Saturday, June 2, 2018


My 2018 word is Renew and I can honestly say I don't feel like the same person I was back on January 1st. My regular readers know that the year started off kinda hard with me having some very unexpected feelings that forced me to do a ton of work figuring things out. It was not easy. And I wrote several blog posts as I worked through all of that.

That same month brought me the Vegas Golden Knights and - wow! - what a difference they have made in my life. I never expected a hockey team to bring me such joy, but they sure have. I just know that Vern is loving watching me enjoy this new passion of mine. My love for this team has actually given me a place to put all of those emotions I still don't quite know what to do with. Let me just say that you probably would not recognize me by my behavior at a hockey game.

And then I hit 67 ... ugh. That is a number that in no way defines me. At least in my head. Perhaps in rebellion to that number (but more honestly just because I didn't want to spend my birthday alone) I accepted that offer to have drinks with a friend so she could introduce me to new guy.  And that led to that first date. Over 7 years since Vern died - and 49 years since I last dated back in high school.

I had a nice time. He's a very nice man and he's lived a very interesting life. Dinner was great, the conversation was comfortable and easy. But I didn't feel a spark or any desire for a relationship to grow. And I didn't get the impression he felt it either. We parted after dinner with a thank you and a hug. He's traveling for the next six weeks and mentioned reaching out when he returned home. I figured he was just being polite and did not expect to hear from him.

And I felt some relief about that actually.

But then our mutual friend called to let me know that he likes me and he will be calling when he returns to Vegas. Sigh.

What to do?

I do not want to hurt his feelings.
I do not want to lead him on thinking something more could develop.
I do not want to ....

Oh boy.
So how vulnerable do I want to be here?  I started this blog to be a lighthouse to the caregivers I met in the online cancer groups. I knew that many would soon be joining me and felt it would help me to write and them to read of my experiences. And now I write for my widowed friends who are experiencing these 'do I date or not' feelings, to let them know they aren't the only ones thinking and feeling these things. So I guess I need to do this. To be vulnerable. 
So my dear *single* widowed friends, these vulnerable words are for you.

I guess it really comes down to intimacy. I just cannot even imagine it, and I do not want to.  Even just kissing. That was my test, you know. Could I imagine kissing new guy? No, I could not. No spark. Or I'm just not ready. Either works for me.

I just don't think dating is for me. It feels like too much work. And I can't help but make comparisons to Vern - and that's not fair. I know that I do not want to date just for the sake of dating. I cannot date more than one person at a time. And I surely cannot sleep with someone without being in love with them.

Perhaps someone will come into my life down the road that will create that spark and allow me to be brave enough to step into that light. I think I'm open to that now. I think I could even want that. But I need that spark. Even if that's not realistic to expect. It happened with Vern. We both felt it. Immediately. 

I will tell you that I did enjoy those few days before the date of thinking 'wow!' someone likes me, maybe even cares about me. I've missed that and it did feel rather nice. And part of that has stayed with me, making me feel a little more confident about myself.

So if new guy contacts me when he gets back in town, I will tell him that I'm just not ready to date. I'll thank him for being kind and willing to allow me to test the waters. I'm comfortable with this and hope that he will be, too. There's plenty of women out there ... in fact, I wish there was a way to introduce him to some of my widow group members. Hah ... ok, I won't go there.

So I've been feeling pretty good about this decision. It feels right. For me.

And then tonight a friend on Facebook was pulling cards for people and this is what she pulled for me.

Geez universe. You're killing me!


Susie Hemingway said...

So good and brave that you at least tried this date but perhaps this Gentleman, who was probably very nervous too, could appear very different on a second date, perhaps he would just like a friend to accompany him to dinner occasionally and you could enjoy that also. Good Men are such nice company for many reasons, holidays, concerts, a different view on the world and such nice caring support. The choice is all yours, a little or a lot, all or nothing. Sometimes you don’t feel that ‘spark’ straight away especially when having known and focused for so many years on such great overwhelming love, as we have. Being friends is the start and if he is a good and kind man he will understand this well. If he is an absolute no then just be straight upfront. I love living alone but I love the company and the good times I have with my ‘bestie’ he will never be my H but he cares for me and at my age that is attractive alone. It’s the way to go dear Dianne, keep all options

A Myeloma Widow's Journey said...

