I was traveling to Florida, to visit my brother Jeff and his wife, Wendy, in the middle of March, and, I’ll tell you, family and the beach made clearer the process of evaluating my situation to decide whether I wanted to keep dating.
I spent most of my mornings working and then running and relaxing at the beach. I spent afternoons and evenings enjoying Jeff and Wendy’s company. All day, every day, in the back of my mind, I was thinking about who I was, what I wanted, what was best for me, who was best for me. I was also mulling the concept of home—what makes a person feel at home. (See what I came up with here.)
I texted almost constantly with Jacques—often until my phone died. Several times at night, while playing cards with Jeff and Wendy, I had to sit on my phone or place it in my room to keep our conversations from distracting me.
Jacques had moved into a new place that week, and, as I tend to do, he was already unpacked and organized hours after the moving truck pulled away.
He continued to say things that tugged at my heart strings, like that he was looking for a best friend, someone to cook with and someone to schtup with anytime, any place. He often made me smile in this way—by combining the heartfelt with the audacious. More and more, I was sure that what I had been looking for for eight years was Jacques.
Still, though, I experimented in a way that felt safe to me.
I went on Bumble several times each day, studying who was out there, even swiping right a few times. Why not go on a date in Florida? Right?
When I drove to Sanibel by myself for a few days, I packed outfits I could wear out in the evenings, but I never wore them, and I never went out. I sat on the beach solo each day until the sun set around 7, and I then had no interest in anything but heading back to my room.
While I sat still, I counted the good things in my life:
- My daughters and Eli.
- My wide and tight circle of friends.
- My brothers, my parents.
- My housemate Craig, who was already a best friend. (But no schtupping. You see the difference, right?)
- My busy business.
Suddenly, one morning on the beach, I realized my life was already full of love and gladness, and I decided that I didn’t need any more people in it. Except Jacques. I was clear that, if things didn’t work out with him, I would stop looking and settle in to what was around me.
I deleted the Bumble app from my phone while sitting on the beach, and I texted Jacques and told him.
“I already deleted Bumble,” he told me.
“I can’t do the random dating thing anymore,” I told him.
“But I’m not ready to date just one person,” Jacques said, as I knew he would.
“That’s fine with me,” I said. “I’m telling you where my head is at.”
I encouraged him to keep dating.
“I’d rather you take a good, long look around,” I said. “If you end up with me, I want it to be because you know without a doubt that I’m the right one.”