By late 2010, Yolanda Anderson had gone 14 years without so much as a casual date.
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She was nearly 40 and deeply devoted to God, her church and her nonprofit career.
"Because I worked so hard on me, I didn't want to settle for just anybody," she says. "So I was just steadfast on what I needed to do for me." If romance was meant to happen, she figured, God would find a way.
So when Daryl Brunson, the loud guy who worked on the security team at her church, Soul Factory in Forestville, asked her to help him set up a ministry to foster interaction between the congregation's single men and women, she was sympathetic to the cause.
She never had the best impression of Brunson -- "You would hear him first before you would see him," she says -- but agreed to help.
Brunson, a Metrobus operator, wasn't Anderson's biggest fan, either. "I thought she was kind of stiff and bossy. She kind of really got on my nerves," Brunson says.
He was a recently divorced father of two teenage girls. As he waded back into the dating pool, he was determined to make wiser choices this time around. "I did enough wrong in my life," he says. "I'm trying to do right now."
They began to meet and talk regularly about the ministry, which was inspired by a six-week course they'd both taken on dating from a Christian perspective. It focused on putting God first, considering each other brothers and sisters and building off of friendships.
As the ministry got underway in the spring of 2011, Brunson began turning to Anderson as a sounding board for his dating quandaries. "But, oh man, it didn't usually go good when I would do that," he says. "She's coming from a female perspective, and you don't really want to hear that. But it was good therapy. It was good learning."
As they worked together, she saw sides of him she hadn't seen before. He was open, humble and generous with his time and energy. Still, she considered him just a friend. But he had started hoping for more. A lot of her values line up with my values, he remembers thinking. A lot of her ideals line up with my ideals. I wonder -- could she be a potential?
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SOURCE: The Washington Post