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The introduction

The day started with deep anticipation: would I see Robert today? Would he be equally anxious to see me? Or was this just a brief encounter at a gathering and nothing more?

After a typical Sunday of attending religious services, fixing lunch and running a few errands, it was finally time to get ready for the Skate Party. The girls were excited. It was always a fun time. Spending time with our friends and skating to good music was worth looking forward to.

My girls and I know that the fun time begins in the car en route to wherever we are going. That means one of them sits up front and is the D.D.J. (Designated Disk Jockey). We have a system: naturally I have first choice of the songs we listen to because I am the mom and the driver. Next in line of selection would the older child and third is the younger child. Inevitably, the younger finds a way to monopolize the songs we listen to. It's hilarious because she loves music like I do and when we hear our song, nothing else matters. Truthfully, this was a great distraction for me. All I had to do was drive and jam to my music.

"I was done"

A cool 25-minute-drive later we arrived at the Pasedena Roller Skating Center in Pasedena, MD. I paid the entrance fees and the girls took off to find their friends and enjoy a good time. I, however, proceeded a bit more cautiously ever aware of never wanting to appear desperate. And then it happened. Of all the people that were there, his was the first face I saw. I tried to play it cool but he smiled at me. I was done.

One of the first things Robert did was introduce me to his kids and I introduced him to mine. For him to do that right off the bat impressed me. Little did he know how important that one thing was. I wanted truth. Consistently Robert was truthful about his intentions and obligations. There was full reciprocation. His honesty allowed me to open up to him. While the kids were enjoying their Skate Party, Robert and I talked. When it was time to go home we both just lingered, savoring the moment until the final second when we had to leave.

Getting to know each other in a public setting

"would he want to stick around or run away"

As the days passed we talked on the phone. Robert was easy to listen to, easy to talk to. He made me feel comfortable. Soon we would need to have a very meaningful conversation. I needed him to know the things about me no one else knew, things that might affect or perhaps shatter his image of me. It was important for me to give him the choice to opt-out. I would want him to do the same. Those conversations were not brief. We needed to take our time with this. And that is what we did. It seemed like everyday when I came home from work after making sure the girls and parents were taken care of, I was back on the phone and we talked some more. I was enjoying getting to know Robert. But my fears consumed me at times. Would my mental illnesses and all of my responsibilities overshadow his feelings for me? I wondered would he want to stick around or run away...

⇒Hello Reader, we're curious: What quality first impressed you about your mate? Let us know in the comments.

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