…… dating anyone?”
No. No, I am not.
“Are you dating at all?”
Nope. Not dating. At all.
“Why?!” (That’s the word that is spoken, but it sounds more like, “What’s wrong with you?!”)
There’s only one reason that I’m not dating: I don’t want to.
And no, that doesn’t mean that I’m stuck in my grief.
No, it doesn’t mean that I’m not living life fully.
No, it doesn’t mean that I’m afraid to put myself out there.
No, it doesn’t mean that I’m afraid to love again.
No, it doesn’t mean that I’m afraid of losing another love to death.
And no, it does NOT mean that I’m …… less than.
Of course no one says any of those things.
At least not to my face.
But hints are given.
Blogs are written.
Facebook posts are written …… even by widowed friends.
Sometimes those who have found love become “love pushers”.
They like to preach about how wonderful it is and how we (all us widowed people) should take that step. We should want to find love again. We shouldn’t be stuck in our past. We can’t really move forward and become whole until we take that step.
I know they don’t mean to say that. And I know that they’d deny putting that message out there.
But sometimes you don’t really get a message …… when you’re not its subject.
Sometimes your blissful happiness can cause you to want everyone you know to be blissful. And happy.
I get that.
But here’s the thing: I am happy. I am happily single. I am not looking for love. That’s because I don’t want a relationship.
I may not be blissful, but I’m really ok with that.
My life is full.
My life is good.
I had one hell of a terrific love.
And I’m good.
I didn’t have a perfect marriage.
Jim wasn’t a perfect man.
But it was a good marriage.
And he was a good man.
I always felt blessed beyond measure to have him.
And I still do.
Would it be nice to have that again?
Well, of course it would.
But do I need to have it again?
No. No, I don’t.
Again, I’m good.
I’m starting to feel a bit resentful for being put on the spot sometimes.
I don’t think I should have to explain myself.
I don’t think I should have to give any reasons for not wanting another relationship.
And I sure as hell don’t need people pointing out some false statistic that people who had good marriages will want to find love again.
I think that’s crap.
We can’t all be lumped together.
“All millennials are like this …”
“All white women are like this …”
“All Christians are like this …”
“All liberals are like this …”
“All conservatives are like this …”
I’m sick to death of this crap.
I’m angry about the divisiveness that has clutched this country in the last year and a half.
And I’m fed up with feeling that I’m thought of as “not whole” if I don’t want a man in my life.
I’ve had two relationships since Jim died.
Neither worked out.
I should’ve known that I wasn’t meant to be with someone when, upon learning that one of these men shoved wedding cake into his first bride’s face, I knew he was not the man for me. That was the beginning of the end.*
Some would say that’s a stupid reason to not want a man.
I don’t think we can help what we feel.
But I digress.
I have dated.
I no longer do.
I haven’t had a date in several years.
And I’m happy with that.
The thought of being in a relationship makes my blood pressure go up.
I just don’t want it.
I like living alone.
For the most part.
I like traveling on a whim.
I like having all of the closet space.
So, for all of you widowed peeps who are remarried, or in love …… I’m thrilled for you.
I’m happy for your happiness.
I hope that you have very long relationships and that you’re the first to go.
And for all of you who aren’t widowed, but are happily in love …… I’m equally happy for you.
And I hope you go first.
But please know that, just as everyone is not meant to be an accountant, or an actor, or a teacher …… not all of us are meant to be with someone. And it’s possible to be happy …… and single.
I love my life.
Just as it is.
(I think it goes without saying that I would prefer Jim to be alive and here, but that’s not a choice.)
I have learned to never say never.
But right now …… in this part of my life …… I’m happy with all of the closet space.
*If you or your spouse shoved cake into each other’s face and are happy with that then yay for you. I don’t think less of you. It’s just not my thing.
Amen! It’s been over 11 years and I haven’t had one date, and that fine with me! (And I have been asked out.) 😉
Thanks for commenting, Mollie, and letting me know it’s not just me!
I love you Janine! And i totally agree. Thanks for voicing what many, many of us feel.
