Exmoor stream by me'nthedogs
“Why hadn’t he asked me to marry him?”


The time and the place were perfect. We’d been together for just over a year. We were deeply in love. We were sitting in a fabulous restaurant after a magical evening listening to the Prague String Quartet. (Bach – my favourite.)  We’d had a box (!) in the lavishly decorated Art Nouveau Opera House. The holiday was my Christmas present. By far and away the best Christmas present I’d ever had!

He smiled. His deep blue eyes sought mine. Now was the moment – he was about to ask me, for sure. “Shall we get the bill?” he said.

Oh, well, ok, perhaps a romantic walk in the moonlight would be better – more private. “God it’s cold out here – I can’t wait to get back to our lovely warm hotel…” It wasn’t far…

Well it was a lovely evening, but I had thought – had been sure – that he was going to ask me. He’d dropped so many hints, even trying a ring on my finger “…just to see if it fits…”

Mind you – I hadn’t decided for sure that I would say “Yes”. – I loved him, (still do!) – I wanted to be with him, and I was definitely in it for the long haul, – but marriage? Been there, done that, got the crappy T shirt, the dish wash hands and the broken heart to prove it. All mended now, but it took a while.

And I had so enjoyed being single! Watch E.R. on the telly. Eat cold spaghetti out of the tin (!). Natter on the phone til 2 in the morning and have a whole double bed all to myself! Was I ready to give up these delights for good?

Ok, I’m being flippant – but I do like my independence, and I’d hated the way that my first marriage seemed to end all that. We’d turned into stereotypes overnight. Him: bullying husband. Me: nagging wife. But of course there was more to it than that, and I’d sorted through it all. Healed it, as best I could. Had time out. And then met this wonderful man. The man of my dreams. Except… did I want to get married again? I wasn’t sure. My doubts were about the institution. Not the man. There was nothing, and I mean: not one thing – even remotely similar between my previous relationship and this new love of my life. That much I knew.

On the plane, coming home from our wonderful holiday, I felt an unexpected pang of disappointment. My lovely man had thought of every detail. We’d had a blissful time. So why did I feel that something was missing? Actually… Why hadn’t he asked me to marry him?

I sat with the question for a while. I expect you’ve seen the answer already. Every time he’d dropped a hint or made a joke about getting married, I’d been non committal or downright negative. He’s sensitive, loving and wise. And he’s not stupid either! Why would he risk ruining a lovely holiday by asking me and maybe getting turned down? That would end up with both of us upset and awkward.

Suddenly, I knew what I wanted. I wanted him. Fully and completely. No holding back. Til death do us part, and all that. I had to let him know. But gently… Thoughtfully… When it happened naturally… at the right moment. I too, had to be patient.

After two weeks apart, we were together again. A cold, brisk walk on Dartmoor, along the river. I was grumbling about our long distance, back and forth, relationship. (Even though we probably spend more time together than most married couples.)

He leaned thoughtfully on the bridge: “Would it make a difference if we were married?” I looked straight at him. No jokes or snide remarks this time. “Do you mean it?” My voice wavered. “Are you asking me?”

“Well, I don’t know…” He was watching me, carefully. “What do you think?” As he put his arms around me, I knew what I thought, but thoughts and emotions are different animals and a whole herd of emotions seemed to be jostling for attention. “I think…” – there was no going back – my tears tumbled over a precipice – “…I would like to be married to you.” And since that day I have never been more certain of anything in my life.

Vanessa


Written for  Zen Moments.


Love Begins at 40: A Guide to Starting Over By Lara Owen and Cherry Gilchrist.

Love Begins at 40: A Guide to Starting Over
By Lara Owen and Cherry Gilchrist.

“I have no doubt that this book will help countless people in their quest for love in midlife. Proclaiming that loneliness isn’t inevitable, its practical approach, combined with valuable insights into life and love, will certainly change lives for the better.” Bel Mooney – Daily Mail columnist”

About the Authors:
Lara Owenis the author of several books. She has a background in psychotherapy and Chinese medicine. She now lives in Wiltshire. Cherry Gilchrist has written many books on mythology, social history and inner traditions. She lives in the West Country and has two grown-up children.

Zen Moments Readers familiar with the story of how Alan and Vanessa met, just might recognise one of the (only slightly disguised) couples interviewed for this book! Cheers Lara!


Mars and Venus on a Date: A Guide for Navigating the 5 Stages of Dating to Create a Loving and Lasting Relationship By John GrayMars and Venus on a Date: A Guide for Navigating the 5 Stages of Dating to Create a Loving and Lasting Relationship
By John Gray

“…With compassion and understanding, John Gray takes you through the five stages of dating – attraction, uncertainty, exclusivity, intimacy, and engagement; provides inspired ideas on finding your soul mate; and offers advice on creating a loving and mutually fulfilling relationship. If you’re trying to find a date, debating whether to continue a relationship, or searching for commitment, “Mars and Venus on a Date” is your essential guide to successfully getting what you want.”

“Some of us have known for some time that we want to find our soul mate and make a commitment, but the path isn’t so clear cut. For me, and for several friends in that situation, this book has been very helpful. John Gray has gotten through my internal block, allowing me a perspective shift. Learning dating rituals and taking them on had seemed false to me; …Shouldn’t my approach to all relationships of equality in life carry through here as well? By coming at the problem through an understanding of gender differences, Gray shows why behaviours that work in other parts of life might not be applicable here…
I’m not exaggerating in saying that I saw an overnight change in my dating style and success based on what I gleaned from this book.”

Amazon Reviews

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