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What Finding My Soul Mate Taught Me about Dating and Love

*Foreword: This post is a departure from fitness and while it does not touch on that, I do think it relates to our mental well being, which is something that will only compliment or take away from our physical health. My story of meeting my husband did stem from our mutual interest in fitness so maybe it does relate afterall! 

I met my husband on an app. Nope, it wasn’t Bumble or Hinge. It was through OfferUp.

Wait, what?

Yup. Against all odds my soul mate was literally hand delivered to me at my front door (ok front gate to the driveway but you get the idea).

I was in the process of moving out of California (my home for 14 years, one I never thought I would break-up with) to venture back to the East Coast. I’m a Personal Trainer who had a garage gym I trained clients out of. While I intended to take most of my equipment with me to Virginia, I had decided there were some things I could part with to lighten the load.

One of which was a Pull-Up Bar Dip Station (that I bought during the pandemic to get some calisthenics in on my sunny patio). When I moved from my condo to house, I left that outside and used it only occasionally as I had a full power rig setup inside my gym. I figured I wouldn’t miss it.

I posted it along with other equipment to OfferUp. The typical responses I would get were mostly from men to the affect of:

“I will give you $50 (for something I posted as $100) and can pick-up today”.

Thanks sir, but no and no.

One of the few times I did not have someone try to lowball me from the get-go was a nice person named Jon B.

He was polite, friendly and sent me Zelle for it before even arranging a day and time to come get it. This kind of courtesy seems to be a rarity in the OfferUp world (at least in my experience).

We settled on a day and I let him know that it would not be broken down as that is out of my skill set to do. He was not deterred by this and said if it’s ok, he could bring his tools to take it apart at my (home) gym.

The agreed upon time arrived, about 6:30 on a Thursday. I had been deep in purging and packing and had on clothes I would never wear in public. No makeup either. The only saving grace was I had my hair done that day. All that to say, I definitely was not feeling or looking attractive as why would I need to be otherwise? I had been selling stuff to other random men and could care less about my appearance.

Jon messaged he was at the gate so I went out to meet him. I was horrified that he was unexpectedly very cute while I looked like a disaster. But there was nothing to be done about that so I let him in and walked him to my backyard where his purchase awaited him.

Since it wasn’t the typical transaction of grabbing equipment and going, we had plenty of time to chat. He had a calmness about him that really resonated with me (since I tend to be anything but calm). He was extremely nice, easy to talk to and we seemed to have a lot in common.

He asked where I was moving to and when I told him Richmond Virginia, his face was visibly stunned.

“I’ve been thinking about moving to that area too for the last few years.”

I mean, what are the chances?

I knew there was something to meeting him that was more than just getting $80 for a sale. He knew it too and basically we never stopped messaging each other after that.

I had about another 3 or so weeks until I closed on my house and would be making my final exit out of California. We spent just about every day together until then. He also did the drive with me (ok fine he did all the driving) to Las Vegas which was the first leg of my cross country trip. My sister flew in the next morning and Jon flew back to Los Angeles. They got to meet between flights which was pretty special considering my sister is the only one in the family who has gotten to so far.  

Side note: saying good bye to a soul mate, even if temporary, absolutely blows.

In the few weeks we had together in L.A. we validated we wanted to be together. Always. The topic of marriage came up probably after a week and saying “I love you” happened equally quickly. Jon also decided pretty soon after we met that he was going to move with me (well logistically would likely be a few months after me). It all felt like what we should be doing and neither of us ever questioned if it was impetuous or reckless.

What we have is one of those kinds of things you hear about but never actually believe would happen to you.

It simply was and is: When you know you know.

Jon and I reunited in Richmond two weeks after Vegas to house hunt with our realtor. We saw 20 houses in 2 days and we knew the minute we stepped into one of them that it was meant to be OUR home. (Because we are all about signs, the street name happened to have one of my dogs’ names in it).

We made an offer that night and after some minor negotiations it was accepted two days later. Thanks to the most amazing Mortgage Broker team, the loan had already been approved the week prior, even before we got to Richmond to look at houses, which meant we could have a shorter escrow.

So three weeks later, I was handed the keys to our new house and we could not have been happier. Jon arrived home the next day.

Five days later, we got married, on the deck in our new backyard of our new home. There was nowhere else that we wanted to do it because having a ceremony here was the most symbolic and sentimental place for it.

The whole timeline from when we first met until we got married was ten weeks and 2 days to be exact. Less than three months which might seem insane to others but to us, it was the easiest, most natural decision either of us has ever made.

Prior to meeting Jon, I had pretty much resigned to eternally being single (because all my relationships or attempts at them had been so ill fitted and short term). Plus with moving, finding someone was the last thing on my mind. I was actively trying to make peace with simply being the single crazy dog lady who worked out.

