find love!

After my divorce, I really had no clue about what I wanted from a relationship (other than sex, meaning I wanted some). I dated a mix of men, ranging in age and education and profession. With each man, I gained new insight into what I did and did not want from a relationship. But alas, nothing lasted more than a couple of weeks.

2015 started off promising with Ryan, but he did not want a relationship -- with anyone, period. Blue and single again, I wasted a few weeks seeing Mike, a charming but spoiled d-bag who ultimately just wanted to get laid.

(I believe there's nothing wrong with just getting laid, but I was not looking for just that anymore. I wanted heart.)

A few weeks after ghosting Mike, I was definitely bored and a tad discouraged with dating. However, I still had Tinder on my phone because it's free and a good way to pass the time when standing in line at Target. Out of millions of profiles featuring stupid bathroom selfies and poses with tigers, I swiped right on Rick. He looked cute and normal and he did not have a urinal in his photos.

He later messaged me, "Hello Kat!"

I thought, meh, OK, why not? We chatted through Tinder for a bit, then he asked me to continue the conversation over a drink.

I thought, meh, why not? I agreed to meet him on Monday night for a glass of wine.

I have written before about how you rarely know when
you're in a moment that will change your life. 

This was one of those moments:
I had no idea that I was about to meet the man I would fall in love with.

From the moment we met on April 27, 2015, we were intrigued by one another. I was immediately drawn to his openness, warmth, and honesty. Despite our respective histories of dating flops, booty calls, and heartaches, we both felt something different this time. I think we both believed that the potential for something real was worth risking getting hurt.

I am grateful everyday for our bravery to go after love.

It has been a year (my second longest relationship, behind only the one with Max) and we never run out of stuff to talk about. We are open about absolutely everything, from our past indiscretions to our future aspirations. Rick values my opinion and truly cares about what I have to say. He is still making me laugh and blush just as much as he did a year ago. He makes me feel incredibly sexy and beautiful. And holy shit you guys, I am having the best sex of my life! (Yes, better than The Incredible Sex!) From my heart to my mind to my body, Rick handles me as if I came with an instruction book. So cool.

But sometimes he makes me mad. Unlike in my past relationships, I permit myself to argue with him. Once it's over I am amazed at how good it feels to let myself express those feelings and have him hear me out. (I always used to keep those feelings bottled up nice and tight!) We learn what we can from the argument and move on. No grudges, which is kind of miraculous because I'm awesome at holding grudges.

When Rick holds me,
I close my eyes and caress his skin,
smell his scent,
feel his breath.

I'm content.

I think, this is it. This is love.
This is what everyone wishes for.

(Did I love my ex-husband? Yes, of course I did, and he loved me as best as he could. But frankly what I felt with Max was never like what I feel now.)

And, while Rick and I have been falling more in love everyday, I have been falling for someone else too: his daughter.

For many years, I have not been sure about motherhood. I knew I loved kids, but did not know if I was cut out for such a high-stakes responsibility, especially if I were to go it alone.

Lucky for me, Rick's 10-year-old daughter and I have gotten along incredibly well right from the beginning. I love the role I am playing in her life. Coupling my own opinions and experiences as well as research (The Career Girl's Guide to Being a Stepmom; Love Him, Love His Kids), I am working with Rick to shape my role as his child's potential stepmom. I am so excited (but rather terrified too) about this unexpected move into (step)motherhood.

Like her father, Rick's daughter tells me she loves me and wants to know when the heck I'm going to marry her dad. (All in good time! I tell her.) I don't know how I got so lucky to be compatible with both the man and his daughter.

The best thing about my adoration for Rick and his daughter is the authenticity. I promised to stay true to myself in my next relationship, and I believe that all three of us are being ourselves. Amazing how being true to myself has led to the most awesome love I could've hoped for -- but never expected!

So what is next for us?

I hope we get married. (Can you believe I'm saying this?!)

I hope to officially become a stepmom.

I hope that we create a home that is disciplined but forgiving, honest but considerate, orderly but flexible.

...but I must insist on patience.

I do still have those lingering divorcee fears ("I was wrong once, what if I'm wrong again?). I recognize that it'll be a huge change for all of us to officially live together. And especially since there is a child involved, we need to extra careful that marriage is right for all of us. But I am confident in myself and my love with Rick that we will thoughtfully find the best path for the three of us.

As I reflect on one year with Rick, I am so very blessed to have the love that Rick and I have. It only took 35 years, one divorce, dozens of lame dates, and one life-changing swipe right to find it.