Are there any others here ...
... who truly do not want to date?
... who do not feel a need to date?
... who believe they can be content alone?
There's a vibrant discussion going on over in the "For those who have dated" Forum that I have enjoyed reading. I am genuinely happy for those who have found new loves or new friendships and have found new joy in those relationships. I'm one who doesn't believe there is a set amount of time before you can feel ready to allow someone else into your life. If it happens soon, then it was meant to be and it is wonderful. It has absolutely no bearing on how much you loved the one you lost. So this discussion I'm adding is not in anyway judgmental. It doesn't matter how long 'out' you are, how long you were married, whether you are young or old, have young kids or none ... it's a personal decision that is ours and ours alone to make.
HOWEVER, I'm wondering if I'm the only one here in Widville who just doesn't see myself ever dating and I'm ok with spending my remaining years alone. Just wanted to offer a voice for those who might have a different point of view.
Dear Friends - read all your thoughts on this page and agree very much... how much we have suffered, how much our beloved's have as well. So many whyquestions? Could we have done more, and how would they have coped if they were left behind. etc. David can imagine the tears that welled up when you went back to the college where you and your wife met. Tears run down my face unexpectedly, quite often, even after over 2 1/2 years of his loss. Sometimes
I do not know why the tears are flowing until I listen to the radio that is on - and find it is a song that was played at our wedding that has turned on the raindrops.
Other times it is something totally different like the amazing love and dancing of the couple who started the "dirty dancing" some years ago.
(I don't like the name of it but when I watched them on video and read their story... they were love of your lifers, deeply in love in every move they made
together. My tears flow when I look at Wes' photo, and see the love in his face for me. The very words he spoke and wrote down in numerous cards, love letters, and anniversaries. I feel that this is the greatest gift I have ever had, the best of the best, and am so glad that we were blessed by God to have this time together. This is the kind of love that keeps on growing. These days I hear that young people do not know the difference between love and sexual attraction. Usually they are involved in the sexual aspects first... but this can block the ability to love on other levels. Love of your life touches every aspect of your personality, your spirit, your thoughts and your actions. It is the most extraordinary relationship and I have met some men who say that it can involve a feeling of laying down your life for them - through care giving, support, faithfulness etc. We are at our best spiritually and emotionally because of this, even though we are exhausted physically from lack of sleep and concern for their comfort. The yearning continues and never dies. I still remember the last time
Wes hugged me - even though he was very fragile and suffering. In the midst of all of this, the memories etc. we then get someone who does not understand and is exhorting us to move house, sell our car, stop grieving etc. ad nauseam. IT CANNNOT BE DONE. iT IS THESE PEOPLE WHO BREAK OUR HEARTS AND MINDS not just he major loss of our beloved that brings us to our knees, sobbing and bewildered. We need to be looked after, so that we can recover, as our immune system is often suffering... I know mine has been, and so has my hair!! Yes my hair - it is only recently that it has started to regrow really thick - whereas before it kept falling out. When I look at the many photos of Wes and I - there is so much happiness in our faces and so much love shown in hisbody language. It is good to have these photos enlarged and in a frame and placed in areas that bring one joy. One never tires of seeing them at their best and showing all the qualities of a Love of your Life partner.
Actually, david1980, you struck more of a chord for me with the Huck Finn drifting-down-the-river allusion: Where the $&#* is that "safe place"? I have been without any real oar or rudder for over four years. Some days are better than others, and I actually have days when I see things coming together--or is that yet another illusion? :-)
I often think I shall have to be content alone.
My forays into dating have been textbook disasters thus far. :-)
David 1980 am very happy that what I wrote gave you some joy or new thoughts and insights... whatever it was... it seems to have helped you.
