UPDATED – The cynicism caused by years in unhappy relationships, wrong choices and bad experiences is not an easy one to get over. And how we are also influenced by memories of our childhood… It is difficult to keep the hope alive in an environment and past that has been so painfully arid. But when love has decided to make its way towards you there is nowhere to run, much as you try!
Names: Anita & David
Been together since: 2016
How it started…
Anita: First of all, I never thought I would end up on this blog but here I am! Even though my best friend Basak writes love story blogs, deep down I still thought that love and happy-ever-after was a façade.
It had been six years since my divorce and my best friends, my aunts, my colleagues, everyone was trying to push me into dating. I used to always say, “Yes, I will,” but I seemed to have a mental block and never actually opened that door.
Finally, I got tricked into signing up on a dating site by my colleague and dear friend Earla who wanted me to meet someone in August 2016.
It was her birthday. She said that as her birthday present she wanted me to sign up and go on at least five dates. It was a blessed gift that changed my whole life.
I randomly chose Match.com and picked the first five people that reached out and looked interesting. I saw David’s profile and was drawn to him. I couldn’t explain why because he looked different in all of his pictures so I couldn’t quite tell what he was really like.
One thing that I didn’t like was that on his profile it said ‘separated’ and not ‘divorced’. This raised a red flag as I didn’t want to be in a situation with someone who wasn’t available emotionally or legally and get entangled in whatever his ongoing issues were.
David: I was just coming out of a 20-year marriage. My ex and I had been through a long process and had decided to get a divorce back in June. I had then made a conscious decision to go on Match and start dating.
I have to say, I actually found online dating to be a very positive experience mostly because I’m a data nerd and I really liked the parametric way that the whole system was designed. It was very efficient.
I always thought of it as a big, intelligent pre-filter. If I had had to screen people on my own I would’ve never met anybody but the screening was done for me and I ended up talking to only the kind of people that I would be interested in.
I looked at the way this thing worked. It was a three-month subscription so I decided I would go ahead with that. My aim was to experience it fully, figure out what I wanted, what I’m looking for but also have fun at the same time.
Being a numbers person, I took a numeric, organized approach to this. I decided I would take 2 to 3 people out every week. Anita was the 25th person that I met. I think it actually took me that many dates to become very clear in my head on what I was looking for.
I had looked at a lot of profiles by the time I had gotten to Anita’s. I had developed an ability to read between lines. I could tell who was authentic and interesting. Her profile came across as very genuine.
The funny thing is I had marked that I would want to meet somebody who spoke English, French as well as Hindi. How many people can actually do that?
I never thought I’d find a woman who speaks all three languages but here we are.
Anita: It’s interesting how he specified the languages but left all of the other major things unspecified, just like I had.
There was nothing about his race, religion or background preference. We had both wanted to keep an open heart and mind about these things.
David: I really wanted someone who was real, someone who is connected to their own essence.
Energy was something that was very important to me. I had been working on the same thing for myself for a good few years by then and I was becoming more appreciative about the fact that I needed the person in my life to have the same thoughts on energy.
It was very important that she spoke the language of energy and really understood its significance. She needed to be very aware of her own energy.
I don’t think I could’ve articulated that before but I had figured it out by then. She had articulated that very same thing on her profile. She had mentioned not only energy but also karma.
I also have to be quite attracted to a person I’m actually dating, so in addition to all of this when I looked at her photos, she totally knocked it off the charts! She was mind-blowing, just beautiful!
So although I cautiously had no expectations, I really was very much looking forward to meeting her on our date.
Anita: He had written that he was looking for a deep connection and that was more important than anything else. I think that’s what drew me in more than anything and I marked him as a ‘favorite’ on Match.
What was interesting was that I had subconsciously marked him as my favorite in my mind too. I didn’t realize this until after-the-fact. Consciously though, I was thinking I need to have five dates to complete Earla’s birthday gift. I figured I could do with him what I usually do, which is something I call ‘therapy dating’ and give him advice about his ‘separated’ status.
Many firsts – including at first sight!
David: The first time we actually spoke to each other was on the telephone. It was a few days before our date and my buddy Chuck had suddenly been hospitalized and Anita actually called me about that to see how we were doing.
I just thought it was so sweet that she called as it was quite unusual to come across someone who genuinely seemed to care. That was my first contact with Anita before we met.
Anita: He had written to me about this and I could tell he was quite freaked out so I just wanted to call and see if he was okay.
