Saturday, February 11, 2017

Surviving Year Two: Week 27

The Old, The Young, The Ugly, The Beautiful
This is Week 27 of my Surviving Year Two Grief Project. Details about all my Grief Projects, as well as Grief Resources can be found here.

When I married my husband, I thought we would grow old together. I thought my dating days were finally over. Now I find myself "single" at 44-years-old and the dating world has significantly changed since I was last in it. I set up some online dating profiles and quickly realized how fast images are consumed now. My face whizzed past the screens of hundreds of people, as I was quickly deemed "too old," "too ugly," "too fat." Occasionally, one night stands would happen. Often "Ghosting" would happen. I actually dedicated one of the episodes of my radio show to how confusing and difficult it was to date again after being loved and cared for, for so long.

Dating became so toxic to my heart and soul that I actually completely stopped. I turned off all my online dating profiles. The flirty texting stopped. The requests for nude photos stopped. The stunted phone conversations I demanded to have before a first date, stopped. The awkward coffee dates stopped.

Except for one confusing matchmaking debacle by some well-intentioned friends, I have not been on a single date, nor met anyone new (in a romantic capacity) for several months. The years of widowhood stretch out before me and I imagine myself continuously alone — the "Cat Lady" I was always afraid of becoming.

But, as RuPaul has been saying for decades, "If you don't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?" So I returned to myself. I decided I would "date" myself. What does that look like, you may ask? I'm still figuring it out. I'm trying to be nice to myself. I am trying to notice when I look beautiful. I take myself out to dinner. I buy sweet little presents for myself. I take long baths. I try to write love letters to myself. I try to really settle into the very real possibility that there will never be another partner in my life and be truly okay with that. This is a process. This is a journey. I don't know how it ends, as none of us really do.

Thank you for witnessing me. See you next week.

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