I get asked this question a lot.
Personally, I am perplexed as to why people think it is okay to ask me this question. I know I have been very open about my grief journey. I know that I write flippant messages on my Facebook particularly when there are bugs in my house or that there is snow to be shoveled. But there is something about being bluntly asked about dating that feels a little too personal.
I don’t mind these questions from my closest friends because they are my confidants. Maybe people see how I relate to my closest friends and they assume that since I open about so many things that I am open about my romantic life or lack thereof.
But lately these questions seem to be coming more and more from people that don’t really need to know.
It has only been a little over a year.
I understand that being a widow at my age is unusual. I get that people are curious.
Why can’t people just understand that I am still healing?
Why can’t people just understand that I want to focus on myself and my daughter?
Obviously, relationships can be a very good thing with the right partner. You learn new things, you explore new interests and places, broaden your horizons. The right person can make you become a better person and enrich your life. I still believe that love exists even for the hurting and I sincerely look forward to when I am ready for that. I don’t doubt that it will happen. It will when I am ready for it. Maybe it will be like a Hallmark movie since widows have the most interesting love lives on that channel.
But a relationship involves two people and there they also require a lot of compromise. I know that from being married. I am not ready for that kind of compromise. Especially when any relationship and any compromises that affect it will also affect my daughter. And I want to do what I want to do before I enter a relationship again. I don’t want to answer to anybody yet.
And while I am sitting here talking about relationships, that is assuming that dating would lead to a relationship. Usually one has to date a lot before finding a relationship. I have never been good at dating. I have zero intention of going online or going on dates with random men for the sake of just dating. No desire for awkward coffee dates. No desire to look at profiles.
I get offers to help set up online profiles. I have zero interest in online dating. I personally don’t see any romance in that process.
Plus there is a difference between being open to a relationship should it happen and actually being out there looking for a relationship. I am not looking for a relationship.
I had eight years of an amazing love story with an even more amazing man. I still miss Bryon too much to date. I will date someday, but to start dating again is not something any widow or widower takes lightly. It is a major decision to decide you are ready to let someone into your heart again. I am also I am aware that tomorrow I might meet the perfect man. A man who is understanding of my widow status and the place Bryon has in my heart and that Bryon will always be a part of my life. A perfect man would understand that a widow’s heart can grow to love another man. I am fully resigned that I could meet this guy at any time and I would give that a chance.
But until that time happens, please understand that I can be content just where I am. If I want to talk about whether I am dating or not, I will bring it up.