We've all heard the expression, you find love when you least expect it.  It's strange to actually live it.  As I have written before, my marriage of 15 years ended in divorce.  I then spent a couple of months retooling my style from frumpy suburban dad to less frumpy newly single dad.  After that, I boldly went forth into the dating pool.  After a decade and a half of being out and not having done much dating before I got married, I made a fair amount of mistakes, broke a few hearts and had my heart broken.  Overall the experience has been a positive one with lots of new friends and insights.

After my initial going out as much as possible phase, I settle down to just dating one person at a time.  It was too hard to keep all the details straight and felt serial dating just wasn't my style.  I wanted to be able to focus on just one person and give them my full attention.  I did just that and had a girlfriend for a few months.  I initially wanted to bail early, but I thought that was just my own shortcomings trying to sabotage me.  In the end, I realized my initial gut feeling was correct and that I just didn't feel as strongly as she did.  It ended painfully and I regretted having hurt someone, though it was never my intention.

I decided I was done for a while.  It was hard disappointing myself and others.  I went back to the dating sites I used to clean them up after months of non-use.  In the process I came across one that had sent me a little winky, smiley face and I had sent one back but had not done anything else.  The pictures were of this really cute girl, who was quirky, enjoyed dressing up for halloween and liked cats.  Meh, I like cats. So I sent her the canned questions thinking it would take a while to work through all those anyway and one of us would probably lose interest.

A week later, we met.  It was really cold and rainy and I almost didn't go.  When I walked in, I stopped to survey the room, see if I could spot her.  I stood there for what seems like forever, then I see her wave, stand up and walk to me as I reach her, she opens her arms and says, "I'm a hugger" then embraced me.  Immediately I'm smitten. She's more beautiful than her pictures, she's open, and smells amazing.  We proceed to talk for four hours and had it not been arctic cold out when I walked her to her car, I would have gone for the kiss.  Needless to say, it was a fabulous first date and led straight into part two.