My husband – always the funny guy – coined the phrase above.
I was with my friend the other day for lunch – recently widowed and still pretty young – the subject almost always turns to the “dating” again thing. She of course is less than anxious to “go there” again – and I mean – who could blame her. No one wants to date again – if they don’t have to. In fact – some of us that have been married since we were children don’t even remember much about dating – let alone trying to do that again. It’s a spine chilling – horrendous thought indeed – enough to give you nightmares and make you want to back out of the human race entirely.
And yet…having many single friends – guys and gals – I will have to say that sometimes love the “second time around” is most successful – particularly if they “happen” to meet the right person through a blind date set up by a good friend who knows both people involved – or by a “safe” online dating service. And by “safe” – I’m referring to those services that screen very carefully – get lots of information – have limited contact until certain requirements are met etc. My friends Teri and Craig met on eHarmony.com and didn’t even talk on the phone for a few months – it was pretty strict. That site insists that you talk for awhile via email – getting to know each other first – what you believe – your background etc. and there are many questions that you both must answer first before you are ever “matched” with someone. When these two finally exchanged pictures and had that first “date” in the mall – they knew quite a bit about each other already – so it was not too awkward. But anytime you meet someone in person for the first time – it’s going to be a bit awkward – you just can’t help that. But for them – it worked out and they are happily in their 2nd relationship – after having a bummer of a first.
Sometimes this is not the case – and I’m aware of this. Statistics show that the divorce rate is even higher for 2nd marriages than for first ones – so it is not always a good thing to end one marriage for another. I understand there are extenuating circumstances for ending a first marriage – abuse – infidelity etc. – but usually people say in 2nd marriages – “if I had just worked harder on my first marriage – maybe it would not have ended”.
But like I said – I have many friends in my circle who have found themselves single again – for whatever reason. And dating is a very scary thing to them. I can imagine how they feel. I would not want to do that “dating” thing again either. Did I EVER date? I always had a boyfriend during my teen years – but I’m not sure that classifies as a “date”.
What is a date? I’ve seen my daughter go on one – when she was first dating her husband. He would come to our house in his car – pick her up at the door after saying hello to us – then he would open the car door for her – and then they would go to a movie and to dinner – maybe the mall to walk around or to Seattle. He took her to Ocean Shores once for the day – he was always thinking of romantic things that they could do together. That is a date. Doesn’t sound so scary, right? But somehow it is. If you don’t know that person – what their expectations are – it can be really scary. Women worry about how they look – someone watching them eat – conversation during a meal – wondering about the physical expectations etc. I’m not sure what men worry about – because I’m not a man – but I’m sure it’s similar. Especially if a man is not used to dating that much. I’m sure it’s – “will she like me – think I’m attractive – want something more than just friendship?” I’m sure both sexes think much about the “more than friendship” thing. How can you help it – especially if you are of a certain age – and you’re not kids anymore.
I have decided that nothing is going to happen to Greg – and that I will go first and HE can do the dating thing again – not me. Even though he is older than me and the odds are in MY favor for outliving him by – oh let’s see – about 10 years. What’s in a number, right? He kids me and says that he will outlive me! Yeah right.
Greg says we all just need to practice “SAFE DATING” – dating with no funny queazy feeling in your stomach – where everything is peaceful – no hidden agenda – no expectations that are unreasonable. Safe dating where you both feel comfortable – you put each other at ease – conversation just flows and there is tons of laughter. Where the other person is made to feel like the only person in the world – and the other person is the priority to your day – not the job – not the kids – not other people. If every married couple would “safe date” there would be fewer divorces and relationship problems.
Lately I’m feeling so cherished and appreciated – Greg’s making up for much lost time in our own relationship and he’s taking it very seriously. There’s NO WAY he’s going to let some other man appreciate me and meet my emotional needs – when he wants to be the ONLY one who does that – thank you very much. If every man would take this attitude about the woman in their lives – it would be a much happier, healthier world.
Would I want to date someone else? Wow. No. But if I found myself in that situation some day – my expectations would be pretty high – not sure if anyone could measure up – but like you – I would probably not want to do life all alone. So I would practice “safe dating” – and would hope the other person would too!
Have an awesome day – practice some “safe dating” with your spouse or with a friend today.