“Ready or Not, Here I Come” (Post #24) Lessons Learned by a Dating Widower
It’s been just about 3 years since my ‘Ruby’ graduated to heaven. Am I ready to date yet? The question is absurd, since I’ve been dating now for 2 of the last 3 years. But, am I really ready? Am I emotionally prepared to love someone else? Am I emotionally prepared to commit myself to another woman, until the end of time?
The annulment with ‘Jill’ certainly threw a ‘monkey wrench’ in my life. Like an inundating snow storm following a debilitating blizzard, it brought grieving components that were difficult for me to ‘dig out’ of. Especially since I had just grieved the passing of ‘Ruby’. I’m embarrassed to admit, in some ways, I find myself still grieving that 2nd marriage, even though I think separation was a God thing and for my best interests.
So, allow me to self-analyze to determine if I’m really ready to be dating; and you can ‘listen in’ as I think ‘out loud’. And those of you who are widowers, widows, or divorcees, you can compare my thoughts with your own readiness. But remember – no two grieving paths will be similar. Therefore, no two people can compare their ‘readiness to date’.
Arguments SUPPORTING my readiness to date: (These are totally subjective, I have NO empirical evidence to classify them as being supportive of my readiness.)
1. I don’t live in the same house where ‘Ruby’ and I lived. I’ve moved since her passing. So I am not living in the ‘mausoleum’ (see post #8). And I’ve disposed of all of her clothing.
2. I am content living by myself. I mean, living by myself sucks (see post #18). But I am OK with it. Getting used to it. Kind of liking it. Well, kind of.
3. I feel useful again. I mean, I was ‘fired’ as ‘Ruby’s’ caregiver when she died. But God is now using me in unique areas. So, even though I miss the loving support of a ‘Ruby’ in my life, I’m closer to my God, and count on His affirmation.
4. I’ve finally let go of ‘Ruby’. I’ve accepted the fact that she is with my Jesus, and having a blast with Him. And I’m OK with God’s decision to have taken her from me. I never liked that decision, but I’m OK with it; knowing that He knows what’s best for both ‘Ruby’ and me.
5. I’ve forgiven my ‘ex’ and myself for the marriage that was annulled. I understand why it happened, and expect that God will use it to mold me into the man He needs me to be in my next marriage. I also can empathize with divorcees like never before.
6. I finally admitted that I needed help with my grieving. And I received it, from a professional psychologist specializing in grieving. Between his help, reading The Shack, and writing this blog, I’ve made huge strides in the grieving process. (So, thanks for reading these and being an important part of my healing!)
7. Right after ‘Ruby’ died, I got a dog. I’ve learned that pets are great therapy for someone who grieves. He was wonderful for me. And with him being a rescue dog, I was good for him!
8. I’m now listening to different genres of music. Ya see, when ‘Ruby’ first passed, I listened to ‘angry music’. I refused to admit that I ever went through an anger stage in my grieving. But recently I listened to playlists that I made immediately after her passing. And – wow, did that music ever sound ‘angry’. Guess I sublimated my anger through music. But no more.
9. I have support of my children, grandchildren, my sisters (thanks ‘Marie’ & ‘Mae’), and good friends. In spite of my dating faux pas, they love me. And that’s pretty cool.
10. I’m not drowning in tears as in the first 12 months. There are times . . . and I’m sure there always will be, times when I really, really miss my ‘Ruby’. But they’re not as intense, and a lot less frequent.
Arguments OPPOSING my readiness to date: (Again, these are totally subjective.)
1. Although I REALLY enjoy flirting, I’m really disinterested in dating, even though I have one once-in-a-while. Honestly, I could take it or leave it. At one time since ‘Ruby’ died, I was dating regularly – every weekend ; sometimes 2 different girls at a time. Now – I may schedule one date per month. What’s up with that?
2. There are times when I still enjoy getting a message from ‘Jill’ (the annulled ‘ex’). Without going into details for this opinion, I also know it’s unrealistic for us to ever reconcile. But why do I still have those feelings? Go figure!
3. I still seem to enjoy using this blog as a type of dating journal. As long as I feel some sort of catharsis by exposing my faults this way, I’m probably not ready to get serious about dating . . . I guess.
4. Not only am I disinterested in dating, but I’m really in a mind set of NOT rushing into any kind of permanent relationship. I’m surprised at myself! Cause it wasn’t too long ago that I felt just the opposite.
5. Look at all the mistakes that I’ve described in my blog . . . I mean, there’s a ton of them. Anyone prone to making this many mistakes certainly shouldn’t be dating until he gets his ‘act together’. Right?
Well, it appears as if my arguments FOR dating outnumber the arguments opposed. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I should be dating, does it? After all, if you put the arguments on a scale of importance, the weighting of some arguments out-weigh others. I suppose I could just choose to date for fun and companionship . . . not for the expressed purpose of finding a mate. Then again, it’s very difficult for people my age (62) to date recreationally (both males and females). The expectations are so different.
What do you think?. . . ‘READY’; or ‘NOT READY’? If you want to, you can vote in the comment section below. Thanks!