Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dating: It’s Time To Cast Your Line and Come Up With A Keeper

Ooooo, golly. Another dating post. You know you love these. I just can’t help it. We’re all in such different places with this. Some who have moved on. Some who can’t. And some who “move on” several times a week thanks to internet dating and quarter pitchers.

I’m not judging. I’m just stating the facts.

This is directed more towards my friends who feel as though they can’t move on. Now…don’t get me wrong. I understand all of the stages I have listed above. But through all of these support sites, blogs, and what-have-yous, I have “met” some amazing people…who deserve to meet some amazing people. Because…and this is a shot in the dark…since you were married (or in a long-term relationship) before and you didn’t want to be alone then, there’s a big chance you really might not want to be alone now.


Don’t you think dating is kind of like standing on a ledge? You sweat, hoping that that bungee cord we call karma is gonna hold? Now, some of us aren’t afraid of heights and we’re ready to take the plunge. Some of us take one look at the view (which looks just fine without the addition of our innards splattered below, thank you very much) and step away. And some of us are standing on the ledge, with the cord on, but need a friendly push from a well-intentioned friend who we may be mad at while we’re swinging but once we’re on firm ground we’ll give them a big ol’ hug.


I don’t want anyone reading this post to think that I am insensitive to the fact that some people just aren’t ready. I know that and I completely respect it. But sometimes I just think that many people don’t think there are any other good fish in the sea.

So, let’s think of it like this: If you’ve cast your line before…what are the chances you caught the only good fish?

I won’t deny that during the dating process sometimes we just come up with that smelly boot. But every once in awhile, we hook on to a keeper. I understand that some people don’t want to put themselves out there, don’t want to invest themselves anymore. They don’t feel like there is anyone who will understand what they’ve been through and accept them for it. Shoot…I remember thinking, “What if I meet someone and we’re talking and I…start crying???

Well, given the number of people in the world…what’re the chances of you dating that one person who has led a perfect life?

Being where we are…it’s been hurtful. We’ve all been through transitions with relationships in our lives. Our friendships have changed…how we interact with our families has changed. But I’m betting that most of these changes really haven’t been so bad. Oh sure, the transition from who you thought your friends were to who you really bond with was excruciating.

But now that you’ve been through it…isn’t it better?

You’ve found the people you can most be yourself with. You can let your “freak flag fly” as they say in The Family Stone (I love that movie). And because of that, even if your friendships are fewer, they’re more meaningful. They’re deeper. Those friends who have weathered the storm with you will always be there. Those friends who couldn’t…well…I hope you’ve come to the level of acceptance that that’s their problem, not your’s. And if (heaven forbid) anything catastrophic should happen in their lives, I’m sure they'll think back and realize that they should’ve been more “Oprah” with you and less “Jerry Springer.”

And those new friends you have made…they know who you really are and accept you for all of it. And they love you even though you’re yourself (sorry…there’s laughing in my head right now).

So…what makes you think it would be different in a new romantic (at least, we hope it is at least a few times a week) relationship? Who’s to say that the new you might find something even more meaningful and even deeper than what you had before? Because you’re there…that’s you now.

And if you hook something you don’t want…throw it back and cast again.

I hear so many people say that what they had was perfect. That they lost their soulmates and that they will never find that again. And you know what? I’m not going to argue with that. If that’s the relationship you had, you’re right. That’s rare. But it was rare before you found it. And you still found it.

Here’s a thought.

If that person was your soulmate then and now you’re a different person (I think most of us have agreed on that)…who’s to say you won’t find the soulmate for the person you’ve become?

I think that’s the closest to Algebra I’ve ever come in my adult life. I’ll let you digest that one for a minute.

The truth is, I’ve changed so much that even if my husband met me NOW I don’t know if he’d even ask me out. I’m more independent. I’m more direct. And my sense of humor has taken a downward turn into the land of Sick and Wrong.

So…if I’m different…why would I expect to find the same relationship? Shouldn’t I expect to find someone who can handle the “new” me? Why would I want to find the exact same man, who was perfect for who I was, but may not fit the person I’ve become? And couldn’t that person just be floating out there…waiting for a hook?

Waiting…for me.

© Catherine Tidd 2010


  1. OMG, please tell me you have a publisher! You really need to get this onto the shelves of Barnes and Noble, because it's bound to be a best seller!

  2. LOL!! No, but I'm shamelessly looking for one! Thanks, Amy!

  3. Dagnamit, I'm with Amy. You, my dear Widow Chick, are on a ROLL!! L-O-V-I-N-G T-H-I-S!

    "the land of Sick and Wrong." ROTFLMAO and SO many other things not appropriate for a family blog!!

