During my wonderful time spent with Brian, my dating profile was disabled. All that work and I only responded to one person then disabled it; pretty good statistics, if you ask me. After we amicably ended our May-December relationship of about four to five months, I activated my dating profile again. This time, I caught the eye of a successful Italian businessman living in a big city nearby.
Marco was handsome, well-traveled from his work and personal love of travel, and cultured with an Italian accent that was hard not to fall for. He was the epitome of a win in the dating world, or so I thought. We talked online for several weeks while he traveled; he loved to talk about himself and his work, and I loved to listen. We planned to meet in person once he returned from Italy and the U.K.
At one point, I ended up hospitalized before he was due back and wasn’t responding to his e-mails, which worried him. My best friend did what any best friend would do; she logged into my account and let him know for me. She gave him my hospital phone number and room number and, thankfully, he called.
Hilariously, he called while I was passed out from extremely strong medications. He got to talk to my mom, unexpectedly, but it went extremely well. My mom took it all in stride, as she usually does. She filled him in on my condition and prognosis, and advised him to call back at a certain time. Much to my horror, she also vetted him during this phone call. Marco wasn’t expecting that and, surely, no single man in the world of online dating would feel comfortable with that, but it didn’t bother him one bit. Marco and my mom were actually close in age as they discovered—within 10 years. With my mother’s permission, he called back. I couldn’t believe it.
My mom has always been supportive, but this took it to a whole new level. By the time Marco had called back, I was briefed on everything that occurred during my medically induced slumber. I was absolutely horrified! Marco called less than five minutes after my mom and best friend told me everything, I had no clue what to say to him after that.
Marco asked me two questions when I answered the phone. The first was, “How are you feeling?” The second question was, “When would you feel comfortable meeting me? I want to meet you as soon as possible and your mother has given me permission to take you on a date.” My jaw hit the floor.
Within a week, I was discharged from the hospital and we decided to meet in person—we met alone at the same park near my home where I had met my ex in person for the first time. Once again, I found someone whom I hit it off with right away, someone who clicked with my personality, but this time, he seemed to be open to a more long-term kind of situation.
Marco was recently divorced and owned two homes in the city. He also owned two homes in Italy and had many boy toys he loved to show off. His favorite was his Ducati motorcycle, which is what he rode up on the first time we met. My weakness for an older man on a motorcycle was never more apparent than this meeting.
In true Marco fashion, he was affectionate from our very first meeting. He talked mostly, a lot about himself and his work—his accent was so wonderful. He was very refreshing, unique, and into me. Marco made a lot of things possible for me, the biggest of which was actually college. I am the first person in my family to finish college, and if it weren’t for him that would have never happened. For that, I am eternally grateful.