I can remember the very first time I made a decision to use an on line dating site. It was two months before Valentine’s Day. I had all my excuses ready just in case some of my family and friends found out about it. They all knew that I’ve lived in twenty-two countries as an independent woman own business and international speaker. So why on earth would I need to register on an on line dating site,when I was meeting men from all over the world? I was living my dream traveling and working around the globe just as I’m doing today. Everyone among my friends knew that I was happy with my dating life therefore any suggestions to step out of my comfort zone would have been a huge taboo.
If I wanted or needed a man in my life – a relationship – or a date, I always had someone wonderful to share a quiet relaxing romantic meal with me, Furthermore, I live in Paris which is the most romantic city in the world. Enjoying a date with a nice handsome man is not complicated in Paris and anyone who has ever lived or been there knows it.But suddenly all my dining opportunities changed. Getting a date became increasingly difficult. The men I knew were either getting married or settling down with one woman living in a fabulous flat in the south of France. To make matters worst, a few of my friends shared how my behavior and inner light had changed and that my change in behavior was the reason all my male friends were moving on. As I look back it was no surprise to me; spiritually I was changing and evolving into someone that I really liked and that men were finding hard to understand.Perhaps the reason was the vow of celibacy I made some years earlier. My vow was to remain celibate until I got married no matter what. Making a vow like that should come as no surprise that men were not kicking down my door to ask me out on a date; never-the-less that was the sacrifice I was willingly to make.
As my memory clings to that moment in time, every romantic gesture replays in my mind as though it happened today. The year was 2003 I was in the States helping my mother recuperate from a heart attack. The dating site was (Match.com). At the time I was completing my first book regarding relationships. While helping my mother regain her health and strength, I chose not to travel internationally and remain at home with her. while in the States with my mother, my agent suggested that I try out some dating sites. I was in a dry zone with my writing, and she felt joining an on line dating site would add more value to my creative thinking process for my new book. In her mind joining an on line dating site would be good for research and for finding love. Admittedly, I had hang-ups about joining an on line dating site searching for love and romance, but I had no problem using the site for my research.
At the time there were a few on line dating sites most of which were sleazy with pictures of people half naked sitting somewhere in their home in a vulgar position. Match.com on the other hand stood out completely from all the rest. They had beautiful profiles of people all over the world and it gave me a sense of comfort. Initially joining the site seemed like a monster waiting to eat me alive. However if truth be known, I think it was more my fear of the unknown and the threat this new way of dating and finding love was representing. In fact to quote my own words from an article I wrote a few years ago following this experience,I said “Does religious guilt suppress women’s sexuality? In the words of political analyst Debbie Taylor,”religious beliefs had little or no effect on a man’s sexual pleasure, but could slice as powerfully as a circumcision knife into a woman’s enjoyment not to mention undermining with guilt and shame any pleasure she might otherwise experience.
It’s amazing to me now,how I felt just as I’ve described; a sense of guilt and shame that over shadowed any pleasurable thought I could have towards the experience of meeting someone wonderful to love. Don’t get it twisted,I had no interest in finding someone for wild hip-grinding sweat-inducing sex with a man I’d known for a few months,weeks,days,hours or minutes.
In my mind on line dating sites were for no other reason than to find someone to smash. Feeling this way of course made me very skeptical about joining an on line dating site. While Match.com had a great reputation, I was still very afraid to proceed. I convinced myself that living in Paris with hair the color of mine,complete with my Vogue image, I really didn’t need an on line dating site of any kind to help me find a date or love.
To get my agent off my back, I joined Match.com and completed my profile. I was surprise to learn of the number of quality men the site featured in countries all over the world. An even bigger surprise was meeting men who were emotionally available. As my agent and I began searching, I quietly searched for fun and research, while she searched for fantastic with an interest in relationships.
I started out just communicating via emails, and pictures. Of course when I felt I was ready I would speak on the telephone or instant messaging whenever possible. After a few weeks, we were both holding a list of wonderful men eager to meet me face to face and I must admit that I was also eager to meet.
I started going out for coffee with some, lunch with others, and dinner with a few. One night about 3:00 am in the morning, I checked my email and among several other messages with photos were two guys that really stood out above the rest. One man was Italian from Florence and the other a Swiss gentleman living in Geneva. I never believed before that moment in love at first site; but honest to God I simply could not control my self or my feelings for either of them at the time. They were both very romantic with an amazing way of communicating.
Both men were poised to perfection emotionally. It was such a pleasure to communicate with a man emotionally well rounded and centered. Usually a Valentine story such as this involves one person. However, this is my story and it would be incomplete one without the other.
I can remember spending hours at night on the telephone with both of them at different times of the day and night without one knowing about the other. As we each began making verbal commitments to each other, I remained quiet never mentioning to either of them about the other. I’m sure it seems cruel and very sneaky but I simply could not make up my mind, so I decided to wait until after I could go to visit their homes and spend some time. I knew Valentine’s day was approaching and that I wouldn’t be able to spend it with both of them, so I based my decision on the one that seemed the most romantic; and Without question it was the Italian. But I should also admit another reason for my decision was because the Swiss gentleman frequently referred to Valentine’s Day as an “American thing.”
I flew to the beautiful city of Florence a few days before Valentine’s day. I was nervous and very excited. When I arrived, he was there waiting at the arrival gate with his long gorgeous silky black hair, and his arms open wide to greet me with flowers and a kiss. I could feel both our hearts palpitating as we held each other while gently whispering in each others ear how wonderful it was to finally meet.
After we landed back on earth we went to the baggage claim area to get my luggage, but it wasn’t there. I started to panic and cry. My Valentine’s gift was in my luggage and I knew having lived in Florence before, how difficult it can be to locate your luggage and get it to Florence after its been lost. My friend could see how upset I was at the lost of my luggage, so he began kissing away my tears and reassuring me that all was well.
When we discovered that it would be 24 hours before I would have my luggage, we just decided to leave the airport and have a nice quiet dinner in the hills. After wards he took me to my bed and breakfast hotel he arranged for me and kissed me on my forehead goodnight. A huge part of his charming appeal was his absolute respect for my life of celibacy. It was a week of Valentine romance that I had only dreamed about all my life and was now experiencing. As the week was coming to an end, I started preparing for my trip by train to Geneva to spend my second week with the Swiss gentleman. For fourteen hours while on the train to Geneva, I thought about my magical unforgettable Valentine in Florence.
When the train began to slowly slip away, he stood on the platform blowing kisses while I waved shedding tears. When I could no longer see him, I curled-up in the corner of my seat, I closed my eyes and exhaled as I drifted off to sleep.
When I opened my eyes after a long nap, I awakened to received the same greeting of open arms, flowers, big hug and a kiss. As the months passed I got to know them both very well. Although things did not workout with the Swiss gentleman and it was for the best; he is still my very good friend today. However, as it relates to the Italian,every Valentine’s Day I think about him and that long kiss goodbye and my wave of tears from the train. I never saw him again but he is the one who gave me the Valentine experience I will never forget;and he is indeed the one I let get away.