The story below by Amanda Trenfield reads like chicklit but is apparently a factual report about something that happened to her. It has aroused a lot of comment.
I have some idea of what she is talking about. On rare occasions I do encounter a woman whom I recognize immediately as one of "My" women. We may have only the slightest opportunity to communicate but I feel immediately that I know her of old and I in particular know that we would be completely at ease and happy with one-another in a relationship. It is a wonderful experience
The obvious question has to be why such a recognition occurs. One posibility is that a lot of the things one likes in other people are suddenly there all in one person. But how do we know that? As far as I can tell it is a combination of very subtle behaviours, something to do with way the lady looks at me, particularly. But what is conveyed is for me a recognition of a common culture. This person has a range of beliefs and attitudes and responses that remind me of people I have been most familiar and at ease with in the past. No real idea why.
In my case the recognition is usually reciprocal. The lady feels the same way about me. It may in fact be the lady who speaks to me first. I must sound like I am imagining things but for me as for the lady below it is quite a powerful feeling
I wasn’t expecting a formal dinner with cheerful conference attendees in the beautiful West Australian town of Margaret River to turn my life upside down. I had a good life. I wasn’t looking to upend it – or was I?
I had decided only the week earlier to attend the three-day event with my husband. It wasn’t in the family holiday plan and we had to arrange care for the children, but I saw it as a perfect opportunity for us to reconnect, as we had become quite distant. I believed that time away from the stress of everyday life was the perfect remedy to reignite our relationship.
We entered the magnificent oak-panelled dining room, taking our seats at a long, elegantly laid table. My husband sat to my left and quickly engaged another couple in conversation.
As I settled into my seat, I looked up and immediately lost my breath. When our eyes met there was an instant familiarity that ran deeper than water-cooler chat. These eyes had locked before. Twelve years earlier. His name was Jason. I hadn’t forgotten.
Throughout the dinner, I was my usual animated and conversational self. I was, after all, in sales. The group chatted happily, all of us enjoying an excellent degustation of West Australian delicacies cooked with attention and pride.
As the entrée was served, Jason offered me a sip of his wine to taste the robust old-vine shiraz. After a little banter and coaxing, I accepted.
Over the course of the evening, my attraction to Jason developed. I soon became aware of his every breath and I unconsciously mirrored his pace. I caught myself, embarrassingly, looking at his chest through his slim-fitted white evening shirt. Yes, he had a fit, toned and attractive body, but was it his chest I was drawn to?
When dessert was served, he offered me a sample of his decadent and oozy chocolate pudding. I declined, but he scooped up a generous spoonful and fed me across the table anyway. He displayed a level of familiarity normally reserved for close friends or lovers. If anyone had been watching us, they would have been at least curious as to the nature of our relationship.
By the time the group left the restaurant late in the evening, all my senses were on high alert. It was abundantly clear that the energy between Jason and me was somehow charged. I instinctively understood, though, that this was more than just lust, something I had felt many times before. I also understood that it was more than simply physical attraction, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
At the hotel bar, Jason bought me a glass of my favourite rosé. We looked into each other’s eyes – his dark and mysterious, mine big and brown – and clinked glasses. The electricity between us was strong and raw. It travelled to my core. It was so intense I needed to break eye contact. He. We. The energy. It was electric. My body was completely charged. I was completely “on”.
He displayed a level of familiarity normally reserved for close friends or lovers.
I had to determinedly fight the continual pull to his side that I felt. As we moved around each other throughout the evening in various conversations, though, we were always aware of one another’s location. When we locked eyes across the room, the intensity of our stares magnified, becoming bolder as the night progressed. We held our gaze longer. Our connection deepened.
I loved talking with him. I felt warm, relaxed and safe in his presence. I felt I could truly be myself, at a level I wasn’t familiar with. I realised that it was a feeling I hadn’t enjoyed in a long, long time – perhaps ever. Sure, we were laughing and joking like old friends but the deepening connection through our eyes was undeniable.
My behaviour that evening was uncharacteristic. I stayed out way longer than I normally would; I’m usually an early-to-bed, early-to-rise type. But this was no ordinary evening. I was in no hurry to lose our connection. In fact, I wanted time to stand still. I wanted to remain in the energy, our energy, forever.
The bar called last drinks, and the evening (now the early morning) came to an end. The goodbye was overt, open and revealing of our mutual affection. We enjoyed a body-hugging embrace where I whispered into his ear, “This isn’t over, I need to see you again.” He put his hands tightly on my waist and pulled me close. “Yes,” he replied. It was all I needed to hear.
As I danced back to my room feeling vulnerable but also unexpectedly whole, I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face. I had never felt anything like this before. I had never experienced this sensation. I didn’t understand the energy. It was like an out-of-body, or perhaps an “in-body”, experience.
I now know without hesitation, without question, without any doubt in my mind, my body or my heart, that the energy we experienced that evening was our souls connecting. I left Margaret River a different woman.
I knew in my heart, in my soul, in the very fabric of my being that I had profoundly changed. I couldn’t articulate the feelings, the sensations, the experience. The connectedness I experienced with Jason was at a level impossible to describe. All I knew for certain was that this one encounter, in the most unlikely of places, under the most unusual of circumstances, had dramatically altered my life.
The next few days were a complete blur. I couldn’t make any sense of my feelings. I couldn’t escape unrelenting thoughts of Jason. I certainly couldn’t fathom how I’d resume my normal life: a full-time career in financial services, the care of two young children, household chores, social engagements, being a wife. What I did understand was that the successful, comfortable and somewhat predictable life I had spent 20 years building was now of no consequence. I simply didn’t care.
I’d just met my soulmate. What could possibly be more important than that?
Less than a month after meeting Jason, having had no communication with him since our time in Margaret River, I ended my 14-year relationship with my husband.
The woman who had always been so careful, so planned, so organised and so clear about the path her life would take, had just made the most dramatic decision of her life, one affecting those dearest to her – her family.