Dating was not easy! I was single for six years after my divorce. A friend of mine, Mark Shaffer, asked me to write an article on what Rachel, my wife, did right. Here is my answer:
I felt damaged from a very toxic relationship. The woman I had been dating tried to change me as a person. In her efforts to “make me a better man” or “the kind of man she deserves,” in the process, severely hurt my self-esteem. I had begun to believe my ex-girlfriend, that she could easily do better than me, as could most women. I was not a good man. Some women I dated were more interested in my status or money than me. I had different values than most. Some I was incompatible with and others I did not have any chemistry.
Rachel was a good friend who became my best friend for six months. She third wheeled most of my dates. We laughed at many of my unique experiences on dates as well as hers. She had been recently divorced. We began spending more and more time together and talking more and more on the telephone. My friends and hers started to notice we would spend more time together than we would with our dates when we were out together. Both of us had been through rough breakups and did our best to pick the other up. We both worked hard to show the other their worth.
All I, like any man, has ever wanted is to be loved for me, exactly as I am. As my best friend, Rachel loved me for me, exactly as I am. Please understand, I did not believe I was a good enough person to date Rachel. Rachel is sweet, gentle, virtuous, loyal, faithful, loving and gorgeous. My ex-girlfriend had me convinced I was unworthy of a decent woman such as Rachel. She was my best friend. She deserved better than me. As my best friend, Rachel made me feel great about myself. Like my friend, I put no guards up, so she got to know me precisely as I am. She knew me and made me feel awesome about me being me in every way.
Unbeknownst to me, my friends began to notice the way I spent time with her, protected her, how cautious and caring I was with her. They saw that I was always looking for her at events to make sure she was okay and having fun. Two of my best friend’s wives who had noticed what was happening told them that they had to take me on a trip to Columbia and not to bring me back until I knew I had to date and marry Rachel.
I did go to Columbia, and on the second night, my best friend told me he wanted me with a nice girl. He said I was a family man and needed that. I told him how hard I had been looking for the right girl and how unsuccessful I was. He said, “She is right in front of you, date Rachel.” I told him I was not good enough for her. I told him she deserved a faithful, loyal, successful, good man who would sacrifice all for her, worship her and never hurt her. He said “Wow, you must love her because that’s what you want for your daughter.” I responded, “of course, I love her, she is my best friend in the world.” He told me no matter how I felt; I was a good man. He reminded me I was very faithful and loyal to my ex-wife in my first marriage. He pointed out that I was successful and kind.
I told him I could not date her because I cannot hurt her or lose her. He then said, “So you are willing to love her and suffer yourself by staying quiet, so you won’t hurt or lose her.” He continued, “That’s exactly the kind of guy we both want for our daughters, a man who would sacrifice themselves for them, could never hurt them and would even sacrifice himself to protect them. You are exactly what Rachel deserves my friend.” I woke up when he said that. I knew I was good enough for Rachel if I would treat her as I wanted my daughter treated.
So, two weeks after the trip I told Rachel I was in love with her and wanted to date, and she felt the same! She knew me as I was and loved me that way. She loved me for me. I fell so much more in love with her knowing that. Then we started dating, and I realized she was perfect. Here are the reasons why I feel she is so wonderful. She never makes me feel like she could do better. She makes me feel like the king of the world. She did not want to change me at all. She loves me just as I am. She makes me feel accepted and amazing about myself. She never asks me for trips, gifts or money, she only asks for my time. She wants only to be with me. She did not look at her phone on 25% of our dates. She was interested in me, not her phone. Today that says a lot! She is fiercely loyal and will not let others speak unkindly about me. She is faithful and respects herself and me. She made and still makes me feel like I can do anything. I know with her by my side, I honestly can do anything. I know in my heart whether I am wealthy or penniless, she will always be there, because she loves me for me. She makes me a better man. She is honest and kind to others! She supports my flaws and loves me with them. She makes me feel that to her I am the most handsome man in the world. She is the most beautiful woman in the world.
I have always believed that you get what you give. For the first time in my life, I am with a woman who loves me, trusts me, and cares for me and my feelings, as much as I do hers. It is the best feeling I’ve ever had. I began dating Rachel on February 4th, 2017. I asked her to marry me on July 28th, 2017. I married her on August 4th, 2017, so we have been together as a couple for 13 months. My heart has found peace it had never known. The hardest part of my day is being away from her. The best part of my day is seeing her again. I love her more than ever before. For the first time in my life, I am with a wonderful woman who loves me for me exactly as I am. I sure hope she knows I love her exactly as she is because I do.
I love Rachel. She never tried to change me. She is the most amazing and beautiful woman in the world to me, and that’s all that matters. I did not settle. I found my soulmate. I never dreamt I could know this kind of happiness, and I must thank her for that. I hope all the single people don’t settle and hold out for their soul mates so they can find that person who loves them for who they are, and they too can know true happiness.