Here’s a recap to get you up to speed if you’re just joining.
– I’m a hopeless romantic, single and over 40, independent, self-sufficient, world-traveling, adventure seeking woman.
– I have a history of all kinds of bad boyfriends, disastrous dates, and 2 ex-husbands, many of which you’ve yet to read about.
– I’ve recently met a Frenchman via Tinder (text and FaceTime only thus far) whom I’m starting to really like and refer to as “French Charming”.
– I just found out he has two kids and is “separated” from his wife in the midst of us planning to meet for our first date.
This whole “separated” thing was messing with my head. We talked about it a lot. How long had they been separated? Any chance of working it out? Were they “on a break” or was it the transition to divorce? Were they going to take any measures to try to save the marriage?
He assured me it was truly over, no chance of reconciliation, no going back. I wanted to believe him. However, I had been down a similar path before only to find out that I would always be the “other woman”, always a secret, always left alone every night, weekend, and holiday so that he could be with his family. I never wanted to have that feeling again. I certainly didn’t want to be the one to break up a family. But I cared enough for him that I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and see where this might go. Besides…..we hadn’t even met in person yet!! It could all fall apart like a house of cards at any step along the way.
Since he had told me about the kids, he was more relaxed about texting me when he had them and could be free to say “time for dinner” or “bath time” and would text me after. We would always text or FaceTime after they were asleep. We didn’t want to add any more confusion to their lives especially because we didn’t know what would happen between the two of us. If it went nowhere, there was no reason to involve the kids.
I finally saw pictures of them and things they were doing together. This did give me a new level of trust. He was trying to let me be a part of his life the best way he could. I still did worry about him having a not-yet-ex-wife, but I decided that meeting in person was probably the next logical step. It would confirm if we move forward or just stop. If things did go well, we would figure things out as we went along. For now, we just needed to finally meet in person and see if this magical chemistry we shared online continued in person.
We finally knew the date of our first date!!! He had been given a flight to Houston in February! He also had a longer rotation (staying more days) to LA the following weekend. So I planned on meeting him in LA after our first date in Houston, assuming the date went well. Obviously, if the first date didn’t go well, I would cancel on LA.
The crazy thing was how nervous we both were about finally meeting in person! We were talking, texting, FaceTiming daily now. We shared personal and private stories about our lives. We were attracted to each other on every possible level but there had been no physical contact yet. Three months of talking but no chance to hold hands, no first kiss, no chance to smell his cologne, look directly into each other’s eyes. What if it all went terribly wrong? What if the feelings we were starting to have vanished upon meeting?
And how would we meet? Would we meet in a bar? That just seemed cliché and inappropriate now as well as we knew each other. Yet maybe one glass of liquid courage would calm the nerves. Should we meet in a restaurant, have a glass of wine followed by a romantic dinner? We hashed over the pros and cons of each option so many times. Finally, we agreed to keep it simple and meet in the lobby of the hotel where the flight crew stayed.
Now, I know what you are thinking, “Of course he wanted you to meet at his hotel!” I assure you it wasn’t like that! It was a nice hotel with a restaurant, coffee shop, deli, and a bar and near the galleria so there were a million options of places to go eat as well as being in a highly populated area. We would meet in a neutral, public place, see how we both felt and go from there. We counted the days until we would finally meet in person!!