Friday, October 28, 2011

Don't get too close

I went on a date a few weeks ago. It was a truly enjoyable evening spent talking, laughing and being with another adult....a man.
Although he talked a lot, he was funny, kind and really, really sexy. I wanted to reach out and touch him almost immediately.
The day after, he texted me to make plans for a few days later. I was thrilled!
But the day before our next date, I found myself finding excuses to not go. I could hear my mind scrambling for reasons that this particular day was just too busy. Searching for reasons to feel guilty for spending any more time with this man and sussing out any and all failings in his personality and appearance.
I am not proud of this behaviour. And when I left him a message that I had to cancel, I felt a bit sick to my stomach. But I managed to convince myself that he wouldn't care and that he probably had a lot to do as well thus alleviating some of my guilt.
Days later when he phoned, I acted cold and distracted. And when we were scheduled to hang out again, I cancelled....again.
To any outsiders, it would appear that I had found him lacking and was trying to shake him off. In actuality, I had developed a crush on him. I liked him. A lot. I wanted to be with him. To tell him things. To snuggle up to him.
But therein lay the problem. If I "liked" him, I might one day "love" him. And as I am well aware, he is going to die. Then I am just where I have been for three years, in love with a dead guy.
So instead of allowing myself some companionship, I chose to sabotage any amount of fondness that someone may have for me because I don't want to add to the *collection of urns under my bed. Ridiculous.
Because don't get too close....or I'll ditch you.

*The collection of urns under my bed isn't as morbid as it least to a widow. It contains just one husband and two family dogs.


  1. Call him back!
    Just call him back and tell him you want to go for coffee and explain that really - you are afraid of breaking an already broken and mending heart.
    Call him back and if he takes you up on it. . . you may at least have made a new friend and we all need those.
    Which brings me to . . . .the fact all of us will die, our friends, our lovers, our spouses . . .all.
    Life is for the living. Please! Call him back.

  2. the collection of urns under my bed.

    You are awesome.

  3. Oh God, I know that IF I ever meet someone like you did, I would do exactly the same thing. I'm terrified of the whole situation.

    I do hope that you will call him back. If you do, then there is hope for the rest of us as well.

    Keep us posted!

  4. Funny you should post this today as I was just mulling over my journey of the last year with a new significant other. I behaved similarly in the beginning. To say I kept him at arm's length was an understatement. I even had a panic attack on our first date! Fortunately, he was not easily shaken.

    When I realized I was in it for the long haul I made him promise he would go first (as if).

    But today...just today...I realized that if he dies before I do I will be OK. It will suck, I will be in agony for a while, I will experience all of the fear and anxiety of losing my husband all over again. I will mourn him and I'm bound to mourn my first husband again too. I am not at all naive about how much it will hurt. I know I can do it though because I've done it before.

    And the bottom spite of the possibility of experiencing this pain again I realized he's worth the effort. He makes me happy, no, joyous.

    Call him back.

  5. I've been thinking lately about what I would do if someone asked me out. I keep coming up with the same scenrio as you. :) Thank you for writing! But, give it a chance. It's good - see where it goes...

  6. Forming new relationships with our experience isn't easy. But I like to think someone who really cares for us will understand any hesitation as well as respect our feelings for a spouse no longer here. Letting him know your fears sounds sensible to me. And doing so may build your comfort and confidence and his also.

    Obviously he enjoys you! What a feeling that must be for you!

    If I have learned anything since the death of my wonderful spouse it is to seize life.

    Hugs and good luck

  7. It's all very confusing, eh?
    And not easy.

    Good luck.

    (I'm nowhere near dating yet. I'm trying to figure out how to bypass the awkward dating part and go straight to the comfortable mate part!)


  8. I love how honestly you write! And the urns under the bed made me smile. I agree with the others, call him back and be honest with him about your fears. Good luck! You deserve happiness!

  9. ok, so sometimes I feel that I can do this new relationship/dating thing. Then I go through the, "I can't stand to ever feel this way again, he will die, and I'll be in this state of mourning again".
    But then I realize, I'm in this state of mourning NOW. Maybe a nice guy who likes to spend times as I do, would add some joy to my life.
    Then I chicken out.
    So I have an idea, you go first, and report back.
    Best of luck!

  10. I have not reached the point where I could think of dating. But I have an additional layer of worries. My husband became ill and we went through six years which included three major, intense, heartbreaking illnesses, replete with surgeries, pain, chemo, and a shattering demise. So I would not only be looking at someone and thinking they would die, I know for a fact that I could not take care of anyone again. I did it for my husband, full on, with all of the love and energy I had, and I have no regrets. But I don't have it in me to do it again. Of course, one never knows, I could go first, but it's an enormous roll of the dice to think about what could happen. I am not exaggerating to say that I am surprised to find myself alive as well as functioning after all that we went through for such a long time. Of course he went through the worst of it, and my heart broke a thousand times witnessing it and fighting for his life. A date to me would bring back all of that. It is a nice fantasy that I could ever be at peace again, but I cannot fathom it happening.

  11. Go with the intent of friendship - anything more can unfold as you are ready! 14 months ago my dear husband told me "don't be lonely", and, although it doesn't feel right yet, maybe some day I will explore that. Isn't it wonderful that this guy makes you feel alive!

  12. I've got to say I agree that calling him back and just telling him a brief version of how you feel is the best approach since it's clear he's interested. It's a good litmus test to find out fast if he has what it takes to be there as a potential partner for one looking forward and backward at the same time. Glad you had such a nice time with him!

  13. Jackie .... I get it. I SO get it. But I join Anon, Megan, Tree, Tamara, and the following Anons. Trust me, my friend. I love you. I get it. I think of this. Often. But I refuse to let the fear of "what if?" rule my decisions and rob me of being happy .... and of being loved .... and of loving. I've been sad too long. Far too long. I'm going to live for now .... and love for now.
    And for as long as it lasts.