Time to Cast the Line…

By guest writer Catherine Tidd

Don’t you think dating is kind of like standing on a ledge?  You sweat, hoping that that bungee cord we call karma is gonna hold?  Now, some of us aren’t afraid of heights and we’re ready to take the plunge.  Some of us take one look at the view (which looks just fine without the addition of our innards splattered below, thank you very much) and step away.  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.

Push.

I don’t want anyone reading this post to think that I am insensitive to the fact that some people just aren’t ready.  I know that and I completely respect it.  But sometimes I just think that many people don’t think there are any other good fish in the sea.

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.  But every once in awhile, we hook on to a keeper.  I understand that some people don’t want to put themselves out there, don’t want to invest themselves anymore.  They don’t feel like there is anyone who will understand what they’ve been through and accept them for it.  Shoot…I remember thinking, “What if I meet someone and we’re talking and I…start crying???”

Well, given the number of people in the world…what are the chances of you dating that one person who has led a perfect life?

Being where we are…it’s been hurtful.  We’ve all been through transitions with relationships in our lives.  Our friendships have changed…how we interact with our families has changed.  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.

But now that you’ve been through it…isn’t it better?

You’ve found the people you can most be yourself with.  You can let your “freak flag fly” as they say in The Family Stone (I love that movie).  And because of that, even if your friendships are fewer, they’re more meaningful.  They’re deeper.  Those friends who have weathered the storm with you will always be there.  Those friends who couldn’t…well…I hope you’ve come to the level of acceptance that that’s their problem, not your’s.

And those new friends you have made…they know who you really are and accept you for all of it.  And they love you even though you’re yourself (sorry…there’s laughing in my head right now).

So…what makes you think it would be different in a new romantic relationship?  Who’s to say that the new you might find something even more meaningful and even deeper than what you had before?  Because you’re there…that’s you now.

And if you hook something you don’t want…throw it back and cast again.

I hear so many people say that what they had was perfect.  That they lost their soulmates and that they will never find that again.  And you know what?  I’m not going to argue with that.  If that’s the relationship you had, you’re right.  That’s rare.  But it was rare before you found it.  And you still found it.

Here’s a thought.

If that person was your soulmate then and now you’re a different person (I think most of us have agreed on that)…who’s to say you won’t find the soulmate for the person you’ve become?

I think that’s the closest to Algebra I’ll ever come in my adult life.  I’ll let you digest that one for a minute.

The truth is, I’ve changed so much that even if my husband met me NOW I don’t know if he’d even ask me out.  I’m more independent.  I’m more direct.  And my sense of humor has taken a downward turn into the land of Sick and Wrong.

So…if I’m different…why would I expect to find the same relationship?  Shouldn’t I expect to find someone who can handle the “new” me?  Why would I want to find the exact same man, who was perfect for who I was, but may not fit the person I’ve become?  And couldn’t that person just be floating out there…waiting for a hook?

Waiting…for me.

By guest writer Catherine Tidd, view more of her writings at http://widowchick.blogspot.com

Photo Credit.

18 Comments:

  1. jan said on July 15, 2010 at 10:58 pm ... #

    I think I’m ready, but I’ve been out of circulation so long (over 30yrs) that I don’t have a clue where to start. I live in a very small town with very few eligible men. I do work in a large town 60 miles from home,but am only there during work hours and don’t know anyone there outside of work. And when I last dated, nearly every man I knew was still single. This is no longer a given. How do I get started?

  2. Catherine said on July 17, 2010 at 7:30 pm ... #

    Jan–

    Well, I hate to say this…but I had the best luck with internet dating. I started doing that because a lot of my other widowed friends were and they had had success. Like you, I wasn’t in the position to meet a lot of eligible men, so I had to be a little more proactive. I kind of liked it, because their profile was right in front of me so better than just meeting a stranger at a bar or something, I already knew a little bit about them. And then you can take it as slow as you want to from there. I will say…I had (overall) a pretty good experience. For the most part, everyone was honest and I really looked at it as just a chance to meet new people. I didn’t go into it with the mindset that I was definitely going to meet THE ONE…more just enjoying going out to dinner with another adult.

    I think it’s very important before you start dating to understand what it is that YOU want. Do you want something more casual? Are you looking for a serious relationship? Are you wanting to just play the field to figure out what you REALLY want? I find that when you know the answer to that question, you take control of the situation and have a healthier attitude about it. I don’t know if this helps you at all, but it worked for me! :>)

    Best of luck to you! If you want to check out the page I started on Facebook (Widow Chick) we talk about dating a lot…especially in chats. It’s kind of fun!

