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By: John S. Gore
I spent what I thought was a lot of money on a dating service for a prescribed number of dates with women, hoping to connect with someone my age and start a fresh chapter in my life.
The “matching” process started with agreeing to a mutual phone call before setting up an actual date. I spoke with four or five women on the phone; two of whom I actually met on dates. The first lady I took to dinner was a mistake. The second one was nice but considerably older and not interested in dating as much as having a dinner companion – not what I signed up for at all.
Then one evening the dating service called me to ask if I would be interested in talking to a widowed woman my age. Apparently, other men they approached were not comfortable dating a widow. It didn’t bother me. After all, widowhood can happen at any age. The dating service also admitted that although they thought she was not compatible enough with me to be on “my list of potential dates,” there were a few things we had in common that were worth giving it a go. I thought, sure, why not? I needed a positive experience and apparently she did too.
Following several lengthy phone conversations which I enjoyed very much, we agreed to meet for a late lunch in South Haven one hot Sunday afternoon. I still had on the shirt and slacks I had worn that Sunday morning to church when I arrived to meet her outside at Captain Lou’s near the drawbridge. It was a sweltering afternoon to be waiting for a blind date.
She finally arrived, and was beautiful in her sun dress. Anticipating the usual difficulty in meeting and talking to someone new, I was surprised how easy it was to talk with her. We ended up spending over five hours talking and walking around South Haven that first date.
As I reflected on our time together, I realized this was what…or who…I had been looking for: Someone who puts me at ease and enjoys me for who I am. A second date to St. Joseph sealed the deal for me. Ironically, though it was only the second time we’d been together, a waitress commented to us about how well we got along, like a couple who’d been together for many happy years. We laughed and told her it was only our second date! She couldn’t believe it.
That was 18 months ago. After a year of commuting to Holland as often as I could from the Southwest corner of the state, I moved to Holland last fall. Best move I ever made, for the finest lady I’ve ever met – Janice Baron Limbaugh.