It’s been more than four years since my husband died and I’ve yet to enter into a new relationship. I’ve now had four first dates (the fourth not as bad as the first three, but he wasn’t a keeper) but I’ve not found someone to have a second date with.
It’s not that I don’t have opportunities to meet men. It’s not that I haven’t met some very nice men. And it’s not that I’m not asked out on dates (on rare occasions). It’s just that I am picky.
Well, at least I’ve been told I’m picky by others.
I met my first “boyfriend” when I was 20 and, if I’m honest, I dated him more out of social pressure to conform than anything else. And it was a horrible experience that left me believing I was ugly, stupid, and fat.
After that, I decided I would never again date someone who made me feel bad about myself or who I wasn’t excited about dating. No, I wasn’t going to settle for someone who “would do”—I was going to hold out for the one who made my heart sing.
Of course, this just made some of my family and friends think I was being too picky—or that I was a closet lesbian. I was advised on countless occasions that my pickiness would see me living my life as a lonely spinster.
But then, two weeks shy of my 28th birthday, my pickiness paid off and I met the man I would later marry.
And then, about a year after Paul died some people I know began suggesting I get out and start dating again. And as time has gone on, I’ve found that some people I know are almost angry with me for not finding someone yet.
Yes, it seems that—once again—I am being too picky and I need to stop dragging my feet and find someone new. You know, so that I’m not living my life as a lonely widow.
I’d like to think these people (men and women) are thinking of what’s best for me and honestly do want me to be happy, but I’m frustrated once again at people suggesting (and sometimes blatantly saying) that I’m being too picky and that I need to be realistic and settle on someone who’s “good enough”. After all, life isn’t meant for living alone and if I continue to be so picky, I will be alone forever. So it’s time to settle, apparently.
But should I? Should I really accept that I don’t deserve someone who makes my heart sing? Should I really accept that my life is best served by settling for someone who is “good enough” instead of someone who is amazing?
I mean, I don’t want to come off as sounding “better than” anyone, but I feel that I deserve better than good enough. I believe that I deserve heart-singing, knees-buckling, head-swooning love. I deserve that just as everyone else deserves it.
And I honestly do believe that it’s out there somewhere. I honestly do believe that there is another man in this world who is just as wonderful as Paul was. (Not someone just like Paul, not someone to replace him. Just someone who is as wonderful as Paul was but in his own, different ways.)
But here’s the problem: I’ve been really confused about dating for quite some time now, and even a bit frightened that some people (including me!) might think that I am discounting a potential suitor because of Paul (even if that’s not the case).
And now that I’m actively ready to date, I am a little afraid that I will be busy trying to not be too picky that I will end up ignoring gut feelings out of fear of being labelled as picky by even more people. (Or worse, being labelled as a horrible person for “betraying” Paul; which was suggested by at least one person when I first mentioned dating two years ago.)
Still, I know I will be picky. And I’m OK with that because I know from experience that picky helps to weed out the ones who don’t make your heart sing, making you free and available when you finally do run into him!
(Hey! You! You should be picky, too. Don’t settle for anyone less than the one who makes you really and truly happy. Life is too short to settle for “good enough”!)