Almost Doesn’t Count…Or Does It?

exalmostI decided two weeks ago today to try online dating for the first time. Well, a dating app, actually. And since I haven’t really dated at all in more than two years…being out there again…putting myself out there again…has been exhilarating and terrifying and new and different. Or in other words, everything my life seems to represent these days as I continue to transition from one version of myself to another. To finally feel ready for love again? That’s HUGE for me. And it’s taken every single thing I’ve been through to this point to get me here.

My family went through intense trauma back in March. Soon after that, a week after, actually – I left my publisher of four years. And not too long after that, I encountered someone who slowly, a little bit at a time, opened me up to the idea of maybe possibly wanting to date again. I guess it was a vulnerable time and my defenses were down, but for whatever reason, I let someone in for the first time in two years.

At first as a friend…a good friend…and then something that felt like a little more. We talked a lot…laughed constantly…and over the course of almost six months, developed a connection that felt really, really special. He doesn’t live close to me so we never met face to face, but the thread of authenticity and humor and honesty that ran through our ‘almost relationship’ made me feel closer to him than some people I see on a regular basis. I can honestly count on one hand the number of guys that I’ve felt this kind of connection with in my entire life. It was good. And it made me happy. And somewhere along the way I started to open up my heart to the idea of him. It wasn’t love…but it was like. Strong, deep, sincere LIKE.

And then one day it became evident that he didn’t feel the same. Perhaps he felt something for me…but not enough of a something to risk anything. And that hurt. Gosh, it hurt. I couldn’t understand how someone who had invested almost six months and countless phone calls, thousands of texts, and millions of laughs could so easily dismiss the idea that there might just be something REAL between us. Of course, he’s younger than me…still at an age I remember well as not fully being able to understand how rare it is in this life to really, naturally CLICK with someone. And to find someone who makes you laugh not just some of the time, but most of the time. It takes age and years and lots of life experience to fully grasp that there won’t just be endless opportunities to make that kind of connection. And I learned a long time ago that it does no good to wait around on someone’s feelings to catch up to yours. So I had no choice but to move on. To release what almost/maybe/kinda was and accept that it would never be.

And after a few days of thinking it all over…it hit me. He was never meant to be my great love. Or even a love at all. He was just meant to get me ready for it.

I wasn’t open to love, or dating, or relationships, or any level of intimacy, for a really long time. My heart was closed tighter than a drum. Now I am open, and so is my heart. My life colliding with a guy’s hundreds of miles away who I never met face to face changed everything for me. And I’m grateful.

You see…not everyone whose lives intersect with ours intersect for the reasons we want them to, or THINK we want them to. Sometimes the seemingly most obvious reason isn’t the reason they’re in our lives at all. But that doesn’t make their purpose any less special, or important, or necessary. We’re so quick to dismiss someone who hurts us as a “mistake,” or a “waste of time,” or a “hard-earned lesson,” but what if…just what if…they’re actually a blessing? One we may not unwrap today or even tomorrow, but eventually we’ll look back on as the moment that changed everything for us?

This guy was my moment. And I’m grateful for him. I don’t know if I’ll ever talk to him again…but if he somehow finds his way to this blog…I hope he knows how grateful I am. For the laughs, the conversations, and yes, even The End.

So now I let go of what wasn’t and look ahead to what will be. In some ways, my life is beginning all over now. The last chapter of me and this “almost lover” marked the first chapter of everything else.

I can hardly wait to see what…and who…comes next.


33 Responses to “ Almost Doesn’t Count…Or Does It? ”

  1. September 25, 2016

    I feel like I’m at the same point in my life. But I wouldn’t say I’m ready for love. This is my pruning, awkward, lonely, learning season, and I know it, but I seem to keep reaching to the past. Two almost lives from the past are out of my life that came back into it this year and left with a true dent in my heart and I’m ind the midst of getting another one. I feel like it’s a test from God like will you make them your all or Me? Will you put your trust in them or Me?! It’s hard, for real hard and it hurts and it’s vulnerable but I know it’s needed to have the real Godsent thing, so thanks for this inspiration and congrats on taking a bold courageous move! 🙂

  2. Jackie
    September 25, 2016

    Just had a similar experience. Almost 2 years ago this Christmas, I lost a baby and someone I loved. It took 18 months to be open to the idea of having a clean slate and loving again. During that time I just wanted to be alone and put healing and growing first. Read your blog all that time. Then in June he showed up. Had no idea he had feelings this whole time I was in a cave and grieving. For many reasons and considerations, nothing happened. Just brief moments of conversation and a sudden “I love you”, before I moved on. So it was nothing but at the same time the opener needed to show me that my heart had healed enough to love again. Just not him.

