Dating after widowhood
You can let your “freak flag fly” as they say in (I love that movie).And because of that, even if your friendships are fewer, they’re more meaningful. Those friends who have weathered the storm with you will always be there. And my sense of humor has taken a downward turn into the land of Sick and Wrong.But now that you’ve been through it…isn’t it better?You’ve found the people you can most be yourself with.But I look around at my widowed friends, and the stereotype evaporates: one is a briskly busy academic, another writes books that are read around the world, another – at 85 – is a sheep farmer who wins prizes at sheep-dog demonstrations. All of those five friends of mine have made a good fist of it. The loss of a partner is a universal situation, everywhere, any time, so don’t allow yourself to feel uniquely afflicted; that thought won’t help the initial misery, but it is what you come to understand, in the longer process of acclimatisation.From now on, it is just you – locking up at night, coping with domestic disasters, taking decisions.But I’m betting that most of these changes really haven’t been so bad.Oh sure, the transition from who you thought your friends were to who you really bond with was excruciating.
Losing a partner is another matter, of course, but I don’t want to go into the whole black business of grief.
So, let’s think of it like this: If you’ve cast your line before…what are the chances you caught the only good fish?
I won’t deny that during the dating process sometimes we just come up with that smelly boot. I understand that some people don’t want to put themselves out there, don’t want to invest themselves anymore.
And some of us are standing on the ledge, with the cord on, but need a friendly push from a well-intentioned friend who we may be mad at while we’re swinging but once we’re on firm ground we’ll give them a big ol’ hug.
I don’t want anyone reading this post to think that I am insensitive to the fact that some people just aren’t ready. But sometimes I just think that many people don’t think there are any other good fish in the sea.
We may be cluttering up surgeries and brandishing our Freedom Passes, but we are also a substantial group – and a significant one, I think, veterans of long relationships, learning how to live differently.