“I have found the one whom my soul loves.”
(Songs of Solomon 3:4)
During our Something Significant interview last month, I asked, “What is one thing you wish you had known 10 years ago?” Stephanie Dunne answered, “The only thing that matters is love!” Interestingly, her answer is something I learned myself almost exactly 10 years ago. So to celebrate this Valentine’s Day, I’d like to share how that simple but important life-lesson changed my life, and led me on a worldwide search for my one true love.
The end of my first marriage in 2007 marked a new beginning to the rest of my life.
Although shocked and sad, I also had a deep awareness that it was a unique opportunity for me. I spent time reflecting on what I was supposed to learn from a failed marriage. I knew I had a chance to make a fresh start – that I was free to do and become anything I wanted.
I decided to take my time and enjoy the solitude of living alone for the first time ever. I threw myself into my work, fitness program and snow skiing. I slowly began paying closer attention to people, places and things that inspired me. I started recognizing these feelings as signals or messages about what was truly important to me, whispered from deep within my heart. I realized that taking action on what inspired me would lead me onto a new path… taking me from a good life to a great one. And I knew that’s what I wanted… one magnificent life!
What follows is an excerpt from Turning Inspiration into Action about data mining, soul mates, and going BIG for love because, as Stephanie said, it’s the only thing that matters.
Towards the end of the year, I started noticing something else. Once my life changed (with my marriage ending), the way I saw the world also changed. Up to that point in time, I cannot recall ever hearing an eHarmony commercial. Suddenly, I heard them all over the place. They were on my car radio. They were on the TV. I started asking, “What the heck is eHarmony?”
When I found out, I thought, “I’m not going to join eHarmony. That’s a cheap way to meet women. It’s much better the traditional way; in a bar after a few drinks.” After a while, though, I begin thinking, “Wait a second, you’re in the data mining business. You make a living using data to help your customers make better decisions for their business. That’s all eHarmony is doing for people in their relationships.”
I eventually convinced myself it was a good thing to do. So I joined eHarmony on Friday evening, January 18, 2008. In the registration process, they basically ask: “What do you want?” The data mining way of asking that question is: “What are your filters?”
So, I considered the question. What did I want? I wasn’t sure I wanted to get married again. Remaining a bachelor seemed like a pretty attractive option for me. I could focus on growing my business, and spend more time exercising, hiking, skiing, and rafting in the beautiful Colorado Mountains. I was comfortable in my own company, had plenty of friends, and the previous three months of travel had convinced me there would be plenty of opportunity to enjoy the benefits of being an eligible bachelor, too.
If I were ever to get married again, I decided it would have to be amazing. I would only marry again if I found my “soul mate”. I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant so I Googled it and found this:
How to Find Your Soulmate:
Many people feel that there’s one person out there who can enrich your life in a way that no one else can.
If there’s only one person in the world who can be your soulmate, what are the chances they live in your town, look like the people you grew up with, or even speak the same language? Your soulmate does not have to live in the same country or even the same hemisphere as you.
Be willing to span the globe for your true love.
That’s what I wanted. I would happily remain an eligible bachelor unless, and until, I found my one true love.
That’s what eHarmony could do for me. It could span the globe for my soulmate. These were my filters.
Age: I was forty-six at the time; I input a wide range from twenty-nine to fifty-one years old.
Geography: Why would I care where she lived? I was willing to span the globe for her. No filters.
Race: What would I care what her race was if I found my soul mate? No filters.
Religion: Why would I care? No filters.
Politics: Uugghh! Grudgingly… I decided, even with politics, why would I care what her political beliefs were if I found my one true love. After all, James Carville and Mary Matalin are making it work, I figured. No filters.
I basically did a filter-less search. If you were a living twenty-nine to fifty-one year old single woman in 2008, you came into my computer every night, with lots of others.
My filter-less approach created a lot of work. Hundreds of eHarmony women were flowing to me every night. I was working full-time in my business during the day and working full-time meeting women during the evening, looking at pictures, reading profiles, answering questions, and paying attention to what I was attracted to. It was taking all of the organizational skills I had learned through my career just to keep pace.
Ten days later, a pretty redhead, “Dani, from Camp Verde, Arizona” captured my attention. We very quickly worked through the compatibility questions and answers and began communicating “outside the system”.
We were emailing and talking almost every day. It felt like a courtship of days gone by when a new couple got to know each other with their words alone. With each passing day, the excitement of writing to her, or “talking her home” from her work commute, grew.
With every step of our long-distance courtship, the more I learned about this lady, the more I liked. She seemed to like me a lot too. It was time to meet up. We really wanted things to work out between us but, being realistic, we both knew that if we weren’t physically attracted to one another in person, it wasn’t going to. The chemistry had to be right.
She asked, “How are we going to do that? You’re in Colorado and I’m in Arizona.” I replied, “Well, I’ll just fly down.”
After all, I was willing to span the globe for my one true love, what was a little flight to Arizona?
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