Our Love Story – Part Three – we meet in person

our love story

Our Love Story – Part Three – we meet in person

So, by now if you’ve read Part One and Part Two of ‘Our Love Story’ you will know that we met online and James actively pursued me.  We had spoken on the phone and via Skype but never actually met physically.  It was something that just seemed far too daunting for me.  The bizarre thing was, I had a terrible day, I don’t remember why looking back… funnily enough, looked back on my facebook from that day I think work was stressing me out.  I had given up all chocolate, crisps, biscuits, and wasn’t drinking anything other than water.  I was on day 20 of this journey and I posted something about how I really wanted to eat chocolate that day and needed another distraction.  Looks quite amusing now, as I’ve been back since Facebook brought in the events feature on their timeline, so it reads … I need another distraction… next thing, met James for the first time.  Oops, did I really give in just because I wanted chocolate?

For whatever reason I text James and agreed to finally meet him in person, he jumped at the chance bless him and arranged to meet me when I finished work to hang out.  We met outside a bar about 200 metres from the Academy I was teaching at.  I sat on a bench waiting to see if he turned up.  Here he came around the corner.  My first thought was, ‘oh, he’s smaller than I thought.’  Haha, he has given me permission to write that.  Not that he is short (or that I have a problem with short people) but I had got my scale wrong I think given as he was always taller than his laptop on skype.  He assured me that he is 1 inch taller than the average UK male.  He is a couple of inches taller than I, so that works fine for us.

I found a photo taken earlier that day so this is what I was wearing etc. it was truly gorgeous weather for March that year,,,

our love story, online dating success, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog

James always saw me as an accessories queen, I would always have scarves, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, allsorts of jewellery on.  Nowadays, the only jewellery I tend to wear are my engagement and wedding rings.  He told me that first night about how he liked my accessories.  I remember thinking that it was very observant of him, and I liked the idea of someone who was attentive.  He was happy taking me out as I only drank water.  He determined that I was a very cheap date, and we moved on to another local bar so that we could go and play pool.

This was going great, we had a game on the IT box, we were a good team.  We had a decent game of pool considering neither of us are sharks, but neither of us suck either.  I was enjoying myself, I couldn’t remember the last time I was this comfortable in male company.  Thinking back now, I can remember that look that he gives me sometimes now, he wore it on his face practically the entire night, he was mesmerised by me… he made me feel so special, so unique, no-one else around mattered.  This was all going great until a guy I know, who battered my friend (he’s the father of her child) walked into the bar.  Ooh, I had never seen him since said event and I did not want James to see my all encompassing rage, I informed him that it would be best that we left the bar, and gave a brief reason once we’d got out of the building.

The evening was going so well, I didn’t want it to end there, so we went to yet another bar, again, I’m sure James didn’t mind as I only drank water.  This bar was very quiet, in a different area of the city and we were able to just chat.  James started asking me allsorts of questions about my faith.  We talked for what felt like forever and then the bar was closing, so we walked back towards where we met.

We walked past a monument and he told me that he wanted to climb it (knowing what I know now, when he has these urges I always say, ‘well don’t’) I didn’t know he was dyspraxic and told him to go for it.  It was quite amusing seeing him scramble, but in his dress shoes he couldn’t quite gain enough height to say it was a successful venture.  We chatted and walked to where we would be separating.

I really, really liked this guy, I had loved the evening and didn’t want it to end.  He inevitably invited me back to his for tea, and to chat.  I told him that I really liked him, but wisdom was telling me to go home.  I knew full well if we’d gone back to his that I would not have been able to restrain myself as I really liked him and it was late… my best judgements would not be made in that situation.  So instead I went home and we arranged to meet the next day.

I am so glad that I made that decision, I think if I’d gone home with him that night, I would’ve been so angry at myself I would never have seen him again.  Now look… we’re raising four children together.
Stay tuned for Part Four… I certainly put this poor guy through the wringer… ‘Should we, shouldn’t we?’

Our Love Story – Part Two – trivial pursuit

our love story

Our Love Story – Part Two – trivial pursuit

So if you’ve read Part One of ‘Our Love Story’ you will know that James and I stumbled across each other online.  I was terrified and didn’t feel ready for a relationship at all and disappeared from my online profile hoping that was the end of it.

As I mentioned in part one we had a skype conversation so James knew my full name.  He tracked me down on facebook.  I got many friend requests that I kept declining haha.  I was ignorant (mostly petrified) and James was persistent.  At one point he decided to inbox me and tell me he had some clothes from his children that they didn’t need anymore if I wanted to take them with me to Romania.  I know, you’re confused, I haven’t mentioned Romania before….