We agreed to go on a date in a few days. He was to be my very first date out of the 5-date-gift.
All my life I always wondered about the concept of love at first sight.
I have been in love before but it had always taken me a long time to realize it. It would always be a slow process that would gently dawn on me and one day I would say, “Oh, I think I’m falling in love with him.”
With David it was very different.
On his online profile photos he looked very different from picture to picture. I knew that sometimes people look completely different in real life so I didn’t overthink at that point.
When I walked into the café, he had his head down and I felt all this energy and attraction that I couldn’t even begin to explain. My instinct was saying, “Run! Give him a hug!” but of course my brain had different ideas so walking up to him I kept doing all these double takes in my head.
Then he looked up and smiled and I thought, “Oh my God – he is gorgeous! I’m so in trouble!” The attraction was instant. I was drawn to him so deeply that it freaked me out right away.
The other voice in my head was saying, “Gosh, he is lovely, he can have anybody. There’s no way he’s going to choose me. I need to keep this platonic and get out safe with my heart intact.” I decided that instantly.
We fell into the deepest conversation immediately. The waiters had to come many times to try to get our order. We didn’t even notice them as we were so intensely focused on each other.
David: By the time we met I had amassed a lot of experience dating and meeting people and my expectation was actually zero. I just wanted to get to know her and spend some time together but I knew there was something very special about her right away when we met.
She had this goofy smile on her face the whole time and we connected very deeply very quickly. She zeroed in on some details of my life within 15 minutes of meeting me which left me stunned and speechless.
Anita: It was crazy! I was having these psychic moments and I was literally zooming deeper and deeper into him but I felt terrible because I was invading his private space and I shouldn’t be there.
I asked him about the things that I was sensing and this shocked him.
Note to self: Fear is not your friend…
David: The weirdest part came at the end or our magical date when, despite that surreal connection, the night ended with her basically telling me that we weren’t going to have a second date because I wasn’t ready. That was not exactly what I was hoping for… but I understood.
I did not want to mislead anyone so I had described my situation openly on Match; that I was separated and the divorce was legally on its way.
But there was one thing that I was very clear with Anita about and emphasized many times over: I was not someone who needed ‘fixing’.
I was not someone who was getting out of a marriage and was trying to figure out what happened and what went wrong in a hazy daze. Not that working on yourself is something that should ever be considered ‘done’ as we should always be curious, learning and growing, but I had done a lot of that already. I had adopted a holistic approach towards this and handled it mentally, emotionally, spiritually – any way I could.
Anita: Although he was just coming out of his marriage legally now, he had been awakened much earlier and had been working on his issues for a few years.
David: So although I was looking for someone who I felt connected to, I was also looking for someone who knew themselves because I knew myself. But here was Anita telling me to call her in eight months when I was legally divorced and ‘ready’.
I thought, ‘Well this was a nice date.’ I had been on 25 dates by this point so I figured I would move on. But I just couldn’t stop thinking about her…
Anita: When I got to work the next day my friend Earla looked at me and said, “Oh my God! That must have been an amazing date – your whole energy has shifted! You look like a different person.”
She asked me to tell her about the date so I did.
She said, “So when are you guys meeting again?” I said. “Oh, we’re not. I told him I don’t want to see him again…”
She said, “Let me get this right: You potentially met your soulmate and then told him that you didn’t want to see him again?!”
I said, “Yes.”
She said, “Did you talk to your best friend Basak about this? What did she say?”
“She told me that she was proud of me for actually going on a date and that I didn’t have to see him again if I didn’t want to.”
She said, “But that’s because she hasn’t seen you. If she could see you, she would tell you to call him because she would see that you look like a completely different person since you met him!”
Basak had just relocated to another country that month and hadn’t settled in yet. Our regular Skype sessions had turned into WhatsApp calls whenever we had the chance.
The next day she asked me again if I called him and I told her I hadn’t, that I was too proud to. I said, “You have to let it go, I’m going on another date …”
She looked at me and said, “Your heart’s not even in it. Just call the guy.”
I said, “I’m not going to do that and he’s not going to call either.”
She looked at me and said, “He will call. It would just be easier if you called him first because you told him not to call…”
I thought I would never hear from him again.
How destiny spins its wheels…
That was Friday.
That evening I was driving home from work mentally beating myself up; ‘I should’ve looked better… I should’ve worn a dress instead… I should’ve lost weight in case I was going meet someone… I’m never going to hear from him again. I totally screwed up. I wish I could go back in time and take back what I said. I should have maybe taken my chances to see if he would’ve called or not and see how it went…Ugh!’
