Dating after loss is weird. It’s nothing like the dating I did during open marriage time and separation phase. Probably because I was still attached to my husband and didn’t take it seriously. This “real” dating is just fucking weird.
When I first made an effort to start dating, I went in it with a totally causal mindset. I was going to meet guys. Go on dates. Keep it chill. I was not ready for anything more. Only one guy made it past the first date.
I gave up on dating in December. I ended up on an impromptu date with a guy I had matched with several weeks prior. He was young. I realized at the end of the night, in the middle of making out, that I really didn’t want to be there. I really wasn’t in the headspace for this. I wasn’t having fun. I was just uncomfortable. I went home, deleted the apps and quit trying.
However, things can sneak up on you, like crushes. The guy I went out with multiple times ended up being this part of my every day life, even though we aren’t dating and are just friends, we talk nearly everyday. It’s like one day I am just minding my business, living my life, and the next day I realize I feel like I’m in high school all excited over a boy. Shit’s wild.
Then the guilt comes creeping in. I feel guilty for having a crush. My husband has been gone 17 months. It’s okay to want to move on, right? I am allowed to like someone. I mean I liked other guys while we were married, why does this feel worse? I felt guilty then, but I feel even more guilty now.
It’s weird, I feel like I’m finally ready to be with someone new but like I’m leaving my husband behind. He’s gone. It’s okay to want to see where something goes with someone. I have no doubt, he would have been in a relationship by now if I had been the one that died. Maybe, I feel weird because we have kids. I have to take their feelings into consideration. Maybe it’s because I spent my entire adult life in a relationship with one person. A person who knew every thing about me. All the good and the bad.
I have this crush, and crushes are exciting and scary. I also have this guilt; guilt that is triggering grief. And, I can’t forget about the anxiety. What if I put myself out there and get crushed by my crush? Will I fall back into yet another crippling grief spiral and depression? I want to retreat back to the friend zone where it is safe. I also don’t. I want to take the leap. All these conflicting emotions are hard.
What if the guy I like doesn’t like me? He did kind of ghost me for 2 and a half days. His reason seemed legitimate. BUT, those are just words. I kind of indicated I was moving myself back to the friend zone, but I don’t really want to be in that zone. Although, I would rather stay in the friend zone than be nothing at all.
I get mad that my husband died and left me in this conflicting place to begin with. Dating after loss is fucking awful, but it’s not as awful as my husband dying. However, rejection still stings no matter what terrible situations you’ve been through. How do people do this? And, why do I feel like I’m 15?
I’m a tornado of emotion; excitement, fear, desire, grief, guilt… I’m filled with bees and butterflies (Mothra sized butterflies, btw), swirling together inside of tornado. Butterflies are pretty but Mothra fought Godzilla. Tornados are an amazing sight to see, but can destroy everything and kill you. Bees bring life, pollinate the planet, but can also kill you if you’re allergic (RIP Thomas J). An amalgam of contradictions.
Dating after loss, it’s a doozy.
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