Darren and I began communicating through ChristianMingle in April 2013. He messaged me and then moved very slowly. I remember that one of my first draws to him was that he has children (he has three girls and I have two) and they were the same age as mine, so he was experiencing the same things that I was with pre-teen and teenaged girls, only he was doing it alone.

We moved from CM to Yahoo messenger and then texting. His first text to me was April 30, 2013. As texting and messaging became too difficult because we had so much to say, on May 3, when I was alone in the house, and his children were in bed, I asked him to call me. We stayed on the phone for more than two hours.

The next day we met for coffee. We sat and talked for hours. I vividly remember two things about that day. First, we talked about our children and parenting the whole time. I remember trading tricks on how to get children to comply with parental wishes such as putting their things away and cleaning the kitchen. Second, my ex-husband called me during the meeting and Darren took it in stride because it was obvious that he called to discuss our children.

The relationship progressed quickly from there, and I couldn’t get enough of Darren. He has full custody of his children and I chose dates when my children were with their father, so scheduling was difficult. We saw a movie, went to a very late dinner, had dinner at my house and went to the Jazz Festival together. Our five children met each other on May 19th at the roller skating rink.

Our first kiss was on May 16th at a park. I wanted it to happen sooner, but he just kept waiting. Finally, one evening after a walk, he said something like, “I guess I should kiss you now,” and then I was really hooked! I couldn’t get enough. I felt like a teenager again.

Early in the relationship, we knew that we would one day get married, so we began getting rid of extra “stuff” – things we knew we would not need or things that were duplicates, and as we did, we put all of the money away for a family vacation. I swore that we would all go to Hawaii when we had enough money. That time came in November 2015. We planned the vacation at the same time that we began talking about getting married. We bought the airline tickets and had the vacation just about finalized. Two weeks before we left, I asked Darren what we were waiting for to get married, and he said he thought we had to wait to have enough money for a ring. I told him that I didn’t need a ring to marry him and that I thought we should get married in Hawaii. He thought that was a great idea, so I spent the next 14 days planning. It was the easiest wedding ever.

We arrived on O’ahu on Thursday, November 19th and were married on November 20th. It rained on us at the very end of the ceremony; we all have wet hair in the photos and Darren’s glasses have water spots on them. It was the greatest day ever. I have the husband I have always wanted and it feels wonderful to be married to him. My 15-year-old daughter has asked me how I know he’s the one and I have a really hard time explaining that when you know, you know. He loves me more than anything and I know it. I see it in his eyes and I feel it in his touch. I have never felt this connected to someone and even though we are both approaching 50, we hope that we have another 50 years together.

Today we live in a big house with four of our children who range from twelve to seventeen. The funny part about this is that he was the first, only and last person I dated from Christian Mingle, and I still laugh when I think about how I paid for a few months but used it for only a few weeks. It seems so easy, but if I had never taken that leap of faith and put myself out there and trusted God to find me the right person, we would not be where we are today. Thank you!

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