Just then as I was driving the phone goes ‘buzz’ then ‘buzz, buzz, buzz’.
I looked over at the screen and I can see they were messages from David!
David: I messaged her because I definitely wanted to see her again and I also wanted to test her resolve.
Anita: At the end of our date, I had told him to call me in eight months if he still remembered me when he got his stuff sorted but I had also said, “This is such a shame because you are so eligible.” So I guess I had sent him adequately mixed signals.
When I saw his messages I thought, ‘Oh my God! He’s texting me!’ I got way too excited. My heart was frantically racing and I told myself, “Do not look at the messages now Anita – you’re going to have an accident! Focus on traffic. Leave the phone alone!”
I picked up my son and we went home. He went upstairs to play video games.
I was finally alone and dying to read the messages! Just as I was about to click the button but the phone rang. It was a friend who didn’t want to get off the phone because she wanted to lecture me about her thoughts on my date and this guy. Needless to say that was a very short phone call.
I texted him back and we automatically dropped back into a very intense, magical text conversation again. That started at 6 in the evening and continued until 11 at night.
David: That texting session was otherworldly. We both became really intuitive and I could almost feel myself disengaging from this earth and reality as we know it.
I tuned into her and told her things about her childhood, her mother and her grandmother – the blending into each other’s psyches was nonstop.
Anita: It was very intense for both of us. He said something and I started crying and I don’t cry easily…
The words, “You know I’m going to a yoga retreat soon. You should come with me,” poured out of my mouth. Even as my mouth was saying that, my brain was thinking, ‘Did you just invite a complete stranger to your yoga retreat? What the hell do you think you’re doing Anita?’ and I was saying, ‘Brain – just stay out of this!’
Brain was doing flip-flops, going crazy saying, ‘Hold on!’ and I was saying, ‘No! Go away.’
David: I had made plans to go out of town some time ago and I was on the subway heading to the airport. We were still messaging each other.
I really felt like I had left this earth because we were communicating at such a depth of understanding of each other that it made no logical sense at all. I ended up at the wrong airport!
Anita: I guess that was a sign for him to not go but he didn’t see.
David: If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have gone away that weekend. That Sunday I was in the sea just floating and I had this really strong sense of calmness and of being in touch with everything. It was a feeling I had never experienced ever before: That level of profound stillness and inner peace.
I knew that with Anita I had reached a level of connectedness that I didn’t think I was ready for or even capable of at that point. I would not have used the word ‘love’ just yet but I was thinking about her a lot and I was very curious about my feelings towards her.
That texting session had changed my life.
When I’m composing music, I get into a flow state. It’s only when I look up I see that three hours have flown by. Communicating with Anita was like experiencing that flow state but together, in full cohesion with each other.
Anita: It was an inexplicable experience for me too. I couldn’t explain it with words that’s why I kept sending screenshots of our texts to my best friend. I just couldn’t describe what was happening, it was so out there.
David: We had already made plans to see each other on Tuesday after my return. I texted her Sunday afternoon. We were sending each other some photos and keeping in touch.
Anita: He didn’t message me much over those 48 hours though. It was a huge change of pace for me. I felt he had suddenly disconnected. I started to panic and think, “Here you go again – you go and fall for someone and look what happens…”
My best friend told me, “You’ve put all your cards on the table. Now you need to pull back.” I said, “I know I have to,” so I did.
I went for a paddle board yoga class in the lake. After class I was meditating. I opened my eyes and saw a big, green dragonfly. Green was my mom’s favorite color and dragonflies represent a big change in life that’s coming. I just looked at it and smiled.
People around me were commenting on how calm my energy was. I said, “It’s more than that; I think I’m falling in love with this guy that I just met.”
They asked me for how long we’d been dating.
I said, “Well we’ve been on one date,” which brought on many other questions.
They were asking me about him and I said, “He’s just perfect.”
Someone asked what it was about him that made him perfect and I couldn’t articulate it. I said, “I don’t know… It’s just this thing and I feel it. I feel this connection.”
So our date was set for Tuesday.
He sent me a message later that day saying he can’t wait to see Chuck, his friend who was ill, on Monday. I was half asleep when I got that message so I misunderstood and thought he had said, ‘I can’t wait to see you on Monday.’
So I wrote back saying, “Oh, are we seeing each other on Monday?”
