“I’ve been dumped!” (Post #36) Lessons Learned by a Dating Widower
[A sincere ‘thank you’ to ‘George’, ‘Marie’, and ‘Elmer’ who contributed invaluable insights for this post.]
Like a piece of garbage… I’VE BEEN DUMPED! How else can I say it? For those who don’t understand the clichés of the English language, let me put it this way. A girl said ‘goodbye’ to me. She doesn’t want to see me. She said it’s over. So, ‘I’ve been dumped.’
So, what’s a widower to do?
After enduring this latest dumping, and after talking to a couple of friends who are in the ‘same boat’, let me share some insights. These suggestions are not extrapolated from any scientific study I’ve conducted. It’s just logical lessons learned by this dating widower.
1) Some temperaments aren’t meant to coexist.
I’m sure you’ve played with magnets as a kid, and felt the repelling force when two north-poles or two south-poles get close to each other. Just as similar poles repel, similar temperaments will too. Sometimes YOU will initiate the push when you realize the reality of the similarities, and sometimes it’ll be HER. It’s inevitable. Get over it!
2) I’m convinced that all people that are brought into our life for a God-given reason. (see poem ‘A Reason, A Season, or Lifetime’ at end of this post).
Evidently the woman that tells you ‘goodbye’ wasn’t there for a lifetime. Let’s face it. Not all women that you date will be your wife (hopefully). I know that happens with some men & women. The first one, and the only one that they’ve dated, ends up being their spouse. But the odds for that happening are about as common as me buying the first car I see on a car lot.
With that in mind, when she gives you the ‘pink slip’, LEARN from the experience. Don’t consider it a failure. Don’t place unrealistic expectations on a relationship that was just meant for a ‘reason’ or a ‘season’. Consider the relationship a stepping stone; a launching pad; a molding experience that the Lord used to shape you into the man he wants you to be.
3) When it happens, YOU WILL BLAME YOURSELF. YOU WILL SECOND GUESS YOUR ACTIONS AND WORDS, AND ACCUSE YOURSELF FOR SCREWING UP. AND YOU’LL ASK YOURSELF “WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?”
But I look at it this way. If your relationship with God is what it should be; if you’re walking close to the Lord, YOU WANT THIS TYPE OF PRUNING TO HAPPEN! If the relationship would never result in good ‘fruit’, you want that branch pruned – and God just did. Your female friend may want to take the credit for dumping you – but if/when it happens to me, I know that my Lord was behind it. He knows the future, and he holds the lopper in my life.
If you want God to be in control, and truly want His will, DON’T FORCE THAT DOOR OPEN! THERE’S NOTHING YOU COULD or SHOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY TO HAVE KEPT THE RELATIONSHIP TOGETHER. (Re-read that sentence. Memorize that sentence! Believe that sentence!)
4) Realizing all of the above, react creatively or constructively, not with self-destruction.
When it happened to my dear friend, ‘Elmer’, he responded with what he called “Gluttony Therapy”. He went to Dairy Queen, and made a meal out of two Blizzards and an ice cream cone!!!
Now a creative response would have been for him to go to Dairy Queen, and create a “Suicide Sundae” – a mixture of ALL of their sundae flavors thrown together in a bowl the size of a bathtub. (OK, OK . . . not a good idea.)
For me, a healthy ‘constructive’ reaction would be to do something physically exhausting, exorcising those negative emotions you are feeling. I’d also follow that up by building something in my wood shop; or maybe purging my emotions by playing my piano for an hour. For you, it might be taking a walk with your camera, and creatively capturing God’s creation as He is talking to you. Or it might be grabbing your paint brush and expressing yourself with that medium.
5) Get back on the lift!
I remember wearing snow skis for the first time in my life. I must have fallen 25 times skiing down that first hill. When I reached the bottom, I had two choices. Burn the skis in the lodge fireplace and go home, or get back on the lift and try again.
Remember, a woman saying ‘goodbye’ to you is INEVITABLE. When it happens, GET BACK ON THAT LIFT. Don’t withdraw into that cocoon. You’ll never receive God’s blessings for you inside that isolating and protective ‘egg shell’.
6) Remember that the woman who said ‘Goodbye’ to you IS HERSELF STRUGGLING.
A) She may have said that ‘Goodbye’ because she, HERSELF, is afraid of commitment; afraid of being hurt again (coming off of another relationship where she was hurt by a suitor); or she may be actually falling for you, and is afraid of losing her identity (her friends, family, or her vocation); or she could be afraid of sharing her finances with you.
B) She may be afraid of being totally truthful with you (not wanting to reveal the skeletons in her closet and exposing past mistakes to you)
C) She may realize that she can’t manipulate you as planned; she can’t get what she wanted; she can’t be in control (maybe, she can’t get to your money!); and if she can’t get what she wants, she’s going to ‘abandon ship’.
D) She may be struggling with feelings of insecurity, feeling like she will NEVER measure up to your former spouse; or feeling like she will never measure up to YOUR expectations for HER in a relationship or marriage.
7) Another grieving journey???
Age differences, past relationships, and differences in faith walks; all are factors that will cause you and your lady friend to be on different emotional levels. Depending on those factors, her ‘Goodbye’ could feel like a ‘sucker punch’ in your stomach. You’ll feel betrayed and depressed. You’ll be consumed with asking “Why?”
And depending on the length of your relationship and the level of ‘involvement’ with her, you will actually begin another journey of grieving.
8) Our ‘Plan A’, who just said good bye, many times is God’s ‘Plan Z’.
God has someone exceeding your wildest dreams who will meet needs in your life that you don’t even know about! So, don’t be kicking yourself when you’re dumped by a ‘Plan Z’. With God in control, you have nothing to fear or fret.
So, what does it take for a widower to appropriately handle a ‘Goodbye’?
Well, it’ll take a certain level of emotional stability. It’ll take a man who knows how to handle rejection; who knows he is worthy and worthwhile in spite of just being rejected. It’ll take a man who is willing to learn from the experience, and become wiser in the next relationship; better at recognizing ‘red flags’, and better at decision making in the next relationship.
But more than any of the above qualities, I’ve personally learned that it takes a man who has a close relationship with his creator. A man who is grounded in the scriptures. A man who is willing to drop to his knees in prayer. A man who is willing to admit his mistakes, and willing to forgive when he is wronged. And last but certainly not least, it takes a man who has a support group of fellow believers to hold him up in prayer.
Reason, Season, or Lifetime
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.