I was one of the lucky ones... I, too, had sworn off relationships due to REALLY BAD experienceS. I was avoiding them!! A friend was trying to line me up with her friend... She was trying to play matchmaker... (We ALL have a friend like that...) We were both avoiding the others!! LOL!! I even had a BABY with me!! I brought him on purpose to be sure to SCARE the GUY AWAY! He was a widower and had 6 children (half grown...). His wife had died of brain cancer. Their youngest had just turned 12... My oldest was 8. (8, 6, and NEWBORN!) There was no intention of flirtation or anything, just casually talking. When asked about his wife, he spoke with almost a reverence and respect. It was later that night when a tiny window opened in my mind... I thought, "If I'm ever STUPID ENOUGH to TRY AGAIN, I PRAY I find someone like HIM." The next day he discovered my coat had been left behind (which he teases to this day that I left it on PURPOSE... & of COURSE I counter that he HID it from me... LOL!) and could he bring it to me? And if he was going to drive ALL the way out to where I lived, could he take me to lunch??? In curiosity... yet still a little defense, I countered "only if the baby can go..." His reply, "OF COURSE!" When he first declared his love I cried and he instantly felt bad like he'd done something wrong. I DID have feelings... But I didn't fully TRUST my own judgement anymore. I asked if he'd go see my counselor with me and he said, "OF COURSE!" Now I don't know about any of YOU... but in my past experience, you ask most men to go to a counselor and they jump on the defensive and adamantly REFUSE... NOT this one... and when I felt it necessary to start bringing things up from my past... Well... let's just say he does a REALLY GOOD RAFIKI impression, "It doesn't matter, it's in the past!" He WAS too good to be true... but he WAS!! ...the rest is HISTORY... *sigh*
That little baby and I have probably been the biggest challenges he's ever faced... and he smiles endlessly and exercises more patience than I ever knew existed!! So... there may be more out there, but they are rare. You are not likely to find him in a night club, chat room, phone dating... He is not the type that would ever consider a one-night-stand... He makes a commitment and holds true to it. He will respect you and love you just the way you are. He will not compare you to women from his past, he won't embarrass you in a crowd for a laugh... He will be a man of God who will share your faith. He will not dig up your faults, but will look for ways to build you up.
Don't instantly hit the off key in your brain because he doesn't look like a rock/movie star or is a little older... It's amazing how getting to know a person changes the way they look to you. Personality can make a wall flower gorgeous and a "hunka'-hunka' burnin' love" downright UGLY!! Think of the story of Stephanie Nielson and the love she and her husband share. ANYONE who knows her spirit can ONLY see the BEAUTY that she radiates!
If you find him, cherish him. Don't look for ways to change him. Don't brow beat him, belittle him or trash him to your family or friends. This doesn't mean be overly picky before and ignorant after... This means don't be "blind" going into the relationship. KNOW and CHOOSE your partner! After the choice, don't nit-pick all the little things that really DON'T MATTER... This is what he does for me.
If I got the last one, I'm sorry... But I wouldn't trade him for the WORLD! (((HUGS)))