He said, “Well, not unless you want to pick me up from the airport.”
I said, “Oh, sorry.”
Then he said, “Well, do you want to pick me up? And I said, “Yes.”
So much for playing hard to get.
David: She agrees to pick me up at the airport and I’m writing a movie scene in my head already.
I would see her.
I would drop my bags.
I would run up to her, grab her and swing her in the air.
I would kiss her!
Anita: I meanwhile have strict instructions from my best friend.
See, me and Basak are both hopeless in what they call ‘playing the game’ so her advice was this: “Whatever he does do not one, but two steps less. If he runs to you, stand where you are or walk very slowly. When you see him don’t kiss him, give him a friendly hug or no hug at all and be a little bit hard to get. You’ve completely blown the game – try to get it back just a little bit missy.”
Thank God the ‘game’ never really had a chance of survival in our relationship.
In fact, very soon after we started dating David was already composing songs for me and Basak’s boyfriend had playfully commented on how David had no game. What she had said was, “But don’t you see? Anita also has zero game. They’re perfect for each other!”
The truth and only the truth…
David: When I saw her at the airport I noticed that she was trying to play it cool. She looked amazing in her jeans and shirt, just like she always does. I walked up to her and gave her a big hug. We were walking back to her car and she’s grinning from ear to ear the entire time.
Anita: My heart was racing! I was in another world and I had no idea where I parked my car. I was hopelessly lost.
David: We were wandering all over the airport, all over the streets. We kept looking at each other and smiling. Nobody wanted to mention the fact that she had no idea where the car was.
Anita: We finally got to the car but we had another problem. I had so many butterflies in my stomach that I thought I would drive into a wall looking at him the moment he smiled, so I asked him if he wanted to drive instead and handed him the keys. Yes, I delivered my heart and my car keys to an almost-stranger!
Basak had told me just keep it short. “You’re going to see him on Tuesday anyway.”
So, I kept saying, “I’ll just drop you off and go. You must be tired,” and he kept insisting we go find a coffee shop.
David: I wanted to take her to my favorite coffee shop in downtown DC but it was Labor Day so they were not open. I was trying to come up with another coffee shop to go to. The last thing I wanted to do was let her out of my sight – I would’ve gone to a 7-Eleven. There was no way I was going to let her go.
Anita: When the coffee shop was closed I said, “That must be a sign. I should just drop you off home,” trying to follow her advice.
The thing was all the advice that was given to us was based on logic but our experience and what we were feeling was way beyond anything logical.
David: Our reality was so overwhelming and overpowering. Our experience of being together was like being drunk together.
We finally found a cafe.
So we were on our second face-to-face meeting in the coffee shop talking about what we wanted to do with our relationship. And it was funny to even call it a ‘relationship’ because we were literally going on the third hour of physically spending time together.
I told Anita I felt like I was standing on the edge of an abyss. Although she didn’t like that word at the time to me it didn’t feel like a dark place at all. It was a little bit scary but also an amazing magical wonderland. I said, “I’m terrified to jump in but I want to jump in.”
Anita: I said, “Is this where you tell me why we can’t see each other or that we have to date other people?”
He looked completely puzzled and said, “What? No! I got off Match for you!”
I said, “Good, because I got off Match for you too.”
“You did that for me?”
When I said ‘yes’ he just looked away in amazement.
David: I had actually gone off Match that weekend while I was away.
The reason I did that was that I didn’t think it was possible in any way that anybody was even going to come close the connection that I felt I had formed with Anita. It was so overpowering. I felt like I had reached the summit of an experience and I did not think that it could get any better.
Anita: That was exactly how I felt with the other four dates I was supposed to go on. I just kept putting them off. They were being very accommodating, even though I could have easily been considered rude with all my postponing.
I wanted to just come out and tell them, “I’m sorry, I’ve met someone,” but how could I even have said that as I’d only been on one date with David at that point and we hadn’t had ‘the talk’ or anything. Yet I had decided, “Yup – he’s The One.”
I had a date the day after I had met with David. I remember floating around all day thinking of David and dreading having to sit through the upcoming date with ‘Earla’s gift – number 2’. It was so clear that my experience with David was an incredibly rare one and having that twice even in the span of a lifetime would have been madness. Needless to say, I canceled all the dates I had after that.
Sitting there with David that night on our second face to face meeting, he asked me, “So what do you want to do?”
Sometimes when Basak asks me questions, the answers that pop out leave me startled because they are things that even I have not been consciously aware of up until then myself.