  3. Kik
    September 25, 2016

    Thats amazing you shared this with us mandy, thank you – n i feel this is really positive for you and your future. This also happened to me but until i met the guy AFTER the “almost guy”, i thought the almost guy was maybe the one – n this was after 7 years single (after a long first love relationship that ended early 20s). And we “dated” without any physical stuff for about year. He was going through a lot personally n i was there for him n we connected but i gave him time. After a while i mentioned my feelings n either he wasnt ready or he wasn’t into me that way. I was heartbroken. A few weeks later i met my bf. Now i know he was only allowed in my heart n life thanks to the almost guy. But only now im sure that this was the reason i met him. Maybe it took longer than it should have but it opened me up. And im glad it will to you too!! Good luck xxx

    • SM
      September 25, 2016

      Same here.

  4. SM
    September 25, 2016

    I was in a long-term relationship that was going nowhere and being strung along for years. Finally split from him a year ago. In the meantime, I worked on myself and began enjoying my life as a single woman. I went on dates here and there with guys I met. One of the guys became a great introduction to me opening my heart to the possiblity of a relationship. We talked constantly and spent time together whenever he was in town. However he was only meant to prepare my heart for my next one. Since meeting him I have met an amazing man who is now my actual boyfriend. I said all this to say remain open, try to enjoy life, and be open to getting to know people. You never know who you may meet in the process of enjoying life.

  5. Eye
    September 25, 2016

    I’m also in the same situation. I met this guy on Facebook, he stays 5 hours drive away from me, thought he’d just be a virtual friend with no substance, our convos became deep and intense. He’s 34, has 2 baby mama’s, a girlfriend that he’s fallen out of love with and he started doing guys last year and they broke his heart. He doesn’t know what to do with himself because at home he’s put under pressure to marry but he likes guys and he thinks that being gay is a curse and he’s praying about it LOL! He visited me a month ago for the whole weekend, we had sex and I thought that this would materialize into a relationship but nothing. I’m trying to get rid of him but I can’t, I’m still attached to him but he doesn’t wanna leave me alone. Sigh…

    • Tiffany
      September 25, 2016

      Hey Eye!

      I read your comment and wanted to touch bases. I’ve definitely been there before, not the exact same situation, but in a “situation-ship.” Lol. Being kind of attached to somone who isn’t emotionally available. It’s hard to have an emotional/physical connection with somone, especially when THEIR heart is unavailable.

      He has two baby momma’s a girlfriend, and he’s struggling with his identity, which means that despite how great you are, all he’s capable of doing right now is recieving your love, and not giving anything in return. I’ve learned that the worst relationships are the ones that are mostly me giving and getting very little in return. They are high on emotion and low on satisfaction.

      It may be difficult, but letting him go would be best.


  6. Demitria
    September 25, 2016

    I am here. And in some ways, I actually believe he is the one & we’ve both been working through separate issues for the past 4 years. I’ll never forget the way I felt when we made eye contact the first time. There were so many things that fell in to place that really should not have happened (he was a client at the time) that I’ve no doubt he’s here to teach me something. Perhaps it’s what you say. Perhaps it’s patience & stronger communication skills… Whatever it is, we’ve made out, not slept together & there’s some thread that keeps us connected. I believe in free will & at the same time, believe in some degree of fate. Whether we’re fated lovers or friends, I can say that he is one of the best things to have happened to me. It has hurt, yes, but my own personal growth has been triggered by much of our interaction & his advice. I can honestly tell you, he is someone I genuinely & wholeheartedly love, without condition.

  7. Anne
    September 25, 2016

    Reading this is very timely. I just lost my “almost lover” a few days back. He was a college friend and after years of not seeing each other, we met again at a party of one of our college friends. Never did I expect that we’d keep in touch after that day. The chats became more personal, going out became frequent, and etc. at first, I thought that this is just a long overdue closeness, since when we were in college, we were friends but we were never that close. Until such time that he confessed that he feels something for me, and I in return, confessed the same. I told him how scared I am to be hurt again, how scared I am to fall in love again, -all my dilemma’s in life. Maybe he said the words that would secure me. Little did I know that he wasn’t serious. He’s just playing around. I am lost now and I still don’t know what to do, I may have regrets, but someday I’ll understand why this happened to me. 🙂

