You know what? Maybe some of that is accurate. My late husband set the bar high in terms of expectations. He never said an unkind word about anyone for as long as I knew him, he worked hard, he told me every day that he loved me (even if we were fighting about something), and took my breath away with his smile until the day he died. I expect to be treated with respect. Who knew that would be too much to ask?
Since I've been dating, which has only been for the past few years and nothing I've thrown myself 100% into, I've heard it all. I've been told that I shouldn't admit being a widow or that I should at least hold off telling a man that until several dates down the road. (Wouldn't that be like lying?) I've heard that being a widow is less attractive than being a divorcee because men feel they will never measure up in comparison to the late husband. One man also told me that, when he hears the word 'widow,' he automatically assumes the woman has too much emotional baggage.
I laugh at all of the above statements because they are so stereotyped that I can't even scratch the surface of how lame they are.
Dating is much harder now that I'm in my 40s, but here's my attitude about it: It's just a date, not a marriage proposal. When I go on a date, I'm not looking for husband number two. If it leads to that, awesome, but I'm mainly looking to make a connection. If that doesn't happen, oh well. The world still spins.
One man I went out with wanted a guarantee that we would be together forever. Well, guess what? I thought I would be together forever with my late husband, but it didn't happen. He died. Being a widow has taught me that there are no guarantees, that life is too precious to take it too seriously all of the time, and that I'm a strong woman who's seen the face of tragedy and survived--so, yes, I expect respect not pity or lectures about what or what not to say.
Widows--and widowers--may seem intimidating to some, but I believe that's because we've known love in all of its intensity. We won't settle. We're fierce combatants on life's battlefield who are still standing and laughing because we know the value of this beautiful life we're living.
I'll keep dating, without making guarantees or compromising myself, because one thing is true: I know love is worth having.
Wishing you all green lights ahead--
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