It was the same with David when he asked me that. The answer that came out was so raw, so deep that even I didn’t realize I had these thoughts lying within me.
I told him how I believed that if you really made a wish with all your heart it always came true. I told him how I had always been afraid to wish for love. Both my mother and my grandmother had had bad marriages. My personal experiences had led me to believe that nobody would choose me when it came down to it. But somehow right then, with him right there, I felt that I could finally make this wish and wished for love.
I asked him, “Do you want to give this a shot?” And he said, “Yes.”
I said, “What?” I was amazed at what I had asked and even more amazed at what he had said.
David: I half expected her to say something like, “Let me rephrase that question,” to which I would have replied, “Just learn to take ‘yes’ for an answer.”
Anita: I was still in awe of the situation.
While we were driving home I said, “Wait – does that mean we still have a date tomorrow?”
And he said, “Yes,” again.
I just expected him to like me as a person… but to be attracted to me the way I was attracted to him? I wasn’t expecting that.
David: And how crazy is that? Just look at her!
After we had made the decision to move forward together we went for a walk up the sidewalk and that’s when we had our first kiss. It felt like I was falling off a cliff straight into that magical abyss.
Anita: He put his arms around me and my first reaction was one of absolute safety. With all that chemistry, this feeling of absolute safety that I could melt into, that wasn’t the first feeling I would have expected to arise. That was surprising.
And it didn’t feel like a stranger was holding me, it felt so familiar.
Then he kissed me and I thought, ‘That’s it I’m done – I’m in heaven.’
Speaking of heaven and blessings, a month or two after that, we finally made it to the café that he had initially wanted to take me to back then. We were in the lower level area and there was just the two of us so we got up and started slow dancing. Suddenly out of nowhere a door that we had not noticed in the wall opened and this incredibly tall, towering man, as big as a football player, came out. He looked like he was homeless but he also looked like the god Zeus.
He came straight at us and started talking in this rolling tongue saying things like, “Seeing true love in adults is so beautiful and pure. God bless you guys. I want to say a prayer for you.” So he prayed over us, showering us with his blessings and just disappeared out of another door as suddenly as he had appeared.
This had all happened so fast that it caught us off guard. I said, “Gosh, that was so sweet. I want to give him some money.”
We chased after him by climbing the 2 steps he had only just used to go outside but it seemed like this mighty giant of a man had just disappeared into thin air.
It was like he came out of the wall, opened his arms, prayed over us, then vanished. It was very bizarre. Even the way he looked was very surreal.
David: We just looked at each other and said, “What was that, an angel?”
Deeper and deeper…
Anita: So we saw each other five times that week and I continued saying the most inappropriate things. In a normal world, I would’ve known better and any other man would have thought, ‘She’s psychotic’ and have skedaddled on out of there.
I would say things to him like, “I feel like we’re married already because even people who are married for 30 years don’t have this kind of connection.” Then as I was kicking myself for blurting that out without thinking, he’d be agreeing with me! And it all felt so normal.
David: Several days later she told me she loved me for the first time. I knew that was what I was feeling too although I couldn’t say the words at that moment.
Anita: He didn’t say anything but I felt he had just checked out of this world. He had tears in his eyes. See the thing is, he did not need any words. Never in my entire life had I had anyone react that way to those words without words. I could feel his entire being respond nonverbally.
David: I was feeling the same way but everything was happening so fast that I wasn’t ready to say it yet and I told her that.
Well, it only took me another three days. Actually, it would’ve taken less but, as usual, she sensed what I was about to say and told me she didn’t want to hear it over a text message (I was visiting my daughter that weekend), so it ended up being three days.
Anita: A week or two before David entered into my life, I had had a few drinks and was feeling merry. I was thinking about how much I hated how guys often described me as ‘exotic’ because I’d moved and lived in multiple countries through the years. To me, ‘exotic’ had become synonymous with ‘outsider’. So I had loudly declared in my drunken state, “Soulmate! If you exist and can hear me then this is your passcode. You will need to say this to me so I will know it’s really you if we ever meet. Tell me that when you’re with me you feel like you’re finally home!” which I figured was the opposite of ‘exotic’.
So on the tenth day of our meeting David texts, ‘You know when I’m with you, I feel like I’m finally home.’
I started to cry! I already knew it was him but then he goes on to deliver the passcode!
I gave him the keys to my home on the tenth day.
David: For me, that was just a transaction.