  8. Thea
    September 25, 2016

    I’m at this point in my life right now, Miss Mandy. I really hate how we can’t REALLY know what people’s intentions are these days. One day they treat you like you are dear to them, the next day it feels like they woke up from a dream and decides to not be interested in you anymore. Makes me hate guys and want to guard my heart with higher fences, you know? And who wouldve thought he’d change with no precautions! I didn’t even think he could do this, I mean… He’s a Christian, very active in their church, and he’s matured compared to me and I liked that, and he really seemed sincere whenever he does things for me. And the way his eyes speak… I don’t understand how this is all happening when just 2-3months ago we were doing fine… And I dont even know if I should treat him as an almost because he never reallly said the exact “I like you” words. I thought he was a man, turns out a part of him is still a boy. Guys confuse me, miss. They really do.

  9. Sheilla Betty
    September 25, 2016

    I really like this, so relatable. Thank you for sharing. let’s spread love 🙂

  10. September 25, 2016

    I went through the exact thing very recently. Recently enough that it still stings, every day, actually. He got me through a very rough period and I will always be grateful. Thank you for helping me make sense of it all.

  11. Sarah
    September 25, 2016

    This feels really relateable, back during my senior year of high school till the end of my freshmen year of college I had really liked this one guy who kinda liked me. But it never went anywhere and I always wondered WHY? It was like a puff of wind that came & went without leaving any trace. Yet it hurt. I found myself liking a few guys over the next almost 2 years with it all ending up in flames…and in a sense it broke me in some many places cause all these feelings of rejection haunted me. It made me question my worth as an individual and as a woman. Earlier this year after much reflection & disappointment, I decided to close up my heart because my heart was so tired and worn out from this constant cycle. It came to the point that I cried out to God for clarity. And He heard me. This past year, I learned to be a better listener to His voice, to where my heart should go.
    For the longest time I had closed myself off to any possibility of ever finding my “true love”……only to discover that I don’t have to find myself in another person OR find a sense of belonging/to be wanted, in anyone other than Jesus. And it was in HIM that I’m finding myself being completed. A lot of healing has taken place in my heart this year. And it’s so satisfying. Sure I have really ‘bad’ days but I make sure I get back up again, reminding myself of WHERE & WHO I am found. Jesus. He’s shown me that I am loveable and worthy enough to Him. It’s a daily process.
    And as of right now, I have no absolute idea f where all the is taking me. There are several different guys I have as great friends in my life and for a short time I questioned “Is it him? Or him?” But I had to check myself cause that’s NOT how it’s supposed to work. I’m not supposed to be looking for it. Even when I get annoyed at all the friends I have that have or are getting married this year, I don’t have to let that settle in and get to me so negatively. I can be happy for them, I have to. Cause we all have our own seasons in our lives.. So chapters start off sooner than others. God is teaching me to be patient and wait….to diligently seek Him for all that He’s worth.
    So when and if my knight in shining armor is revealed, I won’t be looking for it. I don’t think I have to anymore. I think I just have to keep LIVING, as a single person. Things tend to work out for themselves when given time.
    I’m 22 years old. Six of my closest girl friends have (and are getting) married within the past year. And it felt so overwhelming for the longest time. But now, I think I can only watch and wait at this point. “Everything in its season”…. Perhaps the lesson is learning to be fruitful during the cultivating of our own love story, so that when if finally comes around and that seed begins to blossom, we’ll be ready. And I find my own heart begin to open again, without any more fear of rejection.

  12. Rachel
    September 25, 2016

    I really needed this. Thank you.

  13. Living&Learning
    September 26, 2016

    I feel like I’m at the same point. There’s this guy I’m really into we hang out all the time we text frequently with the rare phone call. We laugh all the time and we are constantly praying for eachother. We hang out in a group and we share our hearts but his isn’t open to love yet and mine is just starting to open. I don’t want to miss an opportunity but I don’t want to waste my hearts time either.

