Dating and Grief