For us it was very clear: Of course we’re going to move in together and of course we’re going to get married. There was no other choice.
Anita: Our hearts and souls had taken over but if we were apart for more than three hours then the brain would kick in saying, “Hey, hold on – it’s my turn now. What are you doing?!” Then heart and soul would look at each other and say, “Ah, there goes the brain again.”
How did we get here? Painful, precious lessons of the past…
David: We are so conscious of the fact that we have won the love lottery.
We are both so grateful for the fact that neither one of us feels that one is more in love with the other. We’re both equally insanely, crazy in love with each other; it’s blissfully, completely mutual. There is no power struggle.
I’ve never had this before and I don’t think she has either.
I’m 51 years old now. I’ve been through trials and challenges of this life.
I have had two marriages before. In my first marriage, we were both in our early 20s. We did love each but were not equipped to overcome any trials. The first challenges we had were enough to destroy us.
In my second marriage, we just were not able to work together. We did have a connection but just never managed to achieve that deep spiritual cohesion and peace.
I now know myself and my heart. I think that comes with age and experience, there’s no other way to do it.
I don’t want to play around. I’m ready to be all-in in a way that was never possible for me to do before. That’s why I told Anita she’s getting the full man, someone who’s ready to go.
Anita: What I realized is that you have to love yourself before you love someone else. I’ve also realized that you cannot love yourself until you’re honest with yourself about your fears and everything else and you then accept yourself. It’s one thing to say I love myself but if you don’t know and accept yourself, how can you really love yourself?
And for me, they were actually all separate.
Liking myself was not the same as loving me, loving me wasn’t the same as accepting me and accepting me wasn’t even the same as knowing me. I had to figure me out and until I could get all my pieces together I couldn’t give love out or let love in completely.
Before I wrote to my profile on Match.com I had drunk a whole bottle of wine. In that state a few things had crossed my mind.
I remembered something that was in a book called ‘Calling in the one’ that Basak had made me read. It said you had to picture what love feels like; how it feels to be giving it and receiving it before it happens.
I had my bottle of wine and tried to feel love and feel loved and I couldn’t.
I stopped and I said, “God, I need to speak to you about this. I guess you want me to feel what it looks and tastes like before I let it in but that’s not fair. I never had parents who loved me, I never had a safe place to go to where I could give as well as receive love…
Theoretically, I can wish for it and tell you I want to feel loved and safe, but if you actually want me to really imagine what all that feels like, I have nothing to go on, so can you help me out here?”
That prayer in itself was self-knowing and self-acceptance. It was like saying, “I have these holes and I’m not going to be able to fill them but don’t hold it against me.”
Now with David, I know what it actually feels like so I didn’t have to envision something I couldn’t envision but I was at least able to voice that and acknowledge I’m not able to envision it.
David: When she told me that it made me realize that in our souls both of us were open at that moment to what was going to happen to us. So we were able to respond to it and process it even if it took our brains several weeks longer than our hearts and our spirits. That was key for us.
That’s what I would call the lesson that I think I learned over the last few years; the idea about connectedness, being authentic, being aware and in touch with your body enough to know what you are feeling or thinking. Just having the awareness of that is important, it’s the first step.
Anita: Before meeting David I was aware of all these rules about dating; what you should or should not say. But now I realize when the relationship is right, it’s natural and it’s not necessarily about logic. If anything, logic is lost on the subject.
A few years ago I came to this understanding through meditation:
When it comes to matters of the heart, follow the heart.
When it comes to matters of the head, follow the head.
Don’t mix them.
I was married once before and I realized that I had only used my head, not my heart, and it set me up very badly.
With David it was the opposite, everything was from the heart and anytime my head tried to intervene I said, “Nope, I’m not listening to you this time.”
David: Before, I felt I was always working on trying to improve something. It was always so much effort just being married. I think that happens when you’re not with the right person or when you’re not fundamentally connected from your core in a deep, spiritual way.
Whereas now, I can feel Anita and she can feel me so deeply that being together is not work, it’s just pure joy. Even if we have conflict with each other, we are both deeply curious about what the issue is, understanding what’s going on and interested in ministering to each other instead of putting up the walls and rejecting opinions.
In the past, I would’ve gotten very defensive.
Anita: But he never gets defensive or offensive.
David: If you talk to my ex she’ll probably say, “I don’t know who that is, but it’s not who I was married to.”
