This will just hang here for anyone who happens to find it.
I had a conversation last week with a man I had been seeing. I felt something was missing - I felt that maybe we didn't have the same wants/needs in a relationship. So I did the thing that men and women alike dread in a relationship. I said, "We need to talk." This was a Wednesday. The upshot of it is that by Saturday we mutually decided that we needed to move on. It didn't get ugly. It just was. I can't say I wasn't hurt and disappointed that, after investing a bunch of time (having realized how darned precious it is when Pat passed on), that we really weren't as compatible as we initially thought. The fact that a week out, I'm not heartbroken says that yep, it just wasn't right,
So here is what I wanted to talk about. What are you looking for in a relationship? This has some twists when it is post-death of the proverbial "love of someone's life." When someone is separated from their spouse by death there isn't the rejection from other types of separation; there is a very different emotional imprint that comes with losing someone via break up or divorce. When death parts people, that love is deep and abiding. It can even seem larger than life. The bereaved may not truly want to move on from that love to another. They may be merely looking for steady companionship to bide the time until they follow the beloved spouse to the other side. So "what are you looking for in a relationship?" is an important question.
If you want companionship only, someone to come home to and spend the days with until the shadows fall, that is fine - but you both need to know and want the same thing. There is a love that's like a comfortable old pair of slippers or those favorite jeans that are worn out just right. Easy to be in but you just "know" they are there. You don't take them out just to admire them; you know where you left them and you don't need to slip them on your feet one more time before you start your day or end it. In a relationship you aren't driven - you don't "need" to hear that person's voice to say goodnight. You can survive without that one more hug and kiss at the door. You walk to your car, you put in the keys, you drive away. Oh, you'll call in the morning and you like that you have "a person" and are even willing to devote time to that person - but something is just missing. Or maybe it's not - maybe you are so whole and complete that they aren't needed to make you feel that sensation. In Randy Travis' song, "Forever and Ever Amen," he sings "you're not just time that I'm killing." In this situation, well, it might feel like exactly like you are just killing time together.
There is another kind of love - and it's the kind I want. Don't get me wrong - I want that comfort and ease, too. However, I want madly, deeply, passionately along with it. I want the earth to move under my feet and the stars to sing. I want the man who has to say "I love you" before bed, whose voice makes me feel warm and alive. I want the talk to be of us, of the future. Oh, when people have lost someone they love, there will be talk of the one who is gone - but it shouldn't dominate the conversation. A constant diet of another woman or another man is a buzz kill. Back to Travis' song, he sings, "They say that time can play tricks on a memory, make people forget things they knew. well, it's easy to see it's happening to me, I've already forgotten every woman but you." No, you don't actually "forget" the love of your past, but you have so embraced the love of the now that your focus is on this present love, this present life. It's mad love; it's need to see you one more time love; it's passionate, mind-locking, into your soul kind of love.
You have to stop and ask yourself. Which love do I want? Don't settle for the love that doesn't fit the bill.
Here's to finding the person who wants the same things that you want in a relationship. Here's to a comfortable place to land, a peaceful easy feeling - and for me, I'll take madly, passionately, deeply along with it.