You know what - I guess I have learned several things after this whole 'thing'. I went out with this guy because I, too, was just looking for some companionship, some flirting, and some fun. My heart was still involved with the Spanish guy, but I knew I needed something to distract me from that, so I went. After the first date and realizing I really liked him, I tried to keep it casual. I really didn't want anything more than casual dating. I really didn't. But I simply could not keep it casual. I fell for him. Damn it, I fell for him. Because the more I got to know him, the more I liked (even though the emotional unavailability and his periodic freak-outs should have warned me). Why do I fall for emotionally unavailable men? Because usually, the emotionally available men are spineless and no fun. That's why. But anyway. I've learned that 1) I CAN fall in love with someone other than "J". I loved him for 7 years, and I still do, to a point, I guess...but not the same way. 2) I won't settle for anything other than an LDS man who can take me to the temple and the celestial kingdom. "R" was the first LDS man I even dated more than once. It was really, really nice. 3) It is not my job to teach people lessons, which is a form of casting judgement. Which I did to him. I was so angry and wanted him to learn a lesson. Well, that's up to God, NOT me. And if I hadn't written that letter, I never would have finally learned that. 4) I have really learned the power and miracle of forgiveness. I really don't know what it is like to be forgiven, since I'm still waiting for that, but I have forgiven and asked for forgiveness.
After talking with my bishop, and thinking...I realized what I really knew before: I can afford to be choosy. I deserve an 11, because I AM an 11. This is a list of traits that I really want in an eternal companion. After #1, they aren't in any particular order. But #1 is a MUST:
1. Worthy priesthood holder. One who can and will take me to the temple and to the Celestial Kingdom. However, he's been on both sides of the tracks (convert, maybe? Wayward son at one time? Or just someone who learned like I did - by empathy). He is definitely NOT judgemental and he¡'s very open-minded.
2. A fun-loving, active man. This is kind of ironic, since I'm really not this way at all, but in this case I'm looking for someone opposite of me to compliment me.
3. A confident, daring, sarcastic, mischievous man with a somewhat unusual sense of humor. A touch of arrogance but more an attitude than a belief.
4. Suave, smooth, and charming. People love him. He's the life of the party. He genuinely loves people. He has this great big smile that is just irresistible.
5. He is open about who he is, his past and his present. He's not afraid to speak about sex, but he respects it at the same time.
6. He loves to flirt with me. His presence excites me to no end. Just a wink from him can cast chills down my spine. He¡'s more talk than anything (at least, before we are married;) Once we're married, our intimate life will be AWESOME.
7. He has a presence when he walks in the room. You KNOW he's there. He seems to give off an aura of slight cockiness, self-assuredness, and maybe he seems a little stand-offish when you first see him. But once you get to know him, you see the big heart underneath and the love for people that he has. And..he loves to dance and knows how to PARTY!
8. He absolutely adores me. He thinks God created me specifically for him. He loves my little quirks, and is patient with my weaknesses. He thinks I'm the most beautiful woman in the world. He adores my smile.
9. He loves to surprise me. He's a spontaneous man who finds great joy in giving. He knows I love to surprise and be spontaneous, and we do this for each other. He finds joy in sending me flowers "just because" or throwing surprise birthday parties, and finds joy when I do the same for him.
10. He loves to travel. He's the kind of guy who would suddenly say to me one day, "Let's just go to such-and-such a place this weekend and have fun!"
11. He's outdoorsy. He likes to camp, to hike, to just explore the beauty of God's great Earth. He probably drives a small SUV - a Jeep or something. He's ready to go whenever.
12. He's financially sound. He knows work is important, but he knows his family is of greater importance. He wants to prepare for the future in a logical way, and be able to retire early so that he can spend more time with his family. While he is still working, he finds joy in his work. Maybe we even work together. He's read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad".
13. He loves kids. He wants several, but not too many. I really don't want more than 5! But then again, that's something between us and the Lord.
14. Speaking Spanish is a big plus. I'd love my kids to grow up speaking two languages. Any other language skills is great, too - it means he is culturally diverse and interested in other peoples.
15. He isn't afraid of anything. He likes to do all kinds of daring things --somewhat of an adrenaline junkie. He'll try anything once, and he'll take me and teach me all the exciting things he likes to do - because I really need someone who will encourage me to get out, be daring, and have fun!
16. He's extremely well-mannered and chivalrous. He is high-class and knows how to dress well. He knows how to act in all kinds of situations, and he does it with ease.
17. He's intelligent. It used to be important to me that the guy at least have a bachelor's degree...but if he has the same amount of learning from life experience or some other form of informal education...that's fine. But he has to be able to SPELL and hold an intelligent conversation.
18. He makes me want to be a better person. He completes me, he fills that empty place in my heart. And I do the same for him. We are both willing to admit our mistakes, forgive and forget, and move forward together.
19. He knows what it is like to have a broken heart. Maybe he knows what regret is like. But he will be able to understand me, my past, and rather than be jealous or unsympathetic, his goal will be to make me whole. He is and forever will be my best friend.
20. He will propose to me in some wonderfully romantic fashion. He'll probably know already from my family and friends how I'd love to be taken to NYC, to see Phantom on Broadway, and then taken to dinner. He can be creative in the how and exact place...but he'll have my heart forever. And of course, no yellow-gold regular diamond ring for me. I like platinum and blue diamonds;) Our honeymoon would either be some tropical paradise or Europe. Maybe Greece!