Anita: Once I had a reaction and I was being quite pissy. I couldn’t make sense of it myself because I didn’t know where it was coming from either. He didn’t take offense, get defensive or attack me in any way. He didn’t grow cold either. He understood that I needed to go through it myself so he just held me and we fell asleep with him holding me. There was no gap because of it.
When we woke up in the morning I had a clearer idea what was going on with me and I could tell him so we could figure it out. It resolved so instinctively, so naturally.
Reactions to this crazy love…
Anita: Well, this is how it looked from the inside out.
Things were very clear for us.
But we did get a lot of reactions from people around us.
After our first date, I was talking about him at work. People were just rolling their eyes and having a laugh about it saying I couldn’t possibly decide so fast.
When they asked if I was going to see him again and I said, “No.”
They said, “But you really like him,” and I said, “Yup – I’d marry him.”
After the second date they asked me how it went and I said, “Oh, I’m definitely marrying him.”
A lot of people were very skeptical but the universe would always step in to reassure me.
Between all those skeptics, without fail, somebody would always stand up and say, “The same thing happened to me! I had a one night stand and I ended up marrying him. That was 30 years ago and he’s still the love of my life. It never gets old.”
It happened so many times!
David: My experience was completely different with my friends because they had seen me so miserable for so long. When they saw me delirious with joy they were all elated that I was no longer miserable.
At work I had mixed reactions with one person telling me slow down, one cheering me on as he was vicariously living through me and another colleague who also had a story that was very similar and was still in love with her soulmate just like it was in the beginning 20 years ago.
I was never a big believer of soulmates and finding true love to begin with. In fact, whenever I saw a profile online that said they’re looking for ‘The One’ or their soulmate I would always bypass them.
So many had this feel of princess waiting for their prince charming to come along and I was never a big believer of that kind of thing. When you spend years hunkered down on self-protection mode, being a dad, going to work and just doing the grind there isn’t much space in your world for miracles and magic.
Then I met Anita and saw what they meant. I thought, “Wow, this party has been going on for a while and I’ve only just discovered it.”
I think I never gave credence to the idea of soulmates because of the lack of connectedness within myself. If you are not truly connected and authentic within yourself, you are not going to allow that kind of energy in. So learning, developing and adopting those skills is what opened me up to it.
Anita: For me, it was being miserable for 16 years in a bad marriage. I would look at other couples in admiration only to find out that things were not so peachy behind the façade.
I had a lot of male colleagues and given my natural therapist tendencies many of them would open up to me about their issues and what was really going on behind closed doors. It made me really cynical.
Even reading this blog and all the stories that Basak would tell me that weren’t in the blog – I thought it was adorable how she really believed in love. But I just couldn’t help but think, ‘That’s just an interview – if you dug a little bit deeper you would find out the story was far from the truth.’
I used to think that the only difference between a good and a bad marriage was that some people pretended they were not in a bad marriage.
So I was really very cynical over the years had absolutely no faith in and no belief system that supported love anymore.
I never really had it and even the men that I did fall in love with in the past who were also supposed to be loving me back had set terrible examples on the concept of love. In essence they were never truly available.
David: Considering her family history, she was never ready to give her heart away.
Anita: On some level I might have picked people who were really not available and if they were, it would make me want to turn around and run away.
Even with my ex-husband, we had a very logical approach to the institution of marriage. It was not a marriage where I had to crack my heart open so I was safe in a sense. It was almost like he could love me but I wasn’t supposed to love him and it was fine.
If our sense of family always contained a sense of misery, violence and danger due to our own upbringing we always gravitate towards that because that’s what ‘family’ looks like for us. We gravitate towards the familiar.
David: That was one of the things that attracted me to Anita. She had done a lot of hard work to heal herself from the trauma of her past and really knew her heart. She had put herself out there in ways that were neither fun nor comfortable and had achieved her clarity.
There’s a scripture which that reminds me of and something that I have thought about in the last year which was something along the lines of ‘God gives me the desire of my heart because I delight in him.’ So this brings forth the idea that if we are aligned with the universe then we can ask for whatever we want and it is given to us.
Slowly we’re merging our lives. Things have been quite smooth in that department. We are meeting each other’s families and letting things unfold naturally.
Anita: When I met David’s mom we bonded instantly on a very spiritual level. It was no wonder – she is my soul mate’s mother.
David: It was amazing how they bonded so deeply in a matter of minutes. That had not happened before with anyone else even in a matter of years. Afterwards my mom said, “It was great seeing you but I really liked seeing Anita.”
I’m worried now that she likes her more than she likes me.
