I met my wife after four years of Internet dating. Considering I had a very difficult divorce four years before we met, and a history of meeting emotionally unstable women (the thesis of my book The Human Magnet Syndrome), I was exceptionally cautious with the whole Internet dating process. More than cautious, I was frightened of falling in love with yet another harmful narcissist. After hitting what I consider a personal (relational) bottom, I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and made a commitment to change my dysfunctional relationship patterns and find true, healthy and everlasting love. I went back to therapy and worked VERY diligently to figure out what compelled me to be attracted to women who, at first seemed so very perfect, but later would end up to be harmful and destructive.
I will never forget the moment when I met Korrel Crawford, who would become my wife and soul mate forever. Korrel had to be the 100th Internet date I had since my divorce. I had become pessimistic and almost robotic about my Internet dating, as the dating experience was wearing me down. It had lost its spark and excitement. Sadly, it almost seemed like work. I had met many lovely women with whom I shared little to no chemistry, as well as many very damaged and dysfunctional women who, if I let them, could have been harmful to me. At that time, I conceptualized Internet dating like playing a slot machine. I was going to drop all my “quarters” in it hoping for the big jackpot. I wouldn’t stop, though, because the big payoff was just a “quarter” away. The shame of losing my “quarters” was always tempered by the hope of meeting a soul mate.
On July 19, 2006, I had met a woman for lunch and was scheduled to meet Korrel at 8:30pm in front of Champps restaurant in Lincolnshire, Illinois for a drink. As I walked up to her, I remember saying to myself, “please…let her look like her photo and be the person described in her Match.com bio.” My experiences with women misrepresenting themselves had resulted in my jaded and pessimistic Internet dating attitude. And then, there was sweet beautiful Korrel sitting on a bench in front of the restaurant. She had a smile that lit up the whole outside. Something about her energy made me freeze and falter. My usual well-rehearsed charm dissolved in an instant. Looking into her eyes and her beautiful face instantly melted me. I couldn’t get my words out or sustain my gaze into her eyes. Her beauty and loving aura blew me away. Korrel later told me that I stuttered and turned a deep shade of red.
In the restaurant, we both were swept away into a shared love trance. Her beauty and unique personality pulled me in so deeply and intensely, I had problems breathing at times. My facial muscles ached from smiling all night. I knew at that moment that she was the special person I had been looking for. The time together in the restaurant was magical. I kept saying to myself, “I think I met my soul mate.” But, I also heard the other voice saying, “be careful, you have felt this before…and it turned out terrible…” I put down the negative voice and let myself experience the joy and personal ecstasy of the moment. When we walked out to the parking lot, I noticed she was limping. I had asked her about this and she said she was in a terrible, almost life-ending accident the prior year, which resulted in the amputation of one of her legs. I wasn’t prepared for this situation, but the magic of my love at first site moment with her overshadowed any fear or discomfort about her amputation.
Paul Coelho described what I felt in his book The Alchemist. This is what happened when the main character met his soul mate, the beautiful Fatima:
“It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than of anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”
Although Korrel and I fell instantly in love with each other, it still was challenging. For me, it was a challenging time as I was a single parent and my son, Benjamin, was a 12 years old. He did not want another women or parent figure in his life. He was still traumatized by his mom giving up his custody to me and moving to Texas. Korrel had never had children and didn’t understand the emotional vicissitudes of a child like my son. Being pulled by two people who wanted and needed my love was a challenge. Thankfully, because of Korrel’s understanding of my position with Ben, it all worked out. Ben inherited a parent figure and eventually a stepmom who loves him very much. And Korrel “had” her first child…a shy and slightly angry 12-year old boy.
The above is a short version of my soul mate/love at first site experience with Korrel. We are now happily married and grow closer with every year we are together. I have never experienced such true, joyful and honest love. We have had our problems, but our commitment to work past them has been the cornerstone of our relationship. We work hard at solving our problems. She is indeed my “better half” as I am with her. We complement each other’s personalities perfectly (also the thesis of my book). Now, at age 52, I am experiencing true wonders and the joy of being in love with someone who enhances almost every aspect of my life. I am happy to say, she believes the same about me.