    Catherine

  3. JoAnna said on August 3, 2010 at 2:51 pm ... #

    Catherine, I just found this website today. Your words expressed exactly how I felt about my husband. I really do believe we had the perfect relationship. It’s very early for me yet. My husband just passed away in November of 2009. I have a 6 year old and a 3 month old. He had pancreatic cancer for 3 years and was only 35 when he passed. I hope you don’t think I’m being insensitive to even think about the topic of dating. Sometimes I feel guilty for the thought popping into my head even though I know what my husband and I discussed. The bottom line is…I’m lonely. I have my girls whom I adore and I’m surrounded by terrific friends and family. However, each night I go to bed alone. Of course I would rather have my husband next to me, but I obviously can’t. Thanks for expressing everything I’ve been thinking. I think it will help me for when I am ready

  4. admin said on August 5, 2010 at 3:04 pm ... #

    Of COURSE I don’t think you’re insensitive! As women, we are usually planners and as mothers…even more so. I don’t know about you, but I always want to know what happens next! I want to know that we will land on our feet, that I won’t be alone forever, and that whomever I find will be a good fit for my family. It’s natural to wonder about these things.

    The first date I went on was only a few months after my husband died. My feelings of guilt…well…I felt HORRIBLE and not one person made me feel better about it. Now that I think back on it, I think, “Why shouldn’t I have dated? WHY would I want to be alone?”

    So many people fluctuate back and forth between being ready and not. I think the most important thing you have to figure out in the beginning is…what do YOU want? Are you looking for someone to just hang out with and go to dinner? Are you looking for a more serious relationship? Are you looking to get married again? Once you know the answer to that (and that could change weekly!) you’ll be more capable of handling whatever dating situations present themselves.

    We’ve all been through so much. Why wouldn’t we want to be happy again? I applaud you for even considering it. You’re being honest with yourself and your situation!

    Thank you for your comment! Also…I just posted this blog today. Maybe it might help? (And not all of my writing is dating specific…I DO branch out sometimes!!! :>))

    http://widowchick.blogspot.com/2010/08/be-patient-loveim-trying-to-make-some.html

    Best of luck to you! Hope to hear from you again!

  5. JoAnna said on August 5, 2010 at 3:52 pm ... #

    Catherine, thanks for getting back to me. Since I read your article on Wednesday I’ve logged onto your blog and have been trying to back read all of your entries. I love everything you have to say because you are putting into words everything that has gone through my head. It’s so good to hear someone else feels the same exact things I do. I haven’t finished all of your entries yet but I loved the wedding ring one. I am still wearing mine. I can’t bear to take them off yet and I still feel married. I’ve told myself that I atleast want to wait wear them until his first anniversary. I just got through our first wedding anniversary without him here and that was not so easy. Ours was also in July. However, I am one of the lucky ones that have a good relationship with my in-laws. Honestly, I don’t think I could have gotten through his three year struggle without them and it brought us all closer. I can’t wait to read more of your entries and I thank you for getting back to me. JoAnna

  6. abraham antwi said on September 23, 2011 at 9:32 am ... #

    hello

  7. Geri said on January 21, 2012 at 6:39 pm ... #

    What if I meet someone and we’re talking and I…start crying???”I’m so lonely my husband passed away Oct 5 2011, and I miss him so much we use to hold hands everynight when we went to sleep I miss his hands and I am scared no terified of holding another mans hands,,,,, then I read

    :Here’s a thought.

    If that person was your soulmate then and now you’re a different person (I think most of us have agreed on that)…who’s to say you won’t find the soulmate for the person you’ve become?

    Wow!!! these are the words I wish I had thought of …cause I feel every day every min.. I am becoming a different person ,

  8. Geri said on January 21, 2012 at 6:48 pm ... #

    Always thought serious relationship but never thought about more casual relationship mmmm food for thought… waht I do know is I miss being helded… thanks look forward to more 🙂

  9. Cindy Adams said on February 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm ... #

    What a great article! I swore for the first year or more, that I would NEVER marry again. We had the perfect marriage and I would NEVER find anyone as good.
    Fast forward to 2 and a half years into widowhood, I was proposed to. But I still wasn’t quite ready. But I was thinking about it!
    Fast forward 7 years into widowhood, and I found another perfect man for me! We waited 7 more years after we met to get married but it was worth the wait. Now I’m happily married for the second time for almost 3 years. I feel so fortunate to have met 2 wonderful men to fall in love with!!!!

