“You’ve Got a Friend” (Post #31) Lessons Learned by a Dating Widower
The last time I checked my gender, I’m still a male. I don’t know how it is in your country’s culture, but here in the USA, with that gender comes certain expectations. Certain traditions. Certain behaviors. Certain assumptions.
We’re tough. We don’t need anyone’s help. We can do ‘it’ by ourselves. We’re independent. And, last of all, we don’t cry.
Well, when you become a widower, you can flush all of that down the American Standard toilet!
As of next week, I will have been a widower for 3 years. And if there’s one lesson I learned in that time, my gender is NOT tough. We DO need help. We CAN’T do ‘it’ by ourselves. We are DEPENDENT. And lastly, we DO cry. Chuck all those cultural male qualities!
LESSON LEARNED: While I simultaneously straddle the path of dating AND the path of grief, I need a male friend to share the joys and pains. And that’s exactly what widowers experience when we start dating. While we are enjoying the companionship of women and the possibilities of new relationships while dating, we’re also dealing with recurring issues of grief. Talk about mixed emotions!
For me, it’s like eating Mexican food. I absolutely love it. But there are certain unpleasant digestive reminders that remind me that my stomach isn’t familiar with those spices. And when those ‘digestive reminders’ are ‘released’ from my body, people in close proximity are offended. I know, I know – it’s a crude word picture.
Enter the ‘antacid’ – ‘George’.
Thanks, ‘George’, for being my friend. ‘George’ is also experiencing a journey of grief, and is also experiencing the struggles of dating. We have bonded. He KNOWS how I feel. He’s traveled the same paths. He calls me. I call him. He figuratively cries on my shoulder, and I reciprocate. I share where I’ve screwed up with women, he reciprocates. He encourages me when I’m ‘blue’. I remind him of God’s hope for his life when he’s ‘down-in-the-mouth’. When he’s tempted to ‘throw in the towel’ on dating, I’m there to commiserate. And vice versa.
And something really, REALLY cool; we end up holding each other accountable! When I’m tempted . . . tempted to give in to Satan’s temptations (you know – like the porn I talked about in post #29; or when I wanna date a woman for the wrong reasons), he’s there to listen, and then gently remind me of his confidence – his confidence that I will make the right decisions. And knowing that I have to answer to ‘George’, I tweak my behavior. And vice versa.
Thank you, God, for several ‘Georges’ that you have placed in my life.
Widowers, YOU NEED A BROTHER(s) LIKE THIS. And if you look around you, I’m sure you’ll find that God has placed someone in your life; someone that needs you as much as you need him.
There’s no question in my mind – you CAN’T travel the path of dating OR grief without of the help of our Heavenly Father. And I lean DAILY on His help. But in our life He has strategically placed buttresses in human form. Oh, that we could just step away from our convoluted cultural male expectations and lean on those buttresses.
Hey, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend? People can be so cold.
They’ll hurt you and desert you. Well, they’ll take your soul if you let them,
oh yeah, but don’t you let them.
You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.