I am recently divorced. I decided to try online dating, and the most amazing man contacted me, who is also recently divorced. We started out emailing, then talking on the phone. When we finally met, it was incredible. He was so attentive and respectful. The following weekend we were together physically for the first time. Afterward, we held each other for hours. But the next morning, his behavior got confusing. He asked me if I had any regrets. He then said, "I'm sorry if I'm acting strange. I didn't expect this to happen. I didn't expect to have these feelings." We had coffee together, and I left. That night he told me that he'd thought he was ready to move forward but maybe emotionally he wasn't and he never meant to hurt me. Basically, that night was the end of our relationship! What went wrong? I have never felt so much from someone, and I truly believe he never meant to hurt me. Am I holding on to false hope that we still have a chance? - D.D., 39, Houston
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There's nothing "wrong" here, except perhaps your expectations. How terrific that in your first foray into online dating, an amazing man contacted you. How awesome that you felt a genuine connection with him. Furthermore, the guy's aware of his own emotions (rare!), and he's being honest with you about them. Obviously he felt the connection too, which is what made him realize that he hadn't yet recovered from his divorce. To find that kind of mature self-awareness and genuine connection - even if it didn't lead to the happy-ever-after you dreamed of - makes for a successful online dating story in my book.
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Of course you and he still have a chance. Do you have a chance this week? No. This month? Probably not. But there's no reason you shouldn't stay in touch - not desperate, needy, I'm-frantic-to-rekindle-our-connection touch, but text him now and then, or send him an email in a month or so. Whatever's easy and natural. (If he really was only interested in a booty call, you'll find out soon enough, and you can chalk it up to experience.) In the meantime, live your life and continue dating. He might come around. But how great to know that good connections can happen - that you can log on, post your profile, and meet someone worthwhile.
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Karen Karbo is an award-winning writer and author of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman. She's also a mom, a writing teacher, and a horse owner. Check out more advice from Karen.
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