I was going to Romania at the end of May as part of a team to work with ‘Romanian Relief’ this is a charity that works with orphaned (mainly via abandonment) children that are usually too physically harmed or disabled that no-one will foster or adopt them.  The system decides are beyond hope.  Sarah who runs the charity decided that no-one was beyond hope and set up her own children’s home that pays carers to live with, work with these children who would otherwise be left in hospital for most of their lives.  We were going to build a playground at the care home for the children.  We were going to gut out the gardens and create a landscaped playpark.  It was amazing, such a valuable experience, but anyway, I digress.  (Below are some photos from the Romania trip though, whilst I’m on the topic)

romania five
the finished play park at the back of the house
romania four
me and Lois one of the foster carers children
romania one
a little decorative touch inbetween two of the homes
romania three
showing girls aren’t afraid to get stuck in
romania two
using my weight to my full advantage, breaking up the ground was hard
romania six
gorgeous cheeky Viorel who didn’t let his development stop him from achieving anything

Somehow, in our Skype conversation this had come up, so James had remembered.  Very clever of him.  I decided that he must not be a strange stalker interested in me, as he is telling me about his children and offering some clothes to charity.  I was just being mean I decided and finally replied to his message saying that it was very kind of him to offer and I would collect the clothes at some point, or send someone else to do this.  I then finally accepted his friend request.

That was it then, he would comment every so often, I may comment on his posts, but I could see that he was a bit of a player and usually off on nights out, or with his children.  Sometimes he would be tagging other girls with smiley faces in his posts so I assumed that he was with someone.  He never stopped pursuing me though in small ways.  I can’t remember when we ended up exchanging phone numbers, but I remember him tormenting me when I was applying for jobs.  He told me he would come in whilst I was on a trial shift at a sandwich shop and request the most complicated sandwich he could think of.  He ended up being the person I called when I didn’t get the job and had a good old whinge down the phone to him.  I can’t remember how we got to that point, but I’m glad that we did.  I was still way too scared to meet up with him though.  He was still a random person I had met on the internet, but we were starting to form a friendship even if only online.  I was happy with it staying that way….

stay tuned for Part Three – we meet in person…

Our Love Story – Part One – P.O.F

our love story

Our Love Story – Part One – P.O.F

So if you’re not familiar with the abbreviation P.O.F stands for ‘plenty of fish‘ a dating website.  Before you switch off, just think about how far we’ve come since this and bare with me…

My side of the tale :

It was my birthday weekend, the first one since my husband had left me and I was feeling quite blue.  I must have been as my ex-boyfriend (pre meeting my husband) had been invited to my home.  After 3 years with my husband, away from the perpetual unhealthy cycle my ex-boyfriend and I had been in for about 3 years prior to my meeting my husband, he was back on the scene.  The phrase ‘desperate times, desperate measures’ comes to mind.  Anyhow, he had come to visit and so had my friend.  My friend split from her husband a few months before I did and had just had her divorce through recently and so had come to see me.  She lived too far for day trips now and was staying over with me at the refuge where I lived.

Anyway, my ex-boyfriend and my friend after telling me all about how they both use P.O.F and go on lots of dates, decided to set me up with an account.  I definitely wasn’t ready to date but thought it might be funny to join in and see what they were going on about.  Once they had gone home, my ex-boyfriend later that night, and my friend the next day I started trawling through all the generic messages that I had been sent….

‘hey, how are you?’ ‘what are you doing on here? you’re gorgeous’ all that sort of spiel.

Somewhere on my profile I had mentioned being passionate about recycling, I don’t know why haha, it’s not that I’m not passionate about it, I am, but it’s not usually one of the first things people learn about me.  Anyway, a message popped up from James, I will paraphrase as I can’t remember my password from all those years ago to find the exact wording…

‘hi, I was going to send you something witty and interesting about myself but thought I would recycle a message I sent someone else as I thought you would appreciate that more…..’ etc.

It made me laugh so I replied to him.  His picture wasn’t unattractive, not my usual type as he had a shaved head and looked a little bit thuggish for me, but his eyes were so gorgeous, he drew me in.  We chatted on the messenger service on P.O.F back and forth for a little while and for some reason I was brave enough to give him my skype details and we had a skype conversation.

I can’t remember much about the conversation aside from the fact that I made sure he could only see my face, I was in my pyjama’s late at night, and that at some point we ended up singing ‘Tribute’ by Tenacious D over the internet to each other…. I don’t know what the girl in the room next to me must’ve thought.

