How many people out there are lonely and want to find that certain someone to spend the rest of their lives with. Going to bars and clubs is not the answer girls as most men frequenting these places are usually married and only go for one thing – a one night stand. I reckon you could probably not name any of your friends who met their partner in this way unless, of course, they were young teenagers. I am talking mainly about people who are over their first flush of youth, maybe divorced and trying to get out into the world again to hopefully find that someone special.
I had been divorced for 10 years, was coming up to 40 years old, no children, and feeling very sorry for myself. I had done the usual discos, bars etc and met some real oddballs I can tell you. Went out with a few but they didn’t want a proper relationship, only the odd night of going for a drink and “back to my place”.!! I was feeling used and abused but didn’t want to stay in watching TV every night knitting. There was time for that when I was 80 years old I thought.
I was walking around my local magazine store one day and saw a monthly magazine called Dateline. This was back in the 1980’s so not sure whether it is still available or not. This magazine had ads in from men and women looking to meet someone and it was categorized in ages so was easy to read. I bought it, took it home and spent hours trawling through the ads ringing around ones I thought sounded nice. However, after a few days of pondering the situation decided that instead of writing to people myself I would put an ad in and see what happened. I spent hours, days even writing and re-writing my ad to make it sound punchy but not desperate and duly sent it off in the post together with my cheque for the fee (not expensive). In those days we had to send letters and cheques by post – not much done on the internet and e-mail then!
The ad duly appeared in the following month’s issue and I rushed down to the newsagents to buy a copy to make sure it had been printed. There it was. I got excited and wondered if I would get any replies. Replies were sent to a box number and then the magazine would send them on to the recipient. About a couple of weeks later it was a Saturday morning, raining as it usually does in the UK, and I was cuddled up in bed (on my own!) bored out of my mind wondering what the hell I was going to do today as I did not have to go into work, when suddenly what seemed like a large heavy packet arrived on my doorstep. I rushed to the door and found a large brown envelope there bursting at the seams. When I opened it I found at least 30 letters there all from people who had replied to my ad. I couldn’t believe it. I rushed back to bed and surrounded myself by all the letters opening them up one by one and reading them. Some of them had enclosed photos of themselves and all had wanted me to either ring them or meet them. I was living in the West Country but some had written from as far away as Scotland and Wales. Because I had put in my ad I was based in the West Country I got quite a lot of replies from men from the North of England who had said they had always wanted to live in the West Country and could they come down and stay. That, I thought, was totally out of order so I immediately discounted them and tore their letters up. However, there were a few men from my area who sounded quite nice and decided that I “might” contact them if I could pluck up the courage enough.
By Sunday evening, totally fed up with my lot, I had decided I would definitely contact one of the men and after pacing up and down for a while picked up the phone and dialed. The man answered the phone and after a few stumbled words we began a nice conversation. We arranged to meet in a local pub near me the following night. That was quick I thought but decided it was better to strike while the iron was hot. I must admit it was nice getting myself ready to meet a man the following night. I had butterflies in my stomach and hoped I would not make a fool of myself walking up to the wrong man in the bar. However when I got there a man was standing outside and came up to me as I got to the door to ask my name. He said it was better for us to go in to the bar together which I agreed. We had a nice drink and a chat but both of us realized after about an hour that we really did not have anything in common and there was not that “spark” both of us were looking for. He was very nice, we wished each other good luck and left. How civilized I thought.
After that I met quite a few men. I had 80 replies to my ad in total and probably went out with about 15 of them. One man drove me all the way to London in his car for a birthday party and back again the same night and asked for nothing in return except his company. Just as well as I only liked him as a friend. One was a lieutenant in the navy who took me to one of his formal naval functions which was superb. We ended up going to France camping for a week but after a few months we both realized it was nice but we did not want to spend the rest of our lives together. I had a good time, I was busy sometimes 2 or 3 evenings a week and my weekends were never boring. I had put my ad in the magazine in June but come October time I still had not found my soulmate. The letters had stopped coming as I had not renewed my ad and I decided I was going to give up looking for someone, just work during the day and sit at home at night.
However in January suddenly there appeared another brown envelope on my doormat and inside was one letter from a man replying to my ad in June!! Blimey I thought, how had he managed to get an old copy, and why write to me. The letter was nice and he had enclosed a photo of him and his son of about 8 years old. I went to work and told my friends and showed them the letter and photo. They told me to ring him. They said he looked kind and had nice eyes. I had decided I wasn’t going to bother with any of this any more as it was depressing meeting people you thought might be ok and then finding out they weren’t after all. It was deflating. However, I got home from work that night, had a couple of glasses of wine and decided to ring him anyway. We chatted on the phone for a while and I found out he lived about 30 miles away. He said he wanted to see me and arranged to come up and collect me at my flat (that was the first time I had arranged for someone I had not met to actually meet me at my home). The night he arrived I had it in the back of my mind this was no big deal, I didn’t want a relationship now I had decided and this was just a night out. WRONG!
We spent a fabulous evening at a local Italian restaurant chatting and then ended up in a nightclub dancing. He came back to my place for coffee – yes just coffee! – and drove back 30 miles to his house. The following day which was a Sunday he drove all the way back 30 miles to take me to Sunday lunch, he then stayed at my flat for the evening and drove all the way back home to his place that night. He didn’t attempt to kiss me, paw me or make innuendos. He was just a genuinely nice man, divorced with one son aged 8 years who lived with his ex wife in Norfolk.
We saw each other about 2 or 3 times a week for the next two weeks and then he asked me to go and stay with him for the weekend in his house in Cornwall. Up until that time he had only kissed me briefly but I knew from that kiss that this was something different. My legs gave way and I was short of breath – you know the stuff – like Mills and Boon. However, I knew the invitation to the house was the next step.
That weekend was wonderful. I am not going to go into the ins and outs of the seduction as that is private but I can tell you the earth moved.
To cut a long story short, in fact it is not really a long story at all as we met in the January, I moved in with him lock stock and barrel in the February, we got engaged in the June and married November all in that same year. That was 20 years ago and yes he still makes the earth move for me and I believe, so he tells me, it does for him too.
Everyone has a soulmate out there somewhere. Never give up your quest to find the right one for you. It does happen I assure you.