That's what I care about... that we have responses that make us feel more whole and allow us to recover. Recently I had a naturopath I saw
some months ago tell me very recently that I now look 10 years younger. I also had someone else say the same thing. What it is really saying is that all
the caregiving, lack of sleep, grief took a terrible toll on my body (and probably on most of us Love of your Lifers). But it is only love, caring and companionship that can really heal us. Along the way since I lost my Wes. people have hurt me, I have physically been injured and gone through what my Dr. calls
chronic grief. But meeting a few caring people (who also like hugs) has made quite a difference. They too had losses and now their skin, hair etc. looks
much better - and their faces are far less lined and stressed. It is such a simple answer... but its hard to find that companionship that one needs.
So David sending you lots of blessings and hope to hear your new thoughts.
David 1980 put a poem I wrote for my loss of Wes. It is on the group widowed in 2013. I posted it because another lady had also written a poem and it
had moved me to share mine. They both vibrate with the sorrow!!
I replied to this discussion once already, but new details have lead me to revisit it. I actually responded to a message on a dating site I joined. I felt that the man and I had a few things in common and he lived close. While I wouldn't say it was a disaster, I could not connect at all. I don't think details are necessary or would even really matter. While he doesn't represent every man out there obviously, the experience was very telling. We only met for coffee, and on his turf, so leaving once I felt we had talked enough was easy enough. I know I have been on the don't want to date side of the fence from day one. I am still definitely there.
First of all obviously at my age of 50 most men in the range I would look in are divorced. A smaller portion are widowed, and then the very small group of never marrieds. Now, if they were never married but lived together for many years I consider that the same as married. But 50 year old men that have never been in a long term relationship are not of interest to me. Divorced men sometimes are uncomfortable with a widow. Especially if they had a bitter divorce it seems. This is all just my opinion of course. So I think if I found love again it would probably have to be a widowed man. But wait, I said I don't want to date didn't I? Yes. I am not looking. I am not in search of a relationship. But who knows?
I don't want or need to date. I am comfortable alone. Maybe too comfortable. Maybe that's the problem. I think it is hard for people to understand that a person can be happy "alone". I have friends that are unhappily married. Staying together for whatever reason. Maybe I'm afraid of being unhappier with the wrong person. I am also at an odd age. Many divorced men even at 50 have little kids, or teens. I just don't know if that's for me. Most men my age are also looking for women much younger than I am. At least the divorced ones. Who can blame them maybe. It's a totally different perspective than ours.
I have come to realize over the last year, especially the last four months how to better find contentment living alone. I seem to be in a different category than most widowed souls but then I've always been a non conformist I suppose. What I am about to say will raise a few eyebrows I know because of discussions I have had with friends about this. But here goes anyway.
A brief background of who I am and where I came from. I married my high school sweetheart. ( the good, the bad, the ugly). We remain friends today yet that evolution was due to having children in common. I have no regrets because as a believer in fate, I would never have met Kathy had I not gone through those twenty years. My past story would take a book so to get right to the point, I know beyond any doubt that I didn't understand what love is or could be until I met that angel. Lost in her from day one I spent seventeen years looking into her eyes and wishing I could be her. I thought I had a good bead on things and felt pretty good about myself and my accomplishments until I looked into her eyes. It was like I suddenly became humbled with no explanation as to why. Why did I have such respect for her? I can't even put a finger on it now. It just was. It just is.
Today everything I am was affected by her presence. I am not the man I was before we met. I am a product of two people. She lives inside me and I so love that. My view of life is hers as well as mine. She was the voice of reason in a mad world. Her loss was devastating and it was more than three years before I could begin to open myself to life without her. In my fourth year I began to see who I had become. I was still so deeply in love yet I wanted to live. If you live in anguish for four years and you're not dead, you begin to realize that you can live. Sure you will still be sad loving a dead person. You still will be lonely. But,,,, you will still be alive so what to do next? That's the ticket! You find a way to do something. You drag your sorry ass out of despair and just freaking do something. So I do and sometimes I have tears in my eyes but so what? I was going to be having them anyway because I still love her. That's the point! I still love her and I know it will never end.