    Of course, all hysterics aside, you're RIGHT! You're F-ING RIGHT! We are NOT who we were when we fell in love with and joined out lives to our late partner. Of course, they changed and grew and evolved, too, but we all know that sometimes we each change and grow in ways that bring us closer, and sometimes not. I mean, would I trade the pain and grief and everything to go back to life before cancer and death? Duh. Of course. But, since I can't, why can't I also look at the universe and say, "OK, well, that really sucked, but, on the other hand, how often does life hand us a reset button?" Like my smug therapist used to say, "maybe it's both/and." It SUCKS, but it is also a pretty amazing chance to look at the world with fresh eyes and say, "What do I want?" "Who can I be?" "What do I need?" "What can I do best?" "Who can I find?" "What could we do?" To acknowledge, explore, and even get really excited about those positives doesn't mean it doesn't also SUCK. And it doesn't mean we didn't love our spouse, or our life, or anything. But, the fact is (as I lectured my dead wife one night on the way home from the first date that felt that it might be the start of something more than "dating"), they are not here. We'd love them till death do us part if they were. And we did. So we ultimately pay them the greater tribute, celebrate the person they helped us become, really recognize the impact they made on our lives and on the universe, if we take our changed selves and go forth--seek out new life and new love--to boldly go where we never thought we could go before. (Yes, I just watched Star Trek. STFU!)

    Am I right? AM I RIGHT?? I CAN'T **HEAR** YOU!

    Amen, brothers and sisters!


  4. Wow, this post gives me hope! I love it!

    Thank you.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Is there a way to print your post? I love reading them.

  7. I'm with Jay... he said everything I was thinking about your latest blog entry. You have put logic into the equation... it's good to be reminded of the odds that there will be another good "keeper" out there for us.

    I am also hoping you get a publisher, because you have a way of putting into words exactly what's in my head... and I know you are connecting with others in the same way.

  8. Thank you thank you thank you. Everyday your posts hit home with me....

  9. Your "algebra" is absolutely amazing! I really had never thought about it quite like that. It's quite liberating from the "guilty" feelings of "cheating" on your spouse who has died. Thanks Widow Chick!!

  10. Thank you! Today would have been our Anniversary, I have been moping and sorta sad and allowing the tapes to play "WOULDA, SHOULDA, COULDA"... I honestly know "BUTTHEAD" was my SOULMATE, But as much as I think I haven't changed in the last 18 months I know that I too am a different person today! I have lots of wonderful memories that I will be able to keep forever in a special place in my heart, and I have the last text's he sent "YOU WILL BE IN MY HEART LOVE FOR EVER DON" I know he only wanted for me to be happy. Letting go of the past is not forgetting what we had, but it is for stowing it away in my heart and Living in the today and allowing whatever GOD has planned for me to unfold. I love your postings and your so wise for your young age. God Bless you and yours and all who is reading your posts. I agree you need a publisher! Thank you for your words of wisdom... @

  11. I agree about the person I was and the person I am, if I met Rod now I don't know if we would be together, I have changed, grown, dealing with life and death and all the other stuff in between has left its scars but they are scars I wear with pride. They show that I have lived, I am glad Rod was in my life but I understand that part is over......yes I have met someone and have a "boyfriend" what a weird word that is, it took me a few months to even say it out loud. It felt weird when we first went out and help hands, like I was cheating, could not do PDA, especially in front of the kids or friends...felt so wrong. It is getting easier has been 17 months since Rod died after a 4 year battle with cancer, after he passed what I missed the most was going out for dinner with a guy. I loved Rod but yeah I did not want to get stuck, my MIL did and now she devotes her life to her kids and my kids....for the last 20 years she has devoted her life to them. She doesn't seem happy, at least she has a cat! Anyways I am rambling your blog, found it through one of my Yahoo groups....nice to see that even with a death in your life....humour never dies!!!!

  12. I hadn't taken time to read the blog or the comments. After 2-1/2 years without Mike, I find myself still feeling alone. I joined several dating sites last fall and have had a few good dates, but most have been awful. I've gone from talking mostly about him to talking about the present and future, but I'm still not settled. Tired of being alone on holidays and those others that end in d-a-y. Jay, I like the "reset button" idea. Someone shared that with me about a year ago. I just feel stuck... and without a guy worth spending time with and not settling for.
    Hey, can someone tell me how to find my URL. I'm not anonymous... although that's how I feel sometimes.

  13. Hey Not-So-Anonymous!

    I don't know how to switch that. If you have a google account, etc. you should just be able to sign into that and respond. I think. Anyone? Anyone? I'm not the most tech-savvy person out there.

    Thank you for your comment!

  14. Yep, that's what I always say. Plus? There's no shortage of love. Wasn't there some left for your second kid? Third? Okay, maybe not. Still...

  15. Believe it or not I sent this to the new person I just started dating...we had talked at length about my widow status and he has been great but couldn't really "get" what was going on in my head no matter how I explained it. But this summed up my exact state of mind...ready to date but uncertain at the same time...his email response about how beautiful this blog was all I needed to hear.. This is all still new for us - about two months. But this article helped give me the courage /permission to see where this next journey is going. Thank you!

  16. Awesome...!!! As always. You need to write a book from these postings, and soon.