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Trust falls in dating

Updated on May 31, 2010

I was never good at ‘trust falls”. I remember them in high school gym class and I always second guessed, looked over my shoulder and waited to hit the ground with a sharp thud. Truth is that people and life had often let me down.  So, faith has always been my challenge and I am a work in progress, but I am closer to being a grace-filled soul than I was, say, five years ago. I have learned to let go of resentment and negative energy. I practice Reiki, I pray and for the first time, I truely, deeply believe.  Most important to all this is I have learned to forgive.

A while ago, I was talking with my mother on the phone and I suddenly realized that I had forgiven her. This was a huge epiphany for me, but it took me until that moment to realize that I had moved on, forgiven and that nothing about my childhood was intended to hurt me.

What my mother gave was actually all she was capable of. When she made me her caretaker at the age of thirteen, she did not understand what it did to me. She did not think about what the chaos and pressure of high school mixed with coming straight home to be her nurse would do to me. The feeding her, bathing her, dressing her was hard on the body and spirit. Where was my mother? She wasn't in the weeping shell of a human I took care of each day. Where was my life? It didn’t exist since I could not do any activity other than school and taking care of her. I was lost in this shuffle and she did not notice or care. Nobody did.

But, it made me who I am...brought me to where I am at. My ex did the same. He was not capable of being different than he was. But his behavior made me strong as much as it made me weak. It made me appreciate when something good comes along, or someone good for that matter.

My mother once asked me when I was sure about my new husband, Adam. I did not have to think twice. Though there was a wonderful friendship for several years at its base, it took a new single status for me to begin to see a "relationship". I honestly planned on divorcing and dying alone.  Enough pain for me in one lifetime.  I did not realize that in a way Adam had been waiting, patiently, respectfully as my friend for the right to be anything more.

Unbelievably, unexpectedly we began to date. As weeks turned into months, we worked all day together and then spent the entire night together, never getting sick of being with each other. Life was good for the first time in many years. But, the defining moment came on my 38th birthday.

I could list the romantic presents; he burned a CD of love songs to me, he sent flowers (my favorite kind), he made a cake himself and took me out on a romantic dinner date he planned at an outside cafe'. But the defining moment came when I mentioned my age during dinner.

Truth was I was afraid what we had would someday end. With him being 13 years my junior, everyone was placing bets that he was just in it as a fling...and then he would be gone.  Granted, not anyone who actually knew Adam thought this, but others around me spoke their concerns.  I was afraid he would move on as well and that the love and happiness I finally felt would suddenly end. I thanked God every day for him and this time with him.  It was worth the risk. I loved him that much. My faith began to grow.

"God...I can't believe I am 38," I said to him that night at dinner. "I wish it was 28 instead...ugh, how can it be thirty-eight?" I looked at him...his 24 year old face, his young hands, my faith wavered for one second…just one.

His response said it all. "And two years from now you will be forty and I will feel the same as I do right now...I will love you forever."

The sound of the couples around us faded and the moment stood still. How many times do we wish for this type of stillness? I had my moment. I fought back tears as I looked at him, the light from the candle on our table flickering across his face. His eyes spoke truth. The words were from his heart and I could trust them with my life. So I gave it to him, quite willingly.

We have been married for more than 4 years now. We have two amazing little boys together. He still amazes me daily with his kind heart and dedication. He is a kind, gentle soul who honors me and my spirituality. He is an amazing, patient father to our children. Romance has a new definition or me now. It’s kindness and care when you’re confined to a hospital room. It’s his hand reaching across the dark space between us and telling me we will get through this. It’s his walking around the nurses station for one hour with me...keeping me going...always keeping me going.

Romance is knowing he will always find the fuel to keep me going even when he himself is running on is loving each other more now than before all the hardships and challenges we have been through. The romance I have now is actually far better than anything said to me over candlelight. And believe it or not, I think I could handle a trust fall, as long as he was the one to catch me.


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      Ellen 7 years ago

      Oh, my goodness. A trust fall, indeed. You were caught y love, but you had to believe and trust in yourself first. Incredible, Barb.

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      robyn 7 years ago

      I found this so moving, and emotional on so many levels.