There are so many widows out there that are afraid to start looking for new partners, and in many cases I understand where they're coming from. If you have had a wonderful, nearly problem-free marriage, it would be daunting (to say the least) to think of starting all over. For some people, it seems like an insult to the late spouse, because it can feel like "settling".
I think that in many ways, some of my friends thought I was settling when I fell for Bill. Jamie actually confronted me about it, when Bill first came back from working overseas and we were trying to figure out how and when he'd move here.
For the record, my official "type" is usually an athlete. 5'11" to 6'0" tall, dark hair, green/blue eyes, Irish or Scottish descent. I'm not sure if Jamie thought that I was settling because Bill is shorter than that - he and I are exactly the same height in bare feet, 5'7.5". Or because his brown hair is often bleached blonde, like Eminem, or if it was because he was trying to start over and we were a bit ahead of the game, due to the house.
Whatever it was, I remember being shocked when she asked if I was settling.
"Oh my God, no!", I replied. "In fact, he is almost exactly what I'd hoped for..."
It was the year leading up to Dale's death that we got our first PC, and quite often, while he was sleeping or passed out, I was learning how to navigate the internet and came across all kinds of websites and forums. I joined one for spouses of people suffering from borderline personality disorder, and another for spouses of alcoholics. Eventually Dale was officially diagnosed as terminally ill, and I joined a site for caregivers.
I don't remember when I first heard of people meeting and marrying other people they'd met online, but it would have been in the last months of Dale's life. In August and September I looked over a dating site, but by the time I was actually widowed in October of 2002, I had decided to be celibate for a year before beginning to date.
Of course, I wasn't ready to date by October 2003, but that didn't stop me. Thankfully, I was ready to fall in love again by May of 2004, and I did fall in love with Bill, almost immediately. We'd met online, on a rating site called Hot or Not. I emailed him, we added each other to MSN messenger, and I asked him out to dinner two days later. Our lives changed from that point on.
I had been seeing Bill for two or three weeks, and because we lived 80 miles apart, we would take turns driving to the other's city on weekends. Most of the time I would do two weekends in a row because Jamie and I loved Calgary, so we would do one Date weekend followed by one Family weekend.
One Date weekend, Bill and I went out dancing, laughing and doing shots until three in the morning, followed by hours of kissing and making love back at his apartment. Em was staying at the sitter's house, so we were free to do whatever the next morning. After waking late and making love again, Bill got out of bed to make coffee and eggs in his robe. I stayed in bed and listened to him puttering around the kitchen.
At one point, he came back into the bedroom where I was laying, and crawled up the length of my body. He settled himself over top of me, burying his face in my neck and giving me this full bodied hug that just enveloped me. I was sure that he could hear my heart thumping away in my chest, and as I ran the palms of my hands over the back of his head and down his neck and shoulders, I got the feeling that we weren't two separate people anymore.
I wasn't exactly sure until three weeks later, that that had been the moment we fell in love.
Well, this coming June will mark five years since that moment happened. We were in love but didn't talk about it for several more months, due to the LDR and his time spent in Newfoundland, Texas, Libya and Qatar while I waited for him here.
We spent three days together in September of that year, and that's when he said the words. Of course, I had to wait almost another year before he came back to stay, but by the time he finally did, we were very sure.
Settle? Not likely.