So I met someone to start dating. It was so awkward, like reliving high school again. Waiting for his call, trying not to be too anxious or forward because I certainly didn’t want to scare off an eligible suitor. Then there are always those helpful friends who have the perfect person for you and arrange a “blind date.” I had several of those. One was a bachelor who lived back east. We wrote letters and send photos, and then he decided to fly out to Utah from Washington, DC. Meeting at the airport, he arrived with flowers, candy and a big smile. I greeted him with fear and trepidation wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner with my family which included my sons and my parents. Yikes!
Well, we made it through the holiday dinner; then we mutually agreed to forego any more activities together during his weekend stay. I’m not sure if you can judge a relationship’s possibilities that soon, but I was new at the dating game and still healing from my divorce. I think he, too, may have been overwhelmed as a bachelor by the thoughts of raising someone else’s children.
Within a few months I was again in the same situation. This time my neighbor had met an eligible fellow from Sweden who had been vacationing in Utah. She wanted me to write him. I did and we became pen pals. After a few months of lengthy letters and a phone call or two, he arranged to fly across the Atlantic Ocean to meet me. Within 2 weeks we were engaged and then married a month later. Can you really come to know someone through letters where you put forth only your best foot? We had many adjustments because my new husband had never been married. Then he suddenly became an instant father to three sons plus living in the USA. Talk about “culture shock” in reverse.
Try dealing with a new homesick spouse, three teenagers and later a newborn for challenges. Sometimes there are worse things than being a single parent, but after four years of being alone I needed companionship. Talk about more adjustments for my sons with a new stepfather plus their own father who was now also in a serious relationship. We struggled through individual, couple, and family counseling; then after 13 years of marriage were divorced. My pen pal husband returned to his homeland in Sweden, but not before adding a son to our step family. (Photo from our wedding announcements of our blended family with the new stepdad.)