After my college graduation, I took some time off to clear my head. In the midst of the madness with my older man, Derrick, I felt like I had lost myself and needed to figure out who I was and where I was going in life. I had no contact with Derrick or Josh (the younger man I was engaged to and then broke up with) and was trying my best to steer clear of any intimate relationship. I had fallen in love with two great men—both flawed in their own ways—and had used both of them for my own benefit. I was completely and utterly confused and could no longer recognize myself in the mirror. My life now revolved around work and family. I needed to stay grounded. Dating Derrick had left me with a deep yearning for a special type of man. My mission was to get my life together, and eventually, fall in love and marry a rich older man—the lifestyle was too good to pass up.
When I wasn’t at work, I spent most of my time in the summer at the beach, including after work and on my days off. I would go for runs every morning and often spent my evenings taking my dog on long walks, just to clear my mind. I was in the best shape of my life and was getting hit on often, but no one ever made me smile the way Derrick did, or laugh the way Josh had.
One afternoon, while out on a run, I noticed a very attractive man walking his dog. I wasn’t sure why I was so attracted, but I felt like there was a magnetic attraction that was pulling me towards him. I stared at him, trying to figure out what I could say to get his attention, but my mind was completely blank. I knew that I had to say something, and fast. But the best I could come up with was, “Beautiful morning, eh?” Luckily, that was sufficient. Mr. Wonderful struck up a conversation and minutes later, we found ourselves at a local donut shop near the pier.
To this day, I still can’t explain it, but there was something about this older man, Robert, that instantly attracted me to him—maybe it was fate? He was different from anyone that I had ever met and something about him just felt safe. We fell in love the right way and he courted me the way no other man had before. There was no denying that Robert loved me and that I loved him. This time, it wasn’t about money—it was about real love. My family adored him, despite our eleven-year age difference, and they welcomed him with open arms. Our love was perfect. One year after meeting, we were married. Unfortunately, the marriage didn’t pan out quite as perfectly as I had anticipated…