The Significance Of Real Love

Mark Schwalm was tired of online dating. He had tried to find Ms. Right and instead he kept feeling like Mr. Dejected and Rejected.

He had met Mindy Kerplan on a Jewish dating site and he thought they were having the best time he had in years. They went out for dinner, watched a play, and ended up sitting in a wood paneled bar downtown. Mindy was sipping on a glass of Chardonnay when she looked over at Mark with a nice smile on her face. ‘’Mark, I am so glad to finally have met you and got a chance to go out on a date with you. I was feeling out of the loop till you asked me out.’’ Mark was somewhat puzzled ‘’What do you mean out of the loop?’’

Mindy looked at him, looked at the bubbles in her wine and laughed a little louder than he expected. ‘’You’ve taken out my friends Natalie Wine, Barb Yanch, Lois Davidson, and Mira Applebaum. They all keep saying you’re a nice guy and you treated them well on their dates but something was missing. I’m glad you finally you got around to me so I could try and figure out what they were talking about. I’ve enjoyed this date and I didn’t notice anything off, but now I can sit down and compare notes with the other girls.’’

Mindy laughed again but Mark felt a huge hole in the middle of his stomach, and a strong feeling of hurt in his heart. He had become the talk of the town and a comparable. It was not a nice feeling. He was the nice date guy, not the future love interest. He wanted to have people laugh with him, not at him.

Mindy must have detected he felt awkward and tried to make him feel better. ‘’The good news is, you have a great reputation for being a super nice guy and very respectful. All the girls like you, me included. It is always nice to have a good male friend.’’

Mark nodded his head and looked at his watch, it was ten forty five, time to get Mindy home. ‘’Uh, I have a very early morning tomorrow, would it be okay if we left.’’

Mindy downed her wine, he helped her walk to his car in the parking lot and opened the door for her. They drove back to her condo listening to the seventies on Sirius XM. When they arrived at her building, he got out and before he could say anything, she said ‘’It was a lovely night, thanks Mark, I’m sure we’ll run into each other someday.’’ She leaned over and gave him a peck on the cheek. It felt like the kind of kiss a sister would give her brother.

As he drove home, Mark felt a sadness that he couldn’t express. It was a loneliness. He was going to take a self enforced break from the dating scene.

The next day at the Advertising Agency where Mark worked, one of the women in the Graphic Arts department grabbed him by the arm and pulled him into the hall. ‘’I have a friend coming in from Vancouver, her name’s Tamara, she just went through a shitty break up. We are going out tonight and I want you to join us.’’

Mark wanted to say No, but his friend was persuasive and Mark decided that nothing ventured was nothing gained, so he agreed. They were going to a self brew pub and the Leaf’s game would be on, it would all be nice and casual.

After work Mark headed to the pub and found a table close to the big screen TV, a few minutes later his work buddy and Tamara walked in. Mark was overwhelmed. He thought Tamara was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. They sat down and Jo the Graphic Artist did the introductions and that was the last Mark could remember of her presence. He and Tamara acted liked they were old soulmates.

She was in Toronto for a week and Mark saw her every night and every morning. They had fallen in love faster than imaginable. Mark wanted to propose before she left, but he knew he needed a calming period to make sure his emotions were in check and he was feeling right.

After Tamara left they talked via Facetime at least three times a day. When Tamara said she wanted to be with him, Mark mentioned he wanted to be with her for the rest of his life, and her response was a loud yes.

Tamara moved back to Toronto and in with Mark and within a week they were engaged and making Wedding plans.

One afternoon while going to grab some lunch, Mark ran into Mindy, the woman who he had reminded him he had taken out a bunch of her friends. She looked at him and smiled. ‘’There’s this friend of ours, her name is Elisha and she’s on the site where you get all your dates. Anyways we’ve become friends with here and we were all wondering why you haven’t taken her out. She knows you give great dates and feels deprived.’’ Mindy laughed and this time Mark laughed. He laughed because he knew all the nonsense from his past was behind him. ‘’I’m sorry Mindy, tell Natalie, Barb, Lois, and Mira that I’m off the dating circuit. I met someone special and I’m engaged to be married. I’m not really sorry I never took Elisha out cause I met the love of my life and I couldn’t be happier. I’m glad I met all of you, cause you helped me figure out what I was really looking for and I found her. Having female friends is very nice, but there is nothing better than true love. I wish you and the other girls the best.’’

As Mark walked away with thoughts of Tamara floating through his brain, he couldn’t remember when he had been happier. He had found his soulmate and never had to go on a dating site again in his lifetime, what could have been better.

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.