Anita: Meeting his mom and other family members was an effortless, blessed experience. The feeling of being welcomed and accepted was instant.
Advice for anyone who is looking for love…
Anita: Believe in it!
Believe in love.
Believe in soulmates and don’t settle.
I think that’s a part of the problem: A lot of people think their time is running out, panic about being alone and then end up talking themselves logically into a relationship with someone that fits the checklist.
Then by the time you meet the right person, you’re already married…
Don’t waste your precious heart on the wrong person.
Basak had always told me that if I have to keep asking, “What does he feel? Where do I stand? Does he like me?” that I have my answer right there already. I see now what she means.
On the other hand, if that man is meant for you he will be by your side. Even if you tell him you don’t want to see him for eight months, he will still be there and so will you regardless of what you might have said.
David: In my dating experience I noticed that a lot of women have been hurt. They have been abused, cheated on, lied to… There were scars there and as a result, they were not willing to open their hearts.
They would have a checklist of criteria that had to be satisfied: A man has to know his own heart, he has to love his mother, he has to be ready to commit, and so forth, and only then will I consider this…
The truth is we all have baggage.
I have made mistakes just like other people. But I don’t want to make them again. The important thing is what have we learned and what lessons are we taking forward from it.
I want to take my experiences to raise me to the next level of awareness so that I can be a better partner and husband for Anita. I want to be someone that I can be proud of, someone who I think is worthy of her.
Advice for couples going through a hard time…
David: Have the courage to walk away.
Anita: Leave! Break up!
You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole.
The universe is always giving us signs and they’re often in neon but we tend to ignore them and life gets more difficult because of it.
Change is always scary.
Taking a look at your life and doing something about it is scary.
People will always settle because it is easier to settle than to make the change.
But if you make the effort and make the change then there is the state of harmony that will follow.
Life isn’t meant to be lived in perpetual pain or constant strife, especially in love.
When David and I are together, we recharge our souls. You’re working all day anyway, you shouldn’t be coming home and then having to work for each other too.
If your relationship is not your safe place and where your soul feels energized then maybe you need to take a closer look at that.
Maybe this isn’t it… and that’s okay.
Even if you love someone it’s okay to let it go. If it’s just not fitting then maybe it just isn’t meant to be.
Let it go.
If it’s meant to be it will come back and if it’s not meant to be you will find something better.
And it might take longer to find something better but it’s definitely worth the wait.
David: It’s totally worth the wait.
Anita: I’ll wait another 43 years for David anytime.
One thing I have learned about love is…
David: Love has completely, fully consumed me in ways that I never imagined were humanly possible. So always have the courage to be true to who you are and go after what you believe can be.
Anita: They say love is constant work or constant compromise. It isn’t when you’re with the right person.
David: You have to stay curious and engaged with the other person. Understand that there is an ebb and flow.
When we first met I wanted her to buy two books. One of them was about how to improve your marriage without talking about it. Funny because this was our very first date, again one of those ‘Did I just tell her to do that on our first date?’ moments.
But the point of the book was that men tend to be wired to be shamed easily. Women don’t realize that they are shaming men. This results in men retreating into their cocoon and this triggers a very common female fear in the women of being left alone.
So typically in most relationships when something goes wrong the woman will want to talk about it.
This will shame the man.
The man will go into his cocoon because his shame is triggered.
This will trigger the fear of being left alone in a woman…
This is when a relationship becomes ‘hard work’.
But if you are deeply connected to each other, you are fully present and aware, then working together never feels like work.
Anita: It feels more of a process of growing together.
David: It’s been four months now. I guess we both assumed that our chemistry would not stay at this level of intensity and would start to subside. But what we are finding is that things actually just get better, deeper, they are enhanced.
When I was getting divorced, I was thinking how I was free to travel, free to do anything. But now one of my requirements is that I don’t travel at all or that if I do Anita comes along because I’m not willing to be apart from her, not even for a night.
I don’t want to go anywhere else.
I’m finally home.
Anita & David got engaged on Valentine’s Day after a beautiful surprise proposal on the spot that they shared their first kiss.
Follow their love story on their blog https://butterfliesonthewing.wordpress.com where they share their love.
(Interview & write-up by Bianca)
Read about our next couple Emel & Alpay.
Read about our previous couple Danielle & Wesley.
Read more crazy love stories with similar themes:
Couples who found online love
Couples with different backgrounds
Couples who have fell in love at first sight
Couples who found new love
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