Happy Cupid Day


I have spent the day today with my son, starting with him making fried eggs on toast for me in bed, and later on a 5 mile bike ride around a park. Its actually a sunny day in Seattle today. A perfect day.

This idea of intuition (as I mused upon in my last post) seems to be in other realms of the blogisphere. Perhaps its cupid’s influence. This morning, one of the blogs I follow Our Best Version posted about it. How do you know when you are really in love? Of course the answer is just that you know. Intuition.

I have a very good male friend whom I adore very much, but with whom I am not in love. When we initially met four years ago, it felt like love. We were both so taken off guard by our connection, but gradually it turned to friendship as these things sometimes do. But every year or so, the friendship becomes something more, at least for him. We get closer, he comes into our lives more and I can’t deny that it is nice. I have someone to talk to, the kids adore him, we laugh together and have deep talks. As a single mother, life is 1000x easier when there is another person in the equation. For a while we prance along in this friendship mode, until I begin to realize that for him its something much more. But I am not in love with him. I had to tell him recently that I am not “the one” for him. He deserves to be with someone who loves him.

Of course he is sad and insists that I am dwelling in my loss, that I won’t ever allow anyone to meet the impossible standard of my dead husband. Sometimes I wonder if that is true. Arron has very large shoes to fill, and frankly, I am not willing to compromise. Arron and I had a good fit, something I don’t quite have with my friend. He reads it as not being as good as Arron, but it is really about the fit. I deserve to be loved and to love as I once did. I know it won’t be exactly the same, but I think being in love is a pretty basic foundation. But perhaps my friend is right and as a result of my unwillingness to compromise on this, I cannot possibly find the love that I seek. To be sure, dating lately has been abysmal. But I can’t help resenting people who tell me that I am not over Arron or that I am stuck in my loss. I am convinced that if the right person walked into my life, I would be fully present. Arron would find a tidy place in our mutual lives. The difficulty for me in a new relationship, would be to take things slow enough, really get to know the person long enough to get past infatuation and lust, and to let intuition to properly kick in so that I could recognize real love.

I also talked with my sister who told me about a divorced friend of hers who insists that she cannot possibly date with children. This made more sense that the stuck-in-my-grief theory. Time is so limited. My son had a massive blowout the other night trying to convince me that Arron wasn’t really dead, just lost. He is desperate to have his daddy back. And he was only 2 when Arron died and has no memory of him. He is horrified by the idea of my dating, I suspect because if I date, then the possibly of daddy coming back will be extinguished. So yea, dating with grieving kids is hairy.

My essay about another man I dated a few years ago, continues to languish, because I haven’t figured out the point of the essay. Holding out for real love, stuck in grief, dating with kids, and ignoring intuition are all possible conclusions. With this other guy I convinced myself that he was something he was not. I ignored my intuition in lieu of my loneliness, and the whole thing ended badly. Two years later I am still recovering, but determined not to ignore my intuition again. It has lost me a friend (for now anyway), but it is not something I will compromise again.

My intuition tells me that for now, breakfast in bed and a bike ride around the park are what comprise the perfect Cupid Day.

5 Comments

  1. anniegirl1138 February 15, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    I do think some people allow themselves to get stuck, but the main reason, in my opinion, that a person remains single is that the right fit, as you put it, hasn’t come along.

    I envy people who never had single gaps in their adult lives. The ones who find someone early and live that mythic happy ever after. Most of us though have periods on our own. We marry later or we find ourselves alone in middle age for whatever reason and the singleness lasts because that right fit hasn’t found us yet. And sometimes even, singleness reveals itself as the right fit.

    When it’s right, you will likely see it even through the initial dazzle and lust and nothing will keep you from it – not job or location or children – nothing. Anything that’s not perfect will simply become a detail that needs to be worked out.

    When I was dating online, I had a man tell me I was stuck and avoiding opening up because I didn’t want to be hurt again. He was divorced and didn’t really understand the difference in our situations but I was insulted. I simply didn’t find him interesting (and he was needy beyond belief) and my lack of enthusiasm was based on that. But my widowhood made a nice rational for others to console themselves with I suppose.

    K was a bit older than you son when she lost her dad. Her memories though are still mostly things I told her. We do our best to make sure she doesn’t feel as though she is losing them but the sad truth is that she never really had a father until her stepdad. I don’t know how to make that feel better for her. I don’t think I can. Her grief changes as she grows and we will be dealing with it forever in one form or another. It’s very different from an adult’s experience.

  2. dadshouse February 16, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Your cupid day sounds great. As for close friendships – there’s a single mom I spend time with. We talk in depth, enjoy each other’s company, go for dinner or drinks together – but we aren’t meant to date. Once we both figured that out, our relationshp become much easier. We still do all the same fun things, but with no pressure or expectations. Plus, we can consult each other for dating advice. Of course, it took both of us realizing that before the relationship could transform. The man who is smitten with you when you see him as a friend presents an imbalance.

  3. Crash Course Widow February 21, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks for this post, Abby. It’s really useful to hear what life is going to look like (or could look like) four years past where I am right now. Though dear god–your then-2-year-old grieves even though he doesn’t remember Daddy? Crap. Even though I know in my head that Anna–who was 10 mo. old when Charley died–will do her own form of grieving and processing as she grows up and realizes what she lost, I still naively hope that it won’t really be a grieving force of nature into itself…that maybe I’d get off a little easier because she was a baby. So it’s a good reminder to hear that I’m probably/possible being a nincompoop in my naivete.

    I always wonder what/why people think that being unwilling to settle for less than what we all had before means that we’re stuck in grief/still in love with the dead spouse. I think we all, as the survivors, are on the same page and sentiment that it’s not the person we hold onto so much as the feelings we had when a marriage worked. They’re both intertwined, of course…but I don’t want another Charley; I want a different version of the positive things I had in my marriage (and a different set of the irritating things).

    Thanks for being honest about life and widowhood at 7+ years out.

    Hugs,
    Candice

  4. Abigail February 24, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Thank you all for your comments. The fallout of my post has meant that I am down one friend, which is lamentable, but unavoidable I guess. I wish it didn’t have to be that way. I can use all the friends I can get.

    Annie, I am with you on the dead-husband excuse. It is a very convenient way out (for both parties) of a relationship that isn’t working. I loved what Candice had to say about wanting what you had in your marriage, separate from the person you lost. That makes a lot of sense. I am not willing to settle for anything less.

    David gives me hope that it is possible to be friends with someone of the opposite sex. I have been wondering…

    And Candice, I hope I haven’t extinguished your light at the end of the tunnel of grief and kid-grief. My son is a complicated little being who doesn’t miss a trick. Its entirely possible he was simply pushing my buttons, but that’s how it is with kids and grief, you are always questioning the source of their behavior.

  5. Mel February 28, 2009 at 2:01 am

    Hi Abigail,

    For what it’s worth, I believe that you did the right thing. As they say… you will know when it’s right.

    It is hard to let go when you have something that makes your life easier, so I am extra proud of your strength today.

    I’m glad you liked the Stockdale Paradox.

    Melodie

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