Last year, after the sudden death of a boyfriend, I found myself single for the first time in a while. After months of watching me grieve and wallow, a good friend suggested it was time to start dating. "You'll find someone that you have a lot in common with," she said. "There's someone out there for you."
In the past, I'd looked for partners with similar interests. There was a certain type of comfort to this, and predictability. This time, I found myself out of my comfort zone, with someone who's my complete opposite. He lives on a farm; I'm a city girl. I read a book a week; he reads only Facebook posts and architectural plans. A few dates in, he said, "I really like you, but I can't figure out what you're doing with me." I wasn't sure either, but I knew I was having fun.
It's our opposite-ness that makes this relationship interesting to me. At 45, I kayaked and went white-water rafting for the first time. He convinced me to jump into an underground natural spring, inside a cave. I now know how to tend goats and sheep, how to gather eggs from a chicken coop, and how to drive an ATV.
He's also trying new things. We've zipped around Manhattan via subway, explored San Francisco via Uber car and eaten Japanese food together (all firsts for him). My goal for 2015 is to get him to a hackathon; I think he'll do it if I agree to go horseback riding.
New experiences keep us young. They can be scary but are ultimately exhilarating. I'll admit to updating my will before leaving for white-water rafting, but the feeling of accomplishment when I not only survived it, but loved it? Sublime.
I semi-jokingly tell friends that I'm Zsa Zsa Gabor to his Eddie Albert, from Green Acres. He's a little bit country, and I'm a little bit rock and roll. I'm learning to be more spontaneous; he's learning to plan a bit more. Somehow we work well together. Both of our lives are richer in many aspects, not the least of which is waking up and looking forward to another day's adventure together.