Am I Ready to Date? From Disturbing Conversations to the ‘Other’ Woman

"Moving on doesn't mean you forgot about things. It just means you have to accept what happened and continue living" - Author unknown

I recently read an article on the blog, Young, Widowed & Dating, which made me question if I really had intentions to begin dating. It has been over three years since I lost my soulmate. We dated for 26 years; he was my one and only. My marriage wasn't a fairytale, and we had many bumps and bruises (figuratively speaking) along the way. I have many people tell me that ‘I deserve happiness’ and I often get offended by that comment.

I decided to take off my wedding ring and open myself up to dating at the two-year mark. I was given the advice from my therapist and friends to consider a dating site. I chose Tinder because I felt it was safer due to the fact that the individual had to have a Facebook account. It allowed me to do some research before I agreed to take anything beyond the site.

On Tinder, there must be a mutual interest in order to connect. My first ‘match’ was a nice-looking gentleman from another state about 60 miles away from my city. We conversed for approximately two weeks before I decided to exchange numbers with him. During my research I noticed we had a mutual friend, which made me feel a little more comfortable. Our conversation was great and he seemed to be a good catch. He decided to visit me for our first date. I had never been so terrified in my life. Phone conversation was one thing but meeting in person was another. I nervously debated everything from what outfit and perfume to wear to should I be early or late and other trivial things.

Driving to the restaurant I literally felt ill; I was so unsure if I was ready for this. When I entered the restaurant, he looked very similar to the photo he posted, however, he was a little shorter than my taste. I could instantly tell he was pleasantly surprised with my appearance. To my surprise, during dinner I became very comfortable with him and thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. As we were leaving the restaurant fear started to creep upon me again because I was wondering if I should kiss him or not. As he walked me to my car my heart was rapidly beating. As he opened my car door he moved in for a kiss but I quickly turned my cheek and gave him a hug. He chuckled a little and told me how fond he was of me and he would love a second date. Once I got in the car I sighed in relief that it was over and proud that I had made an unimaginable step towards moving on. Before I could pull out of the parking lot, he texted me and expressed how beautiful he thought I was and that I captivated him next week. When the following week came we talked every day and he stated that Monday would be the best day for him to come into town. I spoke with him Monday morning and he told me he would be here at seven that evening. I called him around four to confirm and I never received an answer. Monday came and went and I never heard from him. At that moment, I knew he would never have another chance to stand me up again. Tuesday morning, he called me several times and I refused to answer. He left a voicemail and had the audacity to tell me I was playing games. Instead of calling him I texted him and politely let him know that I don’t play games and had no intention to every talk to him again. He called and texted for two days repeatedly trying to apologize stating that something came up and that’s why he couldn’t make it and if I gave him one more chance it would never happen again. I felt that his inquiry didn’t deserve a response and I still had no intention of ever speaking with him again.

A month-and-a-half went by and I hadn’t heard from him but my loneliness and our great phone conversations made me miss him. I thought about the mutual friend we had on Facebook and I thought about calling her and if she says he’s a good guy, I will give him one more try and if she says he’s not, I will leave things as they are. This mutual friend had been a client of mine for many years and we became friends, which made me feel comfortable enough to get her advice. I called her and asked her if I could ask her a question but asked her to please keep it a secret. She stated most definitely she would. I went on to explain my situation of meeting a guy on a dating site that’s from her hometown and that we talked briefly but I cut if off but I still had feelings for him. I told her his name and her reaction was disbelief. She repeated his name. I told her yes, that’s his name and she questioned where I met him. I told her on a dating site.

“That’s my dude!” she proclaimed.

I asked her if she meant ‘dude’ as in boyfriend and she confirmed.

Not only was I embarrassed, but I regretted involving myself in drama that I didn’t plan to create. After a long conversation with her, she told me every detail of their rocky relationship. I was so relieved when she ended the phone conversation and I could process the information she gave me. At first, I was furious but I soon thanked God for giving me the information I needed before I reopened a relationship that would have done me no good. Surprisingly, I received a call from him within that week. He wanted to let me know that they weren’t in a relationship and they were only friends and I was missing out on a good man. After I stopped laughing, I told him he must not know the true definition of a ‘good man’. He continued to tell me that he thought we would be great for one another and I need to stop being mean and give him another chance. That conversation ended with me wishing him nothing but the best and to enjoy his life.

Date two was a very attractive gentleman that was also from another state. We went on our first date and it was amazing. He entered the restaurant after me and I was pleasantly surprised. Our conversation was even more interesting than the first guy. That date also ended with a hug. Although I was very attracted to him, I chose not to kiss him. The next morning after our date he sent me a song that stated he didn’t know what I had done to him but he couldn’t stop thinking about me. He seemed to be everything I was looking for in a man and I enjoyed talking to him several times a day. One night we talked for approximately three hours, he told me that I had him whole heartily and he wanted me whole heartily. That conversation left me a little uneasy because we only had been conversing a couple weeks and went on one date. He became very open in his conversation and opened up to me about a lot of personal things. The longer we talked the more disturbing the conversation became. He told me that he had trust issues because he had found his previous girlfriend in the bed with another man and had pulled out a gun and was about to kill them both until his friend talked him out of it. He then went on to tell me he dated a lady he suspected was cheating and he waited until garbage night and went through her trash and found a thong and lingerie. I instantly got terrified and knew once I got off the phone with him he would never hear from me again. He continued to reach out and didn’t understand what he did wrong. I was not truthful but instead told him I decided I changed my mind about being ready to date.

Despite those challenges I met another guy on the site. He was also attractive and had a lot of great qualities. Our phone conversation was amazing as well, and we talked often. We scheduled our first date and had a great time drinking wine and talking. Within thirty minutes of our conversation I noticed I had no real connection with him and he would only be in the friend category. From our conversation, I could tell he couldn’t handle a strong Leo woman. He seemed very set in his ways. Even though he had a great history of being committed, because he had been married for many years and the relationship ended with them being great friends, he clearly wasn’t the type to romance or make a woman his top priority. My friends kept asking me why did I refuse to try a relationship and I stated I was looking for a connection. I don’t feel like a connection is forced but instead it should come naturally. My friends tell me often that I'm a tough cookie to break, however as a woman in her forties, I refuse to deal with drama that I dealt with in my twenties.

I talk with him occasionally and he has tried to take me out several times but I haven’t had a desire to go on another date. Go figure…

I've watched other widows find happiness and even marriage. Instead of that giving me hope, it makes me question if I will ever truly find a soulmate again. I know there is no perfect relationship so I start to wonder if I'm sabotaging them all because I'm not truly ready to move on. I must learn a balance between finding what I want and not being so quick to discredit a person if they don't meet every quality of my needs and wants.

I am a work in progress so why don't I expect them to be?

I have a strong desire for companionship but can I let my guard down and relax enough to allow another man in? I no longer belong to a dating site and I feel meeting someone in passing would be a better fit for me. I would like to feel a connection before I try to start a relationship with someone. Quite frankly, I am tired of telling my story so I’ve decided to take a break for a while.

This journey is tough and has so many layers. I have peeled back the layer of finding myself, coming to grips with the loss, trusting Gods plan and being excited for the future. I must get to the core and figure out if I'm truly open to dating for companionship or expecting someone to fill a void that they can’t fill.

Shawna James

#Dating #widows #Tinder #shawnajamesdavis

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