In 2014, I was 67 years old and planning to retire to a new community in the isolated region of the Adirondacks.  Although I was used to living in small towns, I was always near bigger cities.  My new home would have a population of 1,200 with the closest city of 19,000 an hour away.  “Oh, no!” I thought.  “I bet there’s probably one eligible man per ten square miles up there in the North Country!”  Still, living in this town was a part of my commitment to be near my grandchildren and a part of their lives in my retirement.  Could I fit a man into this life?  Could I even find him?

I began dating online to find out.  I was still working and living four hours away when I went onto my first dating website and posted my profile in the region I was moving to.  Once a month I visited for several days and spent about six weeks that summer in my new digs.  I had corresponded with a few men and saw them on visits north. Over the summer, I spent some extended time with one man and thought something might come of it.  By fall, however, I realized this wasn’t going to work and broke it off with him.  I didn’t do a very good job of it and found I wasn’t good at “breaking up!”  “I wish I knew how to break up nicely,” I pondered.  So, I did what everyone does when they have a question — I googled it!  Up popped Evan’s website and the rest is history.

Well, not really. There was a lot for me to learn.  At first, I took advantage of Evan’s many free insights:  the blogs, his bi-weekly emails, and some of his website videos.  Everything he said made sense.  I gobbled it up and devoured his programs. I still wanted more. So, I joined his FOCUS coaching program (this was before Evan had started Love U).  We met once a month on a massive conference call where Evan answered our questions on a variety of topics.  I also had access to the same online group of women in conversation threads.  I was not a lurker.  I jumped in with both feet and asked conference call questions as well as posted issues on the conversation threads. I wanted to learn how to do this dating “thing.”  By this time, I was 68 and I figured it was my last chance!

The most important lesson I learned from Evan was to treat my love life the same way I treated my professional life — to be the CEO of my future and move through the candidates for my partner with clearheadedness. Sometimes that wasn’t easy and I remember once falling really hard for an alpha guy who played it safe by keeping me his online sweetheart.  Thanks to all I learned from Evan, I painfully but gracefully broke it off with him.  It took me about a month to recuperate from that but I kept my funnel full and kept communicating.

Funny, but I was actually communicating with my future new husband during the time I was recovering from my alpha dude.  And that brings me to my second biggest learning from Evan. Don’t go for a 10 in chemistry, try a seven. “Chemistry can always grow,” Evan said.  Better to assess those candidates based on their efforts and find the one who treats you like a queen and makes you happy.  I knew Ron was a nice guy, very smart, and seemed to like me a lot, but in the beginning, it just didn’t click for me. So, after a few dates, I wrote him a “Dear Ron” email so I could become exclusive with someone else.  He surprised me by writing back a gracious, mature response, thanking me for the good time we had together and wishing me well.  No other man I had “moved along” ever responded in such an adult way. I didn’t forget. When my relationship went south in about a month, I went back online.  Ron noticed and contacted me.  We began dating again, became exclusive within a month, moved in together within six months, were engaged within 18 months, and married last June – within two years!

Ron is the greatest guy in the world for me. We share the same values, enjoy many of the same activities, and keep each other laughing. He loves, respects and cherishes me, and is a great grandfather for my grandchildren. Yet we challenge each other too.  I’m a retired pastor and he was an agnostic; now he’s on a spiritual journey. He’s an avid birder and I didn’t know a downy woodpecker from a goldfinch; now I have my own binoculars and enjoy identifying the birds that come to our backyard feeders.

The most important insight for me to share, though, is not about Ron (who’s as comfortable as old slippers now), but about Evan.  If you’re serious about finding your soulmate, follow his plan, even when it takes you out of your comfort zone.  Believe him, even when you get discouraged and think it will never happen.  Don’t give up, even when your heart is telling you one thing and Evan is telling you another.  I didn’t know if I could find someone to fit into my life but, with Evan, I discovered I could.  Once I started taking his advice seriously, it took me six months to find the “one.”  You can too!

Thanks so much for your personal note of congratulations! It means a lot to me. I promote you and your wisdom to every single woman I meet. In the meantime, here’s a photo of us cutting the cake :-).

Lyn Barrett Bussian