Dearest Devil's Advocate,
I know you care a lot about me. And I agree that you have what you believe to be my best interest at heart. I am not angry with you. There is no ill will between us. But your words of caution broke my heart and left me a sad mess for the rest of the afternoon.
Things go wrong in the most ideal of situations. Two people can be perfectly matched for each other and never fit. I have thought about all the many obstacles that block this path. You are quite right. Age difference, distance, culture, religion and family are huge. Any one of those could stop a relationship cold. But all of them? Frightening. Relationships have failed for lesser reasons. But you forgot the biggest obstacle; not trying at all.
I could listen to everything you said and give up right now. Let it go. I think for an hour or so, I was ready to. You are so right. How could this possibly work? How could anything but disaster and heartbreak come of this? As long as I was willing to lie on the sofa and cry, you were totally right.
But I started to listen beyond your words. I started to think about my friend who is quite happy with a man several years her junior and a completely different religion. I thought about the couple that had a three year long distance relationship, and will soon be celebrating their 10 year anniversary. There's one of my new friends, a true cowboy, and his beautiful Asian wife. Not every story has a happy ending. But there's enough. Even yours is a story of overcoming obstacles to find your happiness.
The words I really started to hear though, were his. His words, saying that I am someone special. His words saying that he can't describe how he feels when we talk. His laughter when I need a little silliness. And his admonitions when he can tell I haven't eaten. The words that tells me he understands me; that he accepts who I am. That despite every obstacle that may lie in the way, we hear each other.
So, Devil's Advocate, I don't know how things will turn out. There is a lot to overcome. But the only way that it can't be done, is if I give up right now. And that's one obstacle that's been pulled down and knit into a scarf. ;-)