When Matt wrote a few years ago, he was single and planning to try his luck with a dating service. I asked him to let me know how it went. He says, "I've got little to report except meeting several pleasant women at a few okay restaurants. I wonder now why I spent so many hours reading hundreds of profiles, many of which sounded the same. 'I enjoy walks on the beach at sunset,' etc."
But late last year, he says: "Love blossomed — not infatuation, not love at first sight, but the warmest, happiest, most intimate relationship I've ever experienced."
The story begins much, much earlier, Years ago, Matt and Stella were co-workers, both editors at a business magazine. They dated for a few months and then each took what Stella calls a "detour."
Matt says: "I married someone else, she moved in with a much older man. But we stayed friends. We would have a strictly platonic lunch every year or so."
Eight years ago, Matt and his wife divorced. He quit his job and moved several states away. Stella remained at the magazine and frequently assigned him freelance articles. Then Matt retired. Stella retired a few years later.
One day, Stella contacted Matt to tell him that her partner was in a nursing home. Last year, she emailed him and said that he had died that morning. Several months later, she told him she planned to visit relatives a few hours' drive from his home.
"I called her up to invite myself to their home, meet her relatives, take her out to dinner, and get her to the airport the next morning," Matt says. "I brazenly suggested that we spend the night in a motel near the airport, sharing a room with either two single beds or one king-size bed."
"King-size," Stella replied.
Stella's flight home was canceled due to a snow storm.
Matt says: "Long story short: We spent three nights in that motel before we gave up waiting for a flight. I finally said, 'Look, let's just drive to my house. It'll take less than three hours. After New Year's we can drive to your house.' Which is what we did.
"We've been back and forth between our homes almost constantly ever since. Over the past seven months we've been apart only seven weeks. She now has her house on the market and we can't wait for her to move to my home.
"We've rekindled our relationship and revitalized our lives. We're older but wiser. We missed out on many of our younger years, but those years were a learning curve for becoming better lovers. It didn't hurt that we we'd had some history with each other. In our first weeks back together we discovered that we had no inhibitions about sexual contact which made it very natural to pick up right where we had left off two decades earlier. We've surprised ourselves with how sensational sex can be at our age if you have the right partner.
"It's not just sex. Living together happily 24/7 is now possible largely because we understand each other better, know we can trust each other, and don't let ourselves get annoyed by each other's shortcomings. My conclusion is that we oldsters know what we're doing."
Have you reconnected with an old love? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to [email protected] And check out my e-books, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front" and "I'll Call You. Not."