Thank you, Tracey, for making me feel loved and not alone. I love you, too! 🙂
Thanks for saying that. You expressed my feelings so well
You’re more than welcome, Diana. I’m just glad to hear from others who feel this way. ❤
Never dated. Not interested. Totally understand. As always you speak for so many. Love you!
I love you, too, and knew that you were on the same wavelength with me on this. 🙂
I totally get it! I had the very best for 36 years. Not sure I want to hunt for another because less than the “very best” would not be good enough. I am now used to being alone and doing whatever I want and I am also happy with where I am. It took a long time to get here though.
Exactly, Linda. It took a long time for me, too. And it feels good to be here and to know what I want. And don’t want. Thanks so much for commenting. 🙂
Brava! Totally agree! Just seems like too much work at this point. And I have been asked out too. Just very not interested.
Thank you, Diane. I appreciate your support. 🙂
I can’t tell if I want to date because I want it or because everyone tells me I should. It’s been 26 months and I do feel desperate for a man’s touch. That part I know is me. But a relationship? Meh
My mom became a widow at 47 after 28 yrs of marriage. She never remarried and was happy alone. If you’re happy that’s all that matters.
Totally Understand this! Although the widow road isn’t the road I ever thought I’d ever be on, now that I’ve been on it for quite a few years, it is nice to just go whenever and do whatever I want to. Plus I like the closet space all to myself! 🙂 I’m also right there with you on the Wedding Cake Shoved in the face…..uh no! You be you Janine and do what makes you happy! It sounds like you are!! Bravo!
You have such an amusing way of expressing yourself, educating readers, and delivering messages in a way that will hopefully help others to understand widowhood from your genuine and loving prospective. You make me laugh, cry, and realize though our paths may start and end in differently locations, the ride is very similar.
Thank you for sharing your experiences with all of us!
I agree. The comments and advice got so overwhelming that now, I just say,”I don’t discuss that part of my life with anyone. “ And I don’t.
Janine, you are not and have never been “less than” … just sayin’. And by the way, I love this blog! Hugs to NY from H-town!
From a widowed man, agree completely. I’ve tried two semi relationships and it didn’t work. One of the semi relationships ended up with me being played twice by another widow. I’m real disappointed in myself that I let it happen. Still I like my new life and I realize it would take someone very special to get in another relationship. I look at dating as an option not an obsession. If I’m alone the rest of my life, great. No problem. I had 18 wonderful years with my wife. I think I’m kind of an outlier for a man.
Thanks so much for commenting. Getting a widower’s opinion can be a breath of fresh air. And I’d say that you sound like a really good man.
From one “playee “ to another. 😊
Hi Janine: It has been a looooonnnng time and I don’t even know if you remember me — Beth in NC. I totally agree with your post. I finally decided to date someone after 12 years, someone I thought would be good for me. I even got married. WRONG DECISION! He is a widower twice and was so obsessed with his other wives, controlling and emotionally destructive, I almost lost who I was. I left after 8 months. It took me awhile to get back to ME but with God’s help and a group of very special friends and family, I am BACK! Such a foolish decision. I am not against falling in love again or marriage, like I once was, but I was/am also o.k.t with being single and am not looking. I am grateful for the 21 1/2 years I had with my beloved George, who I miss every day, and I am thankful and relieved I am out of this second marriage. I am truly content right now in my life (which has not been easy) and happy in myself. God has been good!
Of course I remember you, Beth! It’s good to hear from you. I’m so sorry that you experienced all of that but am glad that it’s behind you and you’re doing well. Life is certainly interesting. Welcome back. ❤
I remember me and my ex-wife shoved cake in each others face and then we did our daughter that was good times. Celebrating and having fun at her nephew’s birthday party. Man how I miss them days of having my family but everything happens for a reason. Keep telling your story cause I love it and can really relate. But man splitting from my ex is still taking a toll on me been a while and I havent stepped to nobody or attempt to. After all the years and things I done I dnt wanna fall back to that.