The following is the transcript of this podcast episode.:
Jodi: Welcome, Leah!
Leah: It’s nice to be here.
Jodi: I’m so glad you are.
Leah: Thank you.
Jodi: Let’s learn some things about you before we learn about your date with Paul.
Leah: I’m in my early 60s now. I’ve been a real estate broker for several years. Prior to that, I had been in the apparel industry. I’ve traveled extensively for business and pleasure. Some of the things I love to do in my spare time are pilates, skiing, and enjoying nights out and evenings in with friends.
Jodi: Fabulous! It sounds like you live a very full life.
Leah: It’s a good life, I’m blessed to say.
Jodi: We have a story to delve into that starts out with a matchmaker!
Leah: That’s correct. There were a number of years when I was dating men that seemed really wonderful at the beginning, and then over a period of few months, a year, whatever, it just didn’t seem to be right.
My mother gave me some advice. “At this point,” she said, “find a man who’s divorced, whose children are grown and who is really looking to start a second chapter in his life.” I’m blessed to say that was good advice. That’s exactly what I found!
Jodi: After she gave you this advice, how did you act on it? Because you’d been dating for a while. Hadn’t you been dating men who matched up with her suggestions?
Leah: Well, in hindsight some were consistent with her suggestions and others not quite. So I decided that I would pursue a matchmaker. I felt that would be a little bit more personal than Match.com or some of the other online dating sites. It took me a while to get over the emotional hump of making that decision. There was a woman who was advertising in a local paper. I checked her out online and I made an appointment to go see her. That’s how it started.
Jodi: You talked about needing to get over a hump. What was it that was difficult for you before you placed that call, or sent that email, or however you got in touch with her?
Leah: I felt I was smart and had a lot of things to offer. And yet I wasn’t meeting men who were really matching me back in that. There was an emotional hurdle to say, “Okay, I need help. I’m doing something wrong. There’s something going on in my life that just wasn’t quite working out the way I always thought it would.” And I was at an age at that point that it was now or never. So I picked up the phone and made an appointment with her.
Jodi: What was that appointment like?
Leah: She was a very sweet woman, a little bit older than me. She was also a little kooky. She showed me pictures of different men in her database and she said I could pick 10 that I wanted to meet.
Jodi: Were there 10 there who…?
Leah: Oh, there were hundreds!
Jodi: But that you wanted to meet?
Leah: Yes. There were 10 that I wanted to meet. She said she would contact them and send them my profile and picture and if they were interested as well that they would call me.
Jodi: She wasn’t going to be in the middle of it?
Leah: No. She was just the impetus for the initial introductions. So, I started getting calls. There were some very nice men and there were some very quirky men. Then she called me up and she said, “This one really nice man, this really good one, just came into my office and I thought he’d be really good for you” and that was Paul. He was actually number 11 for me. We were only allowed 10, but he was number 11.
Jodi: Did the matchmaker send you his profile with his photo?
Leah: She did. She emailed it to me and I said, “Sure, I’d like to meet him.” He called me a few days later. He was actually on assignment for a two-month period. When he called me to say what city he was in, my response was, “Oh, better you than me,” because I used to travel to that city quite extensively in my prior career and was happy not to be doing that anymore. So we had a nice laugh about that.
Jodi: Did you have to wait two months to meet him?
Leah: We did wait almost two months. We talked on the phone regularly. It was very easy to converse with him. We texted. We emailed. He had been married before. He had two children. One was out of college and starting her career. The other was in college still and I thought, “Woohoo! My mother would be so happy.”
Jodi: Almost two months passed. What happened next?
Leah: We had arranged a date that he would pick me up at 1pm on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.
Jodi: At your house?
Leah: At my home. I felt comfortable enough by then. He came in, we sat for a little while, just sizing each other up because we had spoken so many times and emailed and texted. Now we were meeting for the first time.
Jodi: What were you thinking as you were sizing him up?
Leah: I was a little concerned that he was a little too old for me because he made a comment, “Oh, I think you’re too young for me.” I asked him how old he was and he told me. There’s a nine-year difference. So, it’s not that outrageous. Once we put that aside, he said, “Well, would you like to go have some lunch and then we’ll go to the museum?” I thought that was just a really classy first date. I knew he had put some thought into it.
