In July of 2011, I met the woman of my dreams. I wasn’t looking for her. But there she showed up. It felt an awful lot like luck. And, yes there was much to thank my lucky stars for. But, if I hadn’t have been prepared, the moment would have faded, and the woman of my dreams would have passed across the evening sky… out of view forever.
It all began with giving up.
The Power of Giving Up
I wasn’t looking for a relationship. I had split up with an ex, sworn off online dating, and I despised the social scene of crowded bars. They weren’t worth my energy.
Sure I wanted someone eventually. But, I had a different longing underneath, a longing more important. There was a need inside of me, that couldn’t be filled with someone else.
Random dates on Match.com or Ok Cupid I found boring. The whole online dating experience felt like finding a job. You’d shop through an online catalog, and message the people who caught your eye. Your messages and profile were carefully manicured to make you sound exciting… but the reality of the entire experience was completely the opposite – excitement had been extracted. It felt so fucking artificial.
I had more important things for my time than searching the internet for the woman of my dreams.
After several years in an on again, off again relationship I was starting to wake up. I was opening my eyes to my early thirties with life goals still on hold, hanging in the backdrop of my mind. When would they become memories, I could hang upon my walls?
I had to change my focus. I had to alter my approach.
Instead of finding someone else, I had to find myself.
I couldn’t bullshit anyone. In a relationship, you share a life. And, how could I convince someone to share a life with me I didn’t love? I had to love my life, and I had to start living a life I was excited about. I had to love myself first. To do so, I had to be brave and focused.
I bought a motorcycle and started a band. I hired a life coach to keep me on track. I booked a show and set a goal to write and prepare 6 songs for the performance. It was scary and exciting. I was driving 90 in the sunshine, testing my own limits.
A relationship would be a distraction. So, I had decided not to try. I had more important things to do.
And, then she came along.
The Woman of My Dreams
It’s not like I had seen her before. And, yet she was familiar.
I hadn’t seen her in my dreams. To claim so would be cheesy, a “romantic” idea I think is stupid. If that had been so, it would have removed the real magic of the moment.
Instead I felt intrigued. I had been cultivating curiosity in my life, and mine for her was obvious.
She was an opera singer. I was a musician of a different sort.
She spent an inordinate time with her dachshund. I had no dog. But I loved them.
She rock climbed on the weekends. I had rock climbed for years, but at the moment I needed a partner.
Alas, she had a boyfriend.
Perfect for me, because I didn’t need the distraction anyways.
“Rachel, have you met Jon? He climbs as well”.
I don’t recall the conversation which followed, but I recall the introduction from a friend that turned a stop in the company kitchen into the strike of a match.
We began chatting over the occasional email. She’d stop at my desk to talk. And then one day came when she asked me to go climbing.
Her boyfriend was going climbing with a friend, and she didn’t have a climbing partner.
I was excited. I was conflicted.
She had a boyfriend after all. I didn’t want to be a creep. And I was doing just fine on my own. I was creating a life I wanted. I didn’t want to get distracted.
And then I realized. Yes, she was beautiful. She was exactly the kind of woman I’d like to get to know. But, it was okay if nothing happened. I was fine without a relationship. Right now I just wanted to climb. And she was offering me a partnership.
So, yes, I would join her for a climb.
A Best Friend in the Making
Not long before this I had ended a long term relationship. I had sacrfificed myself before. I had repeatedly tried to prove to someone my importance in their life. It felt awful. Looking back it makes me still feel awful. The feeling of weakness languishes on the heart and mind.
And then came Rachel. I had given up on trying to prove myself to be someone that I’m not. That was too exhausting.
And as I let go of all my weight I was happy to find a friend who laughed at me and smiled.
We climbed for several weeks, us friends, and then… all of a sudden it was over. Her boyfriend and her had broken up. It turns out he was an idiot, but the news was good for me.
Two months later we were visiting my brother to climb in Red River Gorge. In six months we went to Mexico. In five years we got married.
Today, I’m laying next to her this morning. Typing on my phone as she sleeps. Soon I’ll need to start the coffee to fulfill my husband duty.
All along the way our love has felt both effortless and intentional. Like you could take your hands off the wheel but you wouldn’t dare do it for long, knowing what you risk.
Rachel is amazing. She inspires me to believe. She elates me with her intellect and love for adventure. She lets me be myself.
Meeting her was a moment of luck. But most of all that luck had to do with timing. I was lucky not to meet her earlier, before I was ready, before I knew myself. I was lucky I got to know myself. Or, maybe I’d have missed the moment of luck when we crossed paths.
How to Get the Woman of Your Dreams
So, in a quick reflection, if you want to meet the woman of your dreams, here’s what I’ve learned.
- Start with yourself. Before someone loves you or knows you, you have to know yourself. Focus on creating a life you love that’s not dependent upon someone else for happiness.
- Pursue something that you love. Is there something that you love or are curious about, yet you’ve been ignoring? Follow it. By following your goals and passions you’ll increase your chances of meeting people with similar interests.
- Go places where others with your interests hang out. I was fortunate enough to meet someone where I worked. And you may even meet someone I passing at a grocery store. But, it’s not guaranteed. So put yourself in places surrounded by like-minded people. By following your interests as your number one goal, you set yourself up for a win-win situation. You do something you enjoy, and if you meet someone along the way, all the better… plus you’ll have similar interests.
This is what worked for me. Remember, luck is helpful. But you must prepare yourself for when luck arrives.
Okay, now I better start the coffee.