Lynell and Charles
I was about to turn 60 and was pretty resigned to being alone. I was OK with that; after a 20-year nightmare marriage, I knew that there were worse things than being alone. Still, after another 14 years by myself, sometimes I felt that it would be nice to have someone to love, and to be loved by someone. Sometimes I even felt this thing people call “lonely.” So, what the hell, I thought – one last try. What have I got to lose? I joined JDate. I didn’t expect much.
I had been on JDate maybe a month and, after a few dates that went nowhere, I had had enough. I was on the point of dropping my membership – that is to say, I was literally about to click on the button that would do it – when a message came in from a lady who was interested in me.
I took a look, fully intending to ignore her and go ahead with dropping out. When I saw that she was a Red – I’m a Blue – I was even more skeptical. Not a good match, according to the site.
I looked at her picture. The older you get, the more you realize that what a person looks like is the least important thing about them; but I thought she was beautiful. Hmmm, I thought. That’s not a BAD thing….
Then I read her profile. Looking back, I can’t tell you what it was about her message, or her profile, or even her picture, that impelled me to reply, but I did. There was just something that told me I needed to get to know this person.
We messaged back and forth a few times, and I actually argued that we probably weren’t right for each other; the red/blue thing, she was taller than I, and so on. But we both seemed to have a strange sense that there was something there and soon we had a date. She was on vacation at the time, and told me later that there was some doubt about whether or not she could make her flights and get back on time. She did.
I went to the restaurant with a rose and a hopeful, but not too hopeful, attitude. We’ll have a nice meal anyway, I thought, but that would probably be all. On the few dates I had had from JDate before, I had been conscious of trying to feel something for the women I met—and of being reluctant to admit that I really didn’t. Nice ladies all, but whatever you want to call it, the spark, fireworks, chemistry, it wasn’t there, even though I tried to feel it.
Then Lynell walked in. Her eyes lit up when she saw me. She told me later that my profile picture had been horrible and that I was much better looking than she had expected (she wasn‘t much worried about looks either, thank G-d). For my part, I was delighted. I thought she was gorgeous, and she was so vital, so magnetic and full of life and joy ; she was almost glowing. Is she really here for me, I thought. She was.
And she loved the rose.
We both felt the attraction, and a strange connection, from the very start. I doubt that either of us actually ate more than three or four bites of the meals we ordered, and I pushed my drink aside; I was high enough just being with her. She was overwhelming but I had also never felt so at ease, so comfortable and free, with someone I had just met. It was –and it’s the only word I can find –a “miracle.” We use that word a lot.
We talked for hours, though I could never tell you about what, and we closed the place down. I walked her to her car, and when we got there I took her hand. She laughed and said, “Now, I don’t want any ‘chaste kiss’!” That was a reference to a remark in my profile about an ideal first date. I grinned and obliged, with a will. That was the first real kiss I had experienced in many years and, I think now, maybe ever.
And then I kissed her again. We said goodnight, I got in my car, started it, and watched her drive out of the parking lot. Then I raised both fists over my head and shouted “WOOHOO!”
Fireworks? Chemistry? Sparks? More like a tsunami, an earthquake, a forest fire. I have never experienced anything like it. Before, on those other dates, I had been trying to feel something, anything; with Lynell, I was trying to keep up with everything I felt. It was the difference between hoping for a breeze and trying to keep your feet in a hurricane.
And it’s done nothing but grow. The more we learned about each other, the better and more “right” it felt. We were on the phone and emailing constantly, and we saw each other again within just a few days. I think we both knew by the end of our second date that the miracle had happened. After the third, I was writing love sonnets…
I adore her. Lynell is the best person I’ve ever known, and I’d say that even if I didn’t love her; I not only love her, I admire her. She is strong, intelligent, and dynamic, with a confidence and energy that I can only aspire to but which I have found to be catching. I am a better man for knowing her, for loving her and being loved by her. I have never had anyone believe in me so completely and with such confidence, and she inspires me beyond measure. She has rock-solid values and iron integrity, exquisite taste, and is capable at everything she does; her faith is deep and a reflection of my own, and one of the things we most treasure is attending services together on Shabbat. We have so much in common and, where we don’t, we complement each other perfectly. It’s like we’re living a romance novel, one that’s too corny and perfect for any editor to buy.
She is also my best friend. I have never trusted anyone this much, nor been so trusted. I have never known such love – and without a hint of fear. That’s new, too.
And the passion – well, that’s private. But I will say this; Brad and Angelina on their best night could have nothing on us…
We talk a lot about being sixteen and not sixty. I’ve never been happier. I didn’t even know it was possible to be this happy.
We’re planning to be married on her parents’ anniversary. They had sixty good years, and we’re planning on half that, G-d willing.
I had been a member of JDate off and on for years. I had gone out with several guys, luckily no bad experiences, but no great sparks either. I had also had a very long, very bad marriage, but know from the many long, happy marriages among my family and friends that being in a long term relationship could be wonderful; that was important to me. So I was not willing to give up looking for Mr. Right. JDate had brought my son his wonderful wife, but I hadn’t seen it be as successful for people my age. Maybe I would break that pattern.
I received Charles’s photo as one of my weekly matches. I had been taught to respond, if at all interested, by pointing out commonalities in our profiles and things that appealed in his. So I sent him a little email indicating interest. Charles’s profile showed a lot of qualities that were important to me. His photo was awful, but looks are not the most important thing in a relationship. And, while didn’t have much faith in the color code profile, it seemed really important to Charles. When we talked, I wanted him to learn who I was in real life, not in a color profile. So I kept trying to get him to discount the color conflict between us. I was really worried about making it back to Texas from vacation because of flight delays. I guess G-d was with us, because I barely made it in time to get ready and meet him for a first date.
I was amazed by him instantly. My first thought was that he didn’t look anything like that horrible picture! And our first date was like one in a movie; romantic greeting with a single rose, barely touched our food, talked till the restaurant closed down, felt totally comfortable, great first kiss. We couldn’t wait to see each other again. Unfortunately, because of the constraints of his work, it took a lot of planning for us to be together. We worked hard to find time to go out. By our third date, we were talking marriage, and soon after he bought me a gorgeous ring and we began wedding plans.
My children thought we were crazy to rush into things. Of course, they think love is just for the young. Charles doesn’t have children, so he couldn’t understand their protectiveness of the person who used to be their sane, reasonable, cautious mom. We promised them we would wait at least a year before we marry. And they have grown to love Charles, also, and are supportive of our miracle.
I believe we have truly found our beshert. My son’s story of finding his wife on JDate is also a great tale, because she was about to resign her membership when he reached out to her. Charles and I are grateful that JDate helped us find each other. The four of us are proof that people shouldn’t give up on finding a good match. We look forward to a long, happy life together.
Lynell and Charles
Fort Worth, Texas