So that is why I know today who I am, who I have become. Our love was special. I mean really special. It is one of a kind and that is easy for me to say cause I'm me! If you feel the same way, than that's you! Our loves are just ours and no one else can qualify that for us. So I will say it and so can you. But it's a deeper love than most isn't it? If it is that special and you love that person, then you find a way. It's like Morgan Freeman's line in Shawshank Redemption. "You get busy living, or you get busy dying." So I choose life. It took me more than four years to get that. Kathy would want me to live and I can't imagine any of you not relating to that.
This brings me back to why I will never date. The heart is full and there's no room at the inn.
I love that comment, katpilot: "The heart is full and there's no room at the inn." Perfect.
I don't think I've ever shared my full story and since others have done that in this thread, I hope you'll indulge me. I was engaged during my senior year in high school and planning a wedding for after graduation. Yeah - I know that sounds strange but I actually wasn't the only one in my very small SE Michigan farming community. He was 8 years older, the son of a well established farming family, drove a Corvette, had a Harley. I was smitten by the attention. In early May of '69 I went on my senior trip to NYC - first time for me to go anywhere by myself. And that long bus ride gave me time for reflection and for doubts to arise about whether I was doing the right thing. Our bus broke down (divine intervention!) and my best guy friend (we never dated) and I sat on the curb for hours and talked about all of this. He gave me the courage to do something totally out of character but what I knew in my heart was the right thing. I broke up with Phil as soon as I got home and made plans to go to college. And then... I saw a favorite teacher at a friend's party after graduation and he mentioned they were looking for helpers to inventory books and close up classrooms. I volunteered. I was assigned to him and he thanked me by taking me to lunch. When he dropped me off, he asked if I might like to go to dinner sometime. And so it began. A real whirlwind courtship that neither of us saw coming. Our first date was June 8, we got married August 23 and had 41 wonderful years together. I truly believe we were meant for one another and that is why things happened as they did, as fast as they did. And why I know there is no one else out there for me.
I responded to an Elizabeth Gilbert post this morning on FB that included this quote. Some good food for thought.
I enjoy reading these posts. Sorry, some of us are not real black and white in how we view the world, and we are open to almost any possibility. My story is a little similar to Katpilot's. I had a girlfriend I met in college who I later became engaged to and the relationship lasted through most of the decade of the 80s, . Her dad get real sick and eventually, the relationship ended. We never married, but we incurred marriage like debts and I had to stay in a law enforcement job that I have never really been in love with to stay up with the bills. I started car pooling to work with Lupe a few years later and I like to say, after a while, I just stopped going home. We started going together and after a long engagement, we got married in 2002. She really introduced me to a whole new world and I have never gone back to what i was before. I still live in the neighborhood she grew up in and lived in for more than 40 years. Unless something changes, I plan to stay here for the rest of my life.
I would have never met Lupe if I didn't have the fiancee whose dad got real sick and decided to end the relationship. If I didn't have the bills left over from the relationship, I probably would have left my job and gone to graduate school. Instead, I stayed at my job and ended up carpooling with Lupe. The rest is history. Fate indeed.
I think I am approaching a new normal. I'm preparing for retirement in 21 months and for once will be financially secure. For once in my life, I will be able to choose what I want to do with the rest of my life. I will have to choose wisely. I think I wrote before that 2 1/2 years ago, I thought I would be in another relationship by now. It hasn't happened and now I wonder if it will ever happen. I'm getting more comfortable with myself being alone. I didn't think it would turn out this way, but my new normal might include being on my own the rest of my life. Like Tanya, i've tried dating a few times and it just doesn't end up being a connection. I still have mood swings that are triggered by stress at work that I think are grieving related. That will be over in 21 months. Let's see where fate takes me. I'm OK with it, no matter what happens. Over the long run, I've been fortunate.