You and your 'bestie' have inspired me, dear Susie. It just took me awhile to get to the point of actually being open to that possibility. I understand a 'spark' may not show right away, but I still need something that would make me think it could come. I'm not feeling that. And it's my understanding that he wants to find a new relationship.

I think part of my issue is the original 'sparker' - the one who got me thinking about dating in the first place. I thought I had worked through all of those feelings and put them in proper perspective. It wasn't about him it was about the work I needed to do around all of those feelings. We are friends and that is something I value. But this date brought those original feelings back up again in a comparing way. And 'new guy' did not measure up. Ah, more work ahead for me I guess.

Patience said...

Dear Dianne,

I am so grateful that you have chosen to write about these feelings. I share many of your thoughts and concerns on dating. Up to a few months ago, I felt like I wanted to "run away" when I got close to a situation where I'd be interested in someone. Literally run!
It's been 6 years, and I feel that might be changing. But I think it's still different than how the majority of widows feel.
I remember being very shy about dating as a young woman. If my LH hadn't literally swept me off my feet, I doubt I'd have ever married.
And the craziest thing is, looking back a few years ago, I assumed that I'd probably be seeing someone special by now.
I honestly don't know how that ever would have happened...
And now? I really don't know.
Dianne , your words really help me process my thoughts.
Thank you so very much.

A Myeloma Widow's Journey said...

I totally understand, Diane. This was hard and I still have such mixed feelings about it all. Vern swept me off my feet, too, so maybe that's the thing that has made this so different for you and I. I just don't know.
If I'm to make a wish it would be for someone to come along and sweep me off my feet once again. Sadly, I doubt that has any chance of happening. So I either need to change how I feel about this dating thing or decide that it's going to be ok to live out my life alone.
Hard choices for sure.

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Janice said...

Hi, Dianne. I am so grateful for your posts. I too am not sure about dating---a lot because it seems like so much work, a lot because I think I am afraid and I am worried that no one will want me, so why take the risk? My feelings about dating/sex/intimacy are so complicated.

And then at a conference this past weekend there was a single man who joined my table and sat beside me for the rest of the conference. He's widowed, 4 years out, a very nice man who lives about two hours away from me. One of the women at the conference cornered me with the information that this man likes me. I felt like I was in high school. And I don't have a clue as to what I want. Should I email him? Should I wait for him to email me? Should I just drop the whole thing?

So thank you for sharing your feelings about all this. It makes me feel that I am not alone in my journey :)


A Myeloma Widow's Journey said...

Oh boy do I understand, Janice. I think I referenced feeling like I was in junior high with all of the feelings and emotions this brought out. I was a mess the day of the date and I'm quite sure many felt I had totally lost my mind to be that overwhelmed over "just dinner".

Didn't it make you feel kinda good, though, to be told someone likes you? I was surprised at how nice that felt. May I suggest you meet for coffee or for drinks, just to get acquainted a bit? That felt like less pressure to me - and it helped me to be ready to say yes to the date.

I knew that I had to go out on this date to understand what I really wanted. And I now know for sure that I don't want to date just to date. I have plenty going on in my life and don't need to fill hours with more activities. I also learned that having that immediate connection is very important to me. A knowing that we crossed paths for a reason, that this could develop into something more or could just be a really beautiful friendship. Many have shared that it can develop over time and I believe that to be true; however, I don't feel that will work for me. I will wait for the person who gives me that immediate spark, and if they never arrive then I will accept that I will spend my final season alone. I do know I can feel something for someone other than Vern because the feelings I developed for my unavailable friend proved that to me. So I will wait.

Please feel free to PM me if you'd like to discuss in more detail.

luckys said...