We went to an outdoor café for lunch. It was a lovely day and we both ordered salads. It was interesting for me to see what kind of food he was eating to see if there was a compatibility factor there. There certainly was.
Jodi: What were you looking for when you were checking out what type of foods he was eating?
Leah: I wanted to see if he was into heavy, greasy, food, a lot of red meat; if he was that kind of an eater. He wasn’t. Nor am I. I thought that was a good sign.
Jodi: What did that tell you?
Leah: It told me that he wants to take care of himself.
Jodi: Was there anything else that was memorable from the café portion of your first date?
Leah: He had talked about the relationship his brother has with his wife. They were married very young, out of college, and they’re so much fun. They’re best friends. He was starting to tell me a little bit about his first marriage and his ex-wife and that he really wanted the kind of relationship that his brother and sister-in-law had. I found that to be very refreshing because so many men I had dated were afraid of commitment, or always looking around the corner to see if there was somebody more beautiful, more smart, more this, more that.
For somebody like me, who had had a history of dating those kinds of men, it scared me and it terrified me. As we were talking, getting to know each other in person, I had mentioned that, “Oh, in prior relationships trying to be somebody that I’m not, trying to please somebody in a way that wouldn’t ordinarily be what I would do or what I would think.”
He said to me, which I found to be very wise and honest, “If you’re not going to be yourself, who are you going to be?” Between that, and he stayed with his ex-wife to raise their kids, which I thought was very selfless and very generous. They both knew that they really were not compatible, they had just married too young in life and they had an amicable divorce. These were all so refreshing and honest and there was so much integrity there. It started alleviating my terror.
Jodi: Paul shared a lot with you on your first date!
Leah: He did.
Jodi: You were okay with that?
Leah: I was scared. This was a very long first date. By the end of the night, I had a lot to think about and the more I thought about it the more I thought, “This is a good person. This is a good guy.”
Jodi: What happened after you were done with your lunch at the café?
Leah: We went to the museum. We started out in one gallery and we just strolled and strolled. Paul would make a little joke about this art or that art. He was starting to hold my hand, which was I was a little nervous about. We actually bumped into somebody he worked with, but Paul couldn’t remember his name, so he couldn’t introduce me. We laughed about that later of course. We were in the museum for a couple of hours. It was a really nice date.
Jodi: Let’s go back to him holding your hand. You kept your hand in his hand? Did you pull it away? There’s a lot of presumption there to grab somebody’s hand after you’ve only been with them for a short while.
Leah: There is. It was a little uncomfortable at first, but certainly by the end of the date it was a good thing.
Jodi: He was feeling it!
Leah: Yes. I was nervous. He was feeling it. And again, that was different from men I had dated in the past.
Jodi: Do you think he was picking up on your nervousness?
Leah: I think he was nervous but in a different way and he said this by the end of the date that I really want to make this work and then I got really scared. And for the first week or so, when he would bring up talking about us and making it work and it’s like, “Slow down, buddy.” So he was very considerate. He was always very considerate.
Jodi: It sounds like your time at the museum was quite romantic and enjoyable.
Leah: That is very true and we had such a nice time at the museum. Neither of us wanted the date to end. By this time it was mid-afternoon. I can’t remember if he suggested, or I suggested, that we go to look at some art galleries. So we got in his car, drove across town, strolled around through some other art galleries. We stopped for a beer.
By this time, it was getting close to dinner time and we’re starting to head back to my home for him to drop me off and he said, “Would you like to have dinner?” And we ended up going for sushi, which again was very nice. After dinner, he drives me back home.
Just being polite I said, “Would you like to come up for a cup of tea?” not expecting anything else, not planning anything else. He said, “Sure!” So, he came in and we had some tea. He was there about half an hour. By this time it was a long day and I basically said, “I think it’s time for you go home.” So that was the end of our first date.
Jodi: What happened when he left? Did he give you a kiss goodbye? Was there a hug? What was the farewell?
Leah: There was a hug. There was a light kiss. Nothing passionate. He did tell me later that, when he got in his car, he called a very good friend of his and said, “I’ve met her!” and his friend said, “You’re crazy. You’ve only had one date.” And he said, “I’ve met her. This is the woman I’m going to marry.”