  10. Annie said on May 3, 2012 at 9:11 pm ... #

    It has been 6 1/2 years for me and I just started to consider dating. I filled out a profile for internet dating and no one matched. You see my husband and I waited until we were 35 to start a family. I had my second child at 39 and I was widowed at 42. I don’t think I match anyone age appropriate because of my age now – with young children. I don’t feel very hopeful. I hate being alone and miss having a “whole” family so much. I still cry everyday about our fate. I can’t think about doing this alone forever. I want to be hopeful but don’t know where to look. I guess most men who would consider dating a 48 year old don’t want one with kids that are 12 and 9. I really would love to find another widower who perhaps never had kids but really wanted to. My children deserve to have a life with a “Dad”. It’s really heartbreaking.

  11. Chris Alison said on June 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm ... #

    Annie, I’m older than you, but I look very young for my age and I have been dating men around your age. You’d be surprised how many have young children, as many men don’t get married until their late 30 or early 40s. Don’t give up, you will find someone suitable for you.

  12. Chris Alison said on June 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm ... #

    Annie, I forgot to say and then got divorced…

  13. Kristina said on March 3, 2013 at 4:58 pm ... #

    I understand that for some people, having a new relationship after a period of mourning may be something they want, and that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that.

    For me, however, that is not the case. The love my husband and I have is so strong and singular, that I will never be in another romantic/sexual relationship, whether serious or casual. I have zero desire for that, and will never have a desire for another relationship. I met my husband when I was in my early thirties, we were together for nearly 13 years, and he died completely unexpectedly of a massive heart attack, one week to the day after our wedding. He is the only man I’ve ever loved, the only man I’ve ever made love with — and that will never change.

    That’s it, I’m done. All I want now is to die and be with him again. And for however long God (if there is one) forces me to stay alive, I will absolutely never be in another relationship. And there’s nothing wrong with that, either.

  14. Claire Au said on April 3, 2013 at 11:55 pm ... #

    Finally, someone understands! Thank you, Kristina. You have almost the exact situation as me… could be something to do with timing of our life and meeting our Prince Charming. I met my husband in my early thirties after many failed relationships and one failed marriage. We married two years later and were married for 13 years when he traumatically passed away while we were on vacation. He was the best guy in the world and a fantastic dad to my daughter, who is now 14. She and I miss him every day, so much. I have absolutely no desire to “replace” him. Actually, I find that kind of sickening. Right now my husband’s dad is there for my daughter and I am fine. I don’t even have a libido, for goodness sake and can’t imagine that – ever! I will miss him so much when I retire, but that doesn’t mean that I will run out and find someone just to be with… I suspect that there is a huge difference if one’s spouse passes away tragically. It doesn’t ever feel better.

  15. Kristina said on April 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm ... #

    Claire, I’m sorry you are in a situation similar to mine, but I’m glad to have helped you even a tiny bit. You may be right that in general it has something to do with when we met our soulmates, and you may also be right that in general it has something to do with our husbands having died tragically. Although in my case, I very much doubt I would ever want to be with anyone else in any way even if my husband and I had been high school sweethearts. For me, there is one love of my life, and it’s him. Always.

  16. Stephanie said on April 5, 2014 at 1:33 am ... #

    I lost my husband 14 months ago, he died suddenly at age 59 of a heart attack and I was only 44 at the time…anyone who suggested I might meet someone else one day I wanted to rip their heads off. But lo and behold about six months later I did meet someone else…he’s not my husband. But as you said, I am changed now. And, I had no idea how much strength a new relationship would bring me. I have no idea if it will last…my husband was my soulmate, I will always believe, but I know he would approve of me going out and having fun again. It’s hard not to compare them, and yes I try not to burden him with too much of my own grief, but how incredibly surprised I am at how much healing I’ve been able to do since I met this new person. I have a long road to walk, and no one can replace my husband, but I know I don’t have to be alone. And, I also know, if I want to be alone, it will me MY choice.

  17. cheryl said on September 8, 2014 at 12:14 am ... #

    Love the thought that you have to be whole again in order to share yourself with another. Also that we each walk our own healing path be it transitional lover, wanting a relationship, or learning to be happy alone. Let us Never sit in judgment of another widow…we have earned our right to recreate our new life as we see fit.

  18. Christine Gray said on February 2, 2015 at 9:56 am ... #

    My husband died a year ago after a long illness. At first it was a relief to have the house by myself no 24 hour nurses, but gradually I got lonely at night and watch too much television. I am ready to meet people but am really nervous to join meeting clubs etc. Feel a bit lost but determined not to sit around and will push myself to socialise. Life is too short not to enjoy it to the full.

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