In the past, when I contemplated being on my own-it was fine. There was some romantic English feminist woman image of me looking out the window at the Moors. I tackled everything with confidence-ready to take on everything without a man. So I was judgmental about women who dated or who seemed to "need" a man to carry on. And then I was alone, and I finally got it. I missed having an intimate partner, really really missed it. I wanted a person to share my life with, someone to wake up next to, someone to share strange newspaper stories with, someone who would derive pleasure from my silly anecdotes, and who occasionally would be annoyed. I wanted someone who I could be number 1 with.
And I worked hard to have it. I understood that I would not meet anyone sitting on my couch (my couch my new best friend with the TV remote)-watching Law and Order reruns. I also finally knew that there would be no neon sign on the door announcing my availability so that I would have to beat men off with a stick. I knew no single men and the married ones were not necessarily my type (JOKE).
I attacked the mission with a vengeance-went "on-line", emailed countless men and yes, some of them were not even remotely attractive. My plan was to set up a coffee date weekly. I liked coffee-why not combine my coffee habit with an hour long meet and look over.
I ended up with a number of "boyfriends" - although I cannot say that they were really boys chronologically. I was extremely adolescent about it-experiencing actual dating for the first time in like forever. I was married at 19-so never had the chance to experience the single scene. Each man-friend was "sweet"-at least that is the way I described them although to be quite honest, they weren't. My first "relationship" was a 2 week one with a widower who was ready to sell his house and whisk me away to the Grand Canyon. He was politically conservative and expected me to cook and tend to his needs. After 2 weeks I realized this and called it quits. The next one lasted longer, 3 months with a man who was still bitter about his divorce and sour about his life. He taught me to ride a bicycle and after 2 trips away with him-I could find nothing to say to him. So I said goodbye to him and moved on. After a couple of coffee dates and exciting trysts, I finally found a man who seemed to be funny and intelligent and affectionate. We were together 14 months-although even this relationship was also flawed. We saw each other 2 days a week and he seemed to find that enough and when I was not with him - he seemed fine with that too. I knew the relationship had issues and maybe would have ended it myself after I finally got that he was happier alone. But he ended it before I had a chance-and took me by surprise. He told me he never loved me - and was waiting for it to happen but it never did. He felt trapped, and had felt that way for the past year. I was stunned, and hurt and angry.
Why do men behave badly? Was it necessary for him to taint the whole relationship by looking back? Before he broke it off, he called me daily, seemed delighted by me and even told me he loved me and reassured me even the week before he broke it off. So, did he lie for a year?, when did he decide to call it quits? How could he pretend and how could I be so blind to it? Even now, I want to wonder if he misses me and then I realize that he is probably relieved. And I am still hurting.
I have been told that the first "real relationship" post widowhood is very painful-it brings back the loss of your spouse and is compounded by the loss of a new partner. And I wonder if I will find a man who has integrity and all the other qualities that I long for......
One thing is for sure. I will start looking again. I have to believe that I have qualities that would appeal to some one and that some one will also appeal to me.
Well time to get the tissues and do some crying. Yes, eventually I will stop and pull myself out of the dark hole that I seem to have inhabited.
And time to look on to a New Year. 2014, here I come.