Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I agree, with everything in today's widow's voice blog and the comments thus far, especially about not settling when dating, I've only dated a few people, dating is not something that I've ever really done, I sort of get to know a person, and then just end up in a relationship.

I, similar to Michelle, met my wife, knew she was the one, broke up, dated other people, and when we got back together it was to get married.  The few ladies I've dated were "I want you to rescue me widow." and "Soon to be divorced awkward mother.", I don't really count the brief dating of my late wife's slightly older but never married friend around the 6 month mark, that was likely just loneliness, but it did get me past a hurdle involving the realization that, while not with her, there is a good chance that I will indeed be able to have a happy relationship one day.  It just wasn't the time, not yet.

Fast forward a year.  The later two dates were a valuable learning experience, with both there were loads of warning bells early on that they were not going to work, but it'd been almost 2 years, I didn't want to be alone, I didn't want to do everything alone, it was great to have someone to go on an outing with, someone to take my daughter to the bathroom, and the second one had an absolutely adorable daughter herself, whom my daughter and I both enjoyed spending time with.  I wanted the happiness that comes from coming home to someone again every night, sharing my life with someone, and them sharing theirs with me.  But also realized that requires the right person.  With both I did find myself thinking, I could make this work, this would be better than nothing, but that is no way to end up in a functional relationship.  If I am going to get married again, I want it to be another successful outcome, yes, I do see my marriage as successful, being widowed by a long term illness is the epitome of following through on your vows, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, till death do us part, check, check, check, can I get one of those shiny star stickers on my marriage license?  Did we have some issues, sure, but really who doesn't.  I do not want anything less than what I had the first time though, the second time around, there is no reason to settle, in fact, it's not just me anymore, my daughter is a factor now, so my criteria need to be high.  I actually decided that I'd take a break, see who maybe just falls into my life.  I was starting a bereavement group, I had been invited I think as one of two "experienced" widowed folk, which is good, I don't mind sharing my experiences, and it'd be good to get to meet some other local widowed parents.  I've got plenty on my plate anyway, so I'll get some stuff done, be productive.  So that is what I did, for a brief while.

Now I have a lot of widow friends on facebook, we probably all do, we are a cohesive community.  A few weeks back, one of these widows, who at the time I didn't even realize was one and the same with someone I had previously conversed with briefly over in Widville, posted a picture with a comment.  I just happened to see it in my news feed and in my usual sarcastic way left a comment.  This led to a little light hearted back and forth, and I didn't think much more about it, after all while this widow is really cute, and looks to be "my type" (another lesson I learned from dating, we have a type of person we're attracted to for a reason, stick with it), but she was in the next state, like almost 2 hours away, and that's if there is no traffic in NY.  I had already come to terms that us widowed parents are pretty firmly planted where we are, the kids are in school, they have their friends, we have our jobs, we have our families and our in-laws, we have our support systems, not to mention there are memories there, cemetery plots there, etc.  There is more than one widow mother in WV who I think I'd hit it off with, but they're 1/2 way or more across the country.  It just isn't going to happen.

Or could it, granted we're not talking half way across the country, for those of you who have read my first post here, you have an idea where I'm going with this.  Two days later we were both online, this cute widow who had posted the not so cute picture.  We had a lengthy conversation that also started over a FB comment, now I'm a number person but don't give signs as much credit as some do, but the 22nd has always been a number for me, as well as doubles, for the last 10 years or so, mainly because my wife and I went on our first date on 11/22, and both of our birthdays were also double their month.  So the fact that our first conversation was on the 22nd, exactly one month shy of this 10 year mark, well, I was conscious of it.  Add to that, by the end of our conversation that night, I was thinking to myself, so how bad is a 2 hour car ride really.  In the weeks since we've chatted a good deal, I've done a lot of thinking, and have come to a solid conclusion, even if she isn't "the one" (which hasn't been ruled, but we do still need to meet in real life and see how that goes), there definitely is someone out there that is.  Someone that wouldn't be settling.  Someone who I truly think is amazing, and will think the same about me.

I find myself now at a place I haven't been at in a very long time, those of you who know me well, well, you know I very rarely care what anyone thinks of me.  With the exception of one person, I did always care what one person thought, in fact, what they thought of me probably mattered as much as what I thought of me, to the point that I often suppressed what came out of my mouth, thought more about my actions, etc.  I'm sure that you've guessed that person was my wife and most people would tell you that her effect on me was a good thing.  Even with people I've dated, especially the ones post loss, I certainly had a this is me, take it or leave it attitude, complete cockiness, a mindset that someone else wasn't worth even the slightest compromise of who I am.  I'm finding myself more cognizant of myself though lately, and not because I'm trying to win someone over, it's because I care, that super obnoxious comment that I might have made, what purpose would it serve?  Not to sound cliche, but sometimes, another person actually makes you want to be a better person, not that I'm saying I'm not a great person already, I doubt you'd ever hear that come out of my mouth.

I want to reflect a little on some of the date descriptions that Michelle mentioned in her blog post for a minute, because I do worry about if I am close to being some of them.  Yes, I am a fixer, but I don't think that I'd ever be seen as "I will fix you man."  Maybe more as I will come fix your house man.  I don't see being a widow as something in need of repair, I mean I'm a widower, it's part of who we are, we don't have a desire to erase the past.  I do have a desire to have a future though and she does mention something about this man that I do worry about, he was so motivated to "fix her" that she felt pressured.  As anxious as I am to meet this widow in real life, I don't want to pressure her into something she isn't ready for.  I am a few months further out, but I also had months of pre-grieving.  Now everyone reaches different points at different times, and there are differences between men and women, but you could make a case that I'm a good six months further out than her.  I do worry that my eagerness to meet and see where this can lead, could do two things, the first is if she's not ready it could push her away, lead to avoidance, and run the risk of ruining something that could have been before it even had a chance.  The second thing I worry about is giving in to pressure, I think this would be less of an issue, she's a strong woman, and the distance factor would make avoidance much easier.  With this second scenario though I'd be worried that doing something before you're ready might be destined for long term failure down the line, and that wouldn't be good either.  It's hard to be patient about something that you're excited about, but I'm trying.  I've told her that I think she's worth waiting for, and to let me know if she needs me to back off.  I hope that she would tell me, and talk about it, rather than avoid it.

Lastly, I'll admit that "delegation man" sounds like a good idea, but that's because I do need a neurotic woman to keep me on schedule, make sure I take care of things, but I'm looking for a relationship and a partnership, as much as certain jobs like making sure my daughter gets registered for dance class, or sending out invitations for her birthday party might be best handled by her, whomever she may be (both are things I forgot to do until the week of) I see plenty of things as jobs that should fall on me, like shoveling snow, taking out the trash, or pretty much anything else that she sees fit to remind me to do.  As far as being an additional child, yeah, maybe I am, but I'm a pretty useful one who pulls my own weight.

No comments:

Post a Comment