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Jewish Journal

An Englishman and a Canadian Walk Into a Bar

by Ilana Angel

May 1, 2012 | 12:08 am

I first spoke to my Englishman two months ago.  I thought he was funny and charming, but did not think he was my type.  He lived 35-45 minutes away and while attractive, he was unlike men I usually date. I loved that he’s English however, and agreed to a date because if nothing else the accent would be sexy and I would get a blog out of it.  Just incase I was wrong, I suggested lunch so there would be no drawn out dinner or painful meeting over drinks.

His accent is in fact divine and although I don’t understand half of what he says because it is so thick and he uses lots of British slang, I loved it.  He was kind.  Not the type of kind one can be on a first date, but inherently kind.  He was gentle and sweet but still manly and strong.  For reasons I do not understand, and am not going to figure out, I instantly liked this man.  He made me feel comfortable and safe, which are things I crave.

He was leaving on holiday to England a few days after we met and after several hours on the phone, we spoke by email while he was gone.  When he wrote my heart would flutter.  Over the time he was gone we became friends.  When you are communicating in the written word, it’s lovely.  You ask questions that are important, and await answers as if they matter in a profound way.  It was slow and steady so by the time he came back we knew a lot about each other.

We met for dinner as soon as he got home.  An Englishman and a Canadian walked into a bar and it was on.  We were instantly great together.  He was now my friend not a stranger, and I liked him very much.  He inspires me to think and challenge myself in ways I have not thought about in a long time.  I feel like I have known him for a very long time when the truth is I’ve known him for a very small amount of time.  Next week will be two months since we walked into a bar.

I spend a lot of time writing about my search for love.  After years of writing about it, it’s very interesting that in the past few weeks I have discovered that I was searching for the wrong thing.  I was so certain I knew what love looked like that I was unable to see what it really is.  Love is grand.  It is not a shiny new penny, but rather a worn out shoe.  The Englishman is like an old and beat up shoe. The kind of shoe you take care of so it will last forever.

He fits.  I don’t need to wear him for a few minutes each day so he gets worn in. He just fits.  I have been at this place in relationships before and it always ends badly. I am willing to open myself up to another human being, but in the end I am hurt.  The difference here is I have found great shoes, not a shiny penny.  He looks at me and I see all I want to be, instead of all I think I am.  He has broken barriers and allowed me to peak over the fence to the other side.

I’m not sure that anyone has the perfect pair of shoes, or is even capable of seeing what true love looks like.  There are no guarantees when it comes to love.  It is what it is, and it will last for as long as it is meant to last.  Whether the Englishman and I are beshert, I do not know.  What I do know is that he is my friend, he sees me, he protects me, and I am on a path to love.  The kind of love that eases sorrow and allows a girl with a broken heart to dream about love again.

I am not fearful to express my feelings here because he gets it.  I will always be fearful I suppose that something bad will happen and I will get hurt, but I will never be fearful to tell him what I think.  He will look back at the blogs of our time together one day, and see when I began to have feelings for him, and how they grew.  That is a blessing.  Not sure he agrees, but if nothing else he tolerates my blog and knows that it matters to not only me, but to others.

I want my Englishman to know I am happy and he brings me incredible joy. I have never laughed more in a relationship than I have since I’ve known him, and that is a powerful thing.  I love how he treats my child, and I adore his children.  We are building something special and if it were to last a week or forever, it will have been worth it because he brings me peace and that has been elusive.  This is a lovely man and I feel blessed to know him and have him in my life.

I must also tell you that he is lucky to have met me too.  He is a man with a lot of stories and not all of them are sunshine and flowers.  He has lived a full life, several actually, and it has made him strong.  He is passionate about his children, dedicated to his family, and brilliant at his work.  He brings a lot to the table and I am of the belief that not a lot of women are worthy of him.  By worthy of course I mean smart enough to take a minute to listen without judgment.

We are not at the same level of Jewish observance which I thought would be hard for me.  At the end of the day though, he is Jewish in his soul and while he cannot recite Torah, he speaks with his parents, brothers, children, my son and me from an inherent place of Jewishness.  He is a mensch and it shines through whether or not he goes to temple.  He is not defined by being Jewish, he simply is Jewish.  That said, I will drag him to temple at some point.

I am blessed to have met this man and privileged to know his kids.  He makes me happy and that matters.  I am going to really try to not sabotage or project myself out of this relationship.  I am also going to pray he is not a lying douchebag who is going to be an ass in the end.  It will take time and trust, but I’ve got nothing but time, and a desire to have trust.  In the end hope has trumped fear.  Love is possible so I must enjoy myself, be smart, and keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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