The connection Jon and I have is almost indescribable. I have never experienced anything like this (even if at other times I thought I had). Neither had he. It was an instant connection and comfortability, respect and love. It feels like we have known each far longer than we have. For those who are spiritual, you might agree that we have known each other on another level prior to meeting.

I know that the best for both of us is yet to come. It is exciting, makes me feel safe, protected and loved. It also has given me time to reflect on what this relationship has already reminded me of and taught me.

Full disclosure, I by no means am a relationship expert or even dating expert. I just know that looking back on what has not worked for me in my own history compared to what is working for me with Jon, my perspective has shifted.

4 Things Meeting My Soul Mate Has Taught Me About Dating

  1. Get rid of deal breakers.

    On paper, no matter how attractive Jon is, I would never have gone for him. If we met on a dating app, it would have been a hard pass. He’s younger than me, widowed and has 2 cats. I can be ageist, not ready for following a late spouse and allergic to cats.

    The way we met though, it was no coincidence. It was meant to happen. I knew I owed it myself to see it through and not let my limited preconceived criteria for a relationship stop me before even starting.

    When I discovered that he’s nearly 10 years younger than me, I almost said game over but my heart said otherwise. We are closely aligned on values and lifestyles and the age difference isn’t a thing for us. At all. Ok fine to be fair it isn’t for him. I’m working on it.

    It also did not take long for me to realize I am not in competition with his late wife.

    It also turns out I am just fine around his cats despite that my entire life being near cats leads me to feeling awful. (Which admittedly, that mildly annoyed me after I made a huge fuss to him about how I cannot be around cats or live with them. They made a liar out of me).

    We all have deal breakers or things that we say “I would never” to. Short of someone physically or emotionally harming us, it is worth asking if we could get past them, for the right person of course.
  2. Stop asking future boyfriends/girlfriends “When was your last relationship?”

    This question bugs me to no end. I would get it a lot when dating or even before meeting. There is so much unfounded judgement behind it.
    So many assumptions. Like, if you recently got out of a relationship, then this must be a rebound. You couldn’t possibly be ready for another.
    If it has been a minute (or years) since you were in a serious relationship, then surely there is something wrong with you.
    Someone who has been in relationships for more years than the other makes them a better partner or more experienced at relationships.

    These are all total bull shit. Unless the intent of the question “When was your last relationship” is to ensure you are not currently in one, I have never seen the value in it.

    And the more I got asked it and the longer I was single, the more I started to buy into this thinking that something was wrong with me. I must not be desirable or dateable.

    So before you ask that question, or answer it, please know your worth and what you bring to the table is not based on your relationship history, no matter how abundant or sparse it may be.

    When with the right person, none of that stuff matters. You naturally bring out the best in each other and you navigate together what it looks and feels like to have a healthy relationship.
  3. You CAN meet someone without leaving the house.


    How many times have I been told I am not going to meet someone sitting at home? The attempts by friends to get me to go out to a *gasp* bar stopped appealing to me in my 30’s. I never could motivate to go. I do not drink anymore, I like to be in bed early and I rather go for a sure thing at night, my dogs.

    The amount of attempts too I have made trying online dating only to feel deflated and hopeless. Is that the best of what there is out there? It is beyond depressing.

    Instead, I just had to trust that god would bring the right man to me or help me accept my spinsterhood, and instead of putting time and energy into the wrong guys, I put the time and energy into healing and evolving myself. I am a better person today than a year ago and a year before, etc.

    That is what brought Jon to me, not strategizing and plotting social outings for max potential of meeting guys.
  4. Games are for losing.

I never was a fan of playing games when it came to dating. You know the sort: not showing too much excitement, being aloof or creating some illusion that I was living life to the fullest every day and any guy I was dating should feel honored I had the time for him.

Games are played when we date the wrong people. To me it is as simple as that. I never had a long term relationship with anyone when the early days were agonizing over how long to respond to a text or a call. Or the guys who would wait to the last minute to make plans never became boyfriend material.

With Jon, we put it all out there on our first date. We knew each others’ intentions from the beginning and there was never a need or inclination to hold back anything. I never worried I was texting too much or sharing personal things too quickly. There has always been mutual respect and interest which gave us the freedom to be vulnerable with each other.

I really feel that is how it should be for anyone who is dating to find a long term partner. Spare the games and give it everything you have.

Meeting Jon has taught me so much about what it means to truly be in love and what a healthy relationship is. I have totally become the woman who sees all these relationship inspirational Instagram posts and sends to him with notes like “This is us!”

There is truth in things like your partner feels like home and being with someone who motivates you to do better in life.

My favorite one I have seen is from Lewis Howes:

“When it’s right, you’ll just know. No games no guessing, no convincing – your bond will be undeniable. If you have to prove your worth, they aren’t for you. Don’t chase those who leave you uncertain. Wait for the one who chooses you clearly and without hesitation.”


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