I think James hinted at meeting up at some point, but I was too scared… he had my full name from my skype address and the next day I closed my P.O.F account.  I had my sensible head back on, I was in counselling and still awaiting my divorce, no time for dating, and especially not someone I met over the internet.

James’ side of the tale :

‘T’was a cold and dreary evening, having tapped a keg of the finest Manchester ale with an old war companion of mine, I settled back and proceeded to expound upon the intrigues of women, and why I seem to always find the needle in a veritable haystack of comely lasses.

Andy ‘sagely’ advised me of his supposed remedy to such troublesome woes, asserting that he had found a way to vet women prior to engaging in a round of nocturnal gymnastics, I was informed that this oracle was POF…..

Arguable as a former police officer who had received a rather large amount of money from a rather illegitimate source prior to hastily leaving said career to pursue life as a  professional gambler, perhaps I should have questioned his reliability in matters of character, but by this time I was rather drunk and had agreed I would give it a shot.

I ended up messaging Alex on there the next day (I think?) as she was undeniably beautiful and talented whilst seemingly possessed of a sweet and loving nature for me to taint, and so I messaged her and ended up in a witty and enchanting conversation in which I dazzled her with my genius and minstrel-like musical ways until she was forced to disappear and have no intention of speaking to me again, or so I deduced when she kept refusing my facebook friend requests’
plenty of fish, dontcallmestepmummy, online dating

Our Love Story

our love story

Our tale is quite lengthy even though it happened in a very short space of time, click on the links below to read ‘Our Love Story’ : (n.b. not all links are active yet as I am in the process of writing these posts)

Our Love Story – Part One – P.O.F

Our Love Story – Part Two – trivial pursuit

Our Love Story – Part Three – we meet in person
Our Love Story – Part Four – should we shouldn’t we?

Our Love Story – Part Five – this is for keeps

Our Love Story – Part Six – Romania

Our Love Story – Part Seven – moving in

Our Love Story – Part Eight – you’re married???

Our Love Story – Part Nine – I’m pregnant

Our Love Story – Part Ten – saying goodbye

Our Love Story – Part Eleven – pregnant again

Our Love Story – Part Twelve – divorces come through

Our Love Story – Part Thirteen – our engagement

Our Love Story – Part Fourteen – our wedding day

Our Complicated History

Our Complicated History

first picture as a couple
first picture as a couple

To say that James and I had an awkward start to our relationship may be a slight understatement.  We were both separated from our spouses, mine had left me 8 months previous, and James’ left him for their female lodger whilst pregnant with their second child two years prior to us meeting.

I was in counselling as a domestic violence survivor and living in a refuge.  James was in between jobs whilst waiting to start the university course he had deferred the year previous, and living alone in the marital home.  I was petrified by the idea of meeting ANYONE as I did not expect to be ready for love ever again, never mind find it.  James had his little black book as he was playing the field (a lot).  He literally had a book with notes about the different girls that he was seeing so that he could remember information about them and study up before dates (he has dyspraxia and so isn’t good with his memory).  We were both very broken people and dealing with it in very different ways.

our first kiss as man and wife
our first kiss as man and wife

We fell head over heels in love.  James little black book didn’t get a look in and we saw each other every day until I moved in just short of 5 months later.  We had a whirlwind romance, married (whilst I was 6 months pregnant with our rainbow baby) a year to the date of us meeting.  Baby number 2 was on the way by the time Judah was 7 months old.

All the while we were moving homes, getting divorced, planning weddings, having babies, maintaining consistent contact with James’ daughters, my amazing husband somehow managed to finish his university degree 2% short of a First.  Is it any wonder that we are in marriage counselling?

We love each other very much and that has never been questionable, but as we have both been through divorces before and there are little children’s lives at stake we have chosen to seek help to be able to function the best that we can without bringing our past habits and issues from our messed up former lives into our now.

I am so proud of James as he is now searching for a job, but whilst we are at home together with the children we are working on being the best ‘us’ we can be, for our future and for our children.  We don’t want our children to repeat any of our mistakes.

We will always do whatever it takes to be the best versions of ourselves that we can.  We both strongly believe in personal development, attending conferences, reading challenging books and applying them where we see the need (usually often).  We do this for us but also for the generations to come, as our ‘blended family’ seems to be becoming more and more ‘normal’ in today’s society.

Read the rest of our love story and how we met here.

6 months pregnant with Judah
6 months pregnant with Judah