'After 10 minutes of chatting, I knew the stranger was my soulmate'

"Since that day we have been through some good years and also some very tough and testing times."

It was a warm and humid February evening in 1999, and I was half way through my 48th year. Ten minutes into an introductory conversation I knew the stranger sitting next to me in the Indian restaurant, sharing a meal at a Sailing Club Dinner was destined to become a major part of my future. Suddenly it felt as if I was glimpsing down a future path that an invisible hand was guiding me towards. It wasn’t powerful. It was more like a soft breeze and an overwhelming feeling that there was something ‘just right’ about this person. He was a little older than me, in the early stages of going bald and as quiet as a mouse. It took a fair bit of probing to find out more about him. We chatted and I knew I had finally met my soul mate.

The only trouble was I was married with two teenage children, a home, a dog and a job.

As the dinner was coming to an end the sky suddenly opened and rain poured down. I then realised this would make it difficult for me to find a cab to take me home. Geoff, the stranger sitting next to me at the dinner, like a knight in shining armour offered to give me a lift home. We ran through the rain to his car and chatted all the way until he dropped me off.

I was completely confused. How could I meet my soul mate so randomly, at such an inconvenient time in my life? What should I do? I chose – nothing!

At the Sailing Club we exchanged “hellos” for the next year but each time I saw him I would melt and get butterflies in my stomach. The year flew by until I was struck down with meningitis, bedridden for months, but he was always in the back of my mind. I confided to a close friend who thought I was mad. Why didn’t I do anything? I was destined to lose him to someone else if I didn’t act.

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Another year went by, and finally deciding that life was just too short, after a sailing afternoon, I asked him if he would like to go for a swim. He immediately said “yes”. I started winding up my failing marriage while supporting my son through his final year at school. Then I left to be with the one I truly loved: my soul mate, Geoff. We didn’t live together for another year but finally after more than three years after that fateful dinner we got together.

Since that day we have been through some good years and also some very tough and testing times. We have never married because neither of our first marriages worked for us and we have never felt the need. We have both been through a cancer journey and cared for my parents before they passed away. We have done everything together while also giving each other lots of space. We have never shared a cross word. We are still soul mates and intend to be until the end!

Did you find your soulmate later in life?