  14. Angel
    September 26, 2016

    I can relate to this story. I met a guy in school in 2004. We never had a chance to get to know each other or become close. Eight years after, we became friends in FB. He asked me of my number too. I was so excited then thinking that this friendship will grow into something special. However, it didn’t happen as I expected. He’s inconsistent though there are days that a text message from him would really make me happy. We never met face to face. As days passed by, I realized that I’m falling for him. I am an honest and vocal person so I confessed him my feelings. He just treated me as a friend – period. It was so heartbreaking since I invested time for this person. Hoping my love will be reciprocated. Our last conversation was in 2014. I considered this experience as lesson learned – I accepted wholeheartedly that he was not meant for me. Maybe God is preparing someone who’s better than this guy. I don’t have ill feelings with him. Two years later, the same guy reached out to me. He wanted to be friends again. I was hesistant at first to accept him. I am afraid that he will leave me hanging. Until we met last September 18 before my birthday. Somehow I felt relieved. My initial observation was he is more matured. We talked consistently for a month. I want to know him better and not jump into assumptions. I am now careful. I dreamt of having my next relationship started from friendship. At this point in my life, I asked the Lord to guard my heart. I am uncertain if he’s the one but maybe he is the Lord’s instrument to help me find the right guy.

  15. Promise
    September 26, 2016

    I’m in this almost thing now too. I’ve been close to someone for over two years now and we talk about pretty much anything, he had said ‘he loves me’ but not officially asked me out. He says we’re not in a relationship but then we’re not just friends either. It’s a confusing place to be in. I’ve talked to him about it but nothing has come out of it. We’re both great Christians but I need to be able to know where we are. He’s not perfect tho, his looks, career gives me concern but i’m willing to sacrifice all that. I’m Nigerian so things are different here, it’s not honourable for a woman to really lead the man forward. I’m confused.

  16. Elle
    September 26, 2016

    This exact thing happen to me. He was long distance. We texted and laughed. We never talked on the phone. We never met either. It happened around the same time your “almost” happened. I hadn’t bonded or connected with someone like that in years. He was also younger than me. We talked about meeting up but that never came to be. Eventually I too started to realized I like him a lot more than he liked me. I asked if ever thought about us bring more. He said yes he thought about it but he has had too many break ups, the distance and he had a lot going on. Which I can understand. I honestly wanted to be mad at him but I couldn’t. I was just really hurt. I was actually devastated. Finally someone I thought was perfect. We still text. Not like we used to though. I honestly don’t think still texting him is the best thing but tell that to my heart. I love your blog and I feel that being in my 30s still single never been married and no children. I can honestly relate to you. I haven’t found anyone other blog that I can really relate to. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I’m the only person going through this.

  17. Kim
    September 26, 2016

    Sometimes God places people in our lives to get us to move forward to the next good thing meant for us. An Angel is disguise one might say. I was single for 10 years after a 25 year marriage where my ex moved on even before it was “over”. It took quite a while to put myself out there and when I finally did…nothing worked. I was puzzled. Was it me or them.? Then when I decided to stop looking, or thinking about it and work on loving myself. Boom. It happened. I am happier now than I have ever been in my life, ever. What I learned is situations are like ingredients preparing us..and we must be patient and open. We must first love an accept who we are as people. Those situations prepare us one way or another to understand what and who we want in our lives and the kind of relationship that will balance us. When I learned to want certain things, but not “need” it was very freeing. My eyes were opened to what was most important. Relationships may come easy at first but in the long run they are a choice we make everyday. I believe love is a choice. True love. Best to you always Mandy. You too, have been a positive ingredient I add to my life!!

  18. Kim
    September 26, 2016

    I hate being catfished too…

  19. September 29, 2016

    This guy you’re talking of was my last year! And how it hurt knowing he never felt the same way because I too had never made such a connection with a human being. Your spin on his purpose in your life makes me think he, too, was getting me ready to date because I hadn’t done so in several years.

  20. Rayne
    September 29, 2016

    Dealing with a similiar situation. Very encouraging and inspiring! Praying for happily ever after in this next chapter of your life!

  21. Anita Milner
    September 29, 2016

    Wow I was in a relationship very similar to thesee so glad I’m not alone. And to know there are good things to come.

  22. Adrienne
    September 29, 2016

    I feel as if our timelines are running parallel as of late~ these last two blogs have been topics on my heart within a day of you posting. I had the same type encounter myself. After 2 years of single, a man came into my life as a friend and then as potentially more. For 6 months we got to know each other via brief interaction at the gym but mostly through fb messenger–and I thought there just may be something there. But our relationship would not have been God honoring and I don’t believe he was Gods best for me. Regardless of that, He could never cross the line from emotionally unavailable to participant in healthy relationship. So a week ago, I decided to end the correspondence. And surprisingly I feel fine. Because I know that God is at work and He is making a way for both you and I to find real love soon. The kind that gives him the glory.