Leah: Of course, he didn’t tell me that till a couple of weeks later.
Jodi: Still, that’s pretty early to share that sort of huge epiphany.
Leah: If he would have called me and said as he’s driving home, “You’re the girl I’m going to marry,” I would have said, “You’re really crazy, my friend.”
Jodi: What did you tell the matchmaker after you got back in touch with her?
Leah: I told her it was a really lovely first date that he’s a really good man, he had a really strong moral compass, he was well-spoken, he was well-educated, he was really a very solid person and I like that.
Jodi: What happened next?
Leah: This was a three-day weekend. I’m at work on Tuesday. I got a phone call from a florist saying he’s trying to deliver flowers to my home address. So an hour later, this huge bouquet of red roses came!
Jodi: Oh my goodness!
Leah: I called him to thank him and then he said, “When can we get together again?” We made a date for the following Friday night.
Jodi: Then what happened?
Leah: We had a second date planned. He came to pick me up and when I opened the door, just spontaneously, I kissed him, a big passionate kiss. He was surprised. I was surprised. I felt it and he felt it and we just knew that we were going to be together.
Jodi: All that tension you had built up I guess just went away, all that concern after you planted your lips on his.
Leah: All that terror went away.
Jodi: Had you thought about doing that before you did it?
Leah: No. It was completely spontaneous.
Jodi: It must have just made him so happy.
Leah: He stuck around.
Jodi: He stuck around.
Leah: He stuck around. So it was very nice. He took me to a very nice, romantic restaurant. Again, he gave it a lot of thought. I had expected we would just again do something very casual since I had an early morning flight the next day. Then I went on my business trip. We spoke and texted and emailed that entire week. When I came back, we got together again and that was the weekend he proposed. So we met on Memorial Day weekend and on Father’s Day weekend he proposed!
Jodi: I’m almost speechless. Wow! Paul wasted no time.
Leah: He wasted no time.
Jodi: He’s a man who knew what he wanted in his future, who he wanted is in the future. He wanted you.
Leah: I guess so.
Jodi: Did you have any inkling that he was going to propose so soon?
Leah: He had said something in passing the week before in one of our conversations, something to the effect of, “Don’t be surprised, but one of these days I’m going to ask you to marry me.”
Jodi: One of these days, there’d barely been a month.
Leah: And I took it as, “Oh, yeah, right. Okay, sure. No worries. Don’t hold your breath.” It just was such a spontaneous comment that I just didn’t even take it seriously. Then sure enough, he proposed three weeks later. I was afraid to tell my mother. So by this time, I thought, “Oh, my mother is going to think I’m crazy.” It took a few days for me to tell her. When I finally did, she just was really happy and she said, “Well, he must be a really good guy that you would agree to marry him because we know you’ve been shopping around for quite a while for husbands.”
Jodi: How long thereafter did you get married?
Leah: She encouraged me to wait a year. Paul moved in with me, which is fine. We got married a year later.
Jodi: That’s wonderful. Probably during that year you learned a lot about him that you would have learned had you dated for more than three weeks before the two of you got engaged.
Jodi: So that kind of validated and provided information for you about him.
Leah: Yes. And what I found so many people say, “Oh, marriage is hard,” or, “You have to really work at it,” and certainly we have our disagreements, everybody does. But I actually find living with him to be very easy, a lot of fun and very comfortable.
Jodi: Such an amazing and romantic story, Leah! What advice do you have for our listeners? You were single for a long time. You met him later in life. For the ladies listening to us, what thoughts and advice do you have for them?
Leah: I think what I’ve learned the hard way is that when your heart and your head agree you’ve met the right person. So many men I’ve dated in the past I would say “he’s great but”, “he’s great but”. You really have to listen to your inner voice. That took me a long time to learn.
The other thing is people always say, “Oh, be with somebody who makes you laugh.” Well, I think being with somebody that you really trust. I think trust is a really important part of marriage and perhaps not given enough credit to how it can make a successful relationship.
Jodi: Those are really two incredibly valuable pieces of advice. Thank you for being on this episode of the podcast.
Leah: Thank you, Jodi.