  23. Struggling
    September 29, 2016

    Wow, I had an almost. We have been friends for about 3 yrs now. In the beginning we talk n texted sooo much! It was really nice. I hadn’t dated or even considered dating in like 9yrs at that time. As a single mom, I didn’t want men in & out of their life amongst other fears. This guy started out seeming really good. As time went on, he started pushing me away, HE wasn’t ready, he said he was afraid to get hurt again. He had been single for about 5 yrs. Over the 3 yrs we have gone out about 4-5 times. One of the times, we made out to the point of almost no return. I am thankful we didn’t go all the way as after that he pushed me away again. Then about 6 mo after that he invited me to go ride 4 wheelers. I had a blast. We kissed, but I backed off when he tried again to go further then I wanted. We came home after that. Then he pushed me away again. We txt, talk once in a while but not like we did in the beginning,and i really miss it. It really was hard for me to come to the realization that he was not meant for me, but he awakened something in me that I had put away. Now I struggle with the wait of who will be next. I know God has someone special out there for me. I went on a semi blind date, but knew right away this person was not for me. It’s hard to put yourself out there again, and the wait is really a struggle. Thanks for sharing this, because I have often felt that this other guy was put on my life for a reason, but it is so hard to let him go. Sometimes I think I am more attached to the IDEA of him then in him, if that makes any sense.

  24. September 30, 2016

    This was perfect timing for me regarding what I went through with a guy I really liked. Thank you for the article. It really was meant to heal many women in similar situations and encourage us to look forward to the possibilities.

  25. Daphne
    September 30, 2016

    This blog gave me chills as I read it. Like you were speaking directly to me. I had such a similar situation except he didn’t live far away. He was right here. Thank you so much. God blesses us all through you by giving you just what we need to hear. I know I was meant to read this right now. You are awesome!!!

  26. Anna
    September 30, 2016

    Wow relate much! Haha! I read this on insta “Remember the time when you confuse a life lesson for a soulmate?” Damn! (Sigh!)

  27. Anne
    October 1, 2016

    I have been single for over a decade, and last year I decided to enter the online dating game. Nothing serious, but I realized it was definitely a platform for fonding ‘almost’ guys. It’s like we are spoiled for choice with online dating. If he gets bored with you he just moves on to the next and vice versa. And then I met a guy. And my heart started opening up – which is something I was very scared of doing. But he was never ready. He strung me along and I followed puppy-eyed, hoping and wishing he would be the one. But he was just there to help me open my heart and realize that its ok to try to love again. And then I met another guy. And this time it just felt right. And I spilled my heart and soul into it all, thinking that this múst be it! Alas, not meant to be either. And it was tough. And it hurt. I felt so betrayed. But eventually, after taking my eyes off of my own hurt, I realised that these two ‘almosts’ were just preparing me for the authentic. And it’s not their fault. As much as I wanted to believe it, they are still not bad guys. They were just not my guy. They were just vessels being used to open my heart and prepare me for the one after the almosts. And for that I am grateful. And patient. Keeping my eyes not on what could have been, but rather on the One who knows the end from the beginning and holds the keys to my heart.

  28. October 1, 2016

    “This guy was my moment. And I’m grateful for him” I love this. You had a growing experience and are able to find gratitude in the situation. Thank you for sharing!

  29. Harriet
    October 2, 2016

    There is something to be said when you meet someone and they check off everything on your checklist for a mate. But something is off and after 4 months, it can’t be right. With a heavy heart and a sadness for the lack of spark even though chemistry and fun was fierce, it was time to part ways. I am not sure he was emotionally fully available and it was hard to have to let go. But we both realized that life brings people into our lives to teach us life lessons, to teach us about ourselves and to make us realize what we need in a relationship. While my heart was broken, I realized what I learned about myself and life was so important. I am ready (very scared to get back out there) and really want to meet a man who can be the best friend and companion I have been searching for. Dating after divorce is definitely the hardest thing. I have not put myself out there enough to meet people and am determined to fight fears and get out there. This past relationship (situation-ship) was the first one to even come close to checking off checklist items, let alone covering every single one on paper. Now, I am hopeful again that there is a really good chance that if the wrong man could do that, the right one can exceed that. Here’s to getting back out there Mandy… we have a whole life of love ahead of us!

  30. Jessica Nicole
    October 13, 2016

    Thank you Mandy!!!! I read this article at a perfect moment. This helped me to shift and realize not every guy you connect with is not your, “Mr. Right”. Your articles always help me because as a single woman I feel alone at times like I don’t have friends that I can relate too.

  31. Ivan
    March 13, 2017

    I just have a question. Why is it that the right people never get the opportunity to be loved, but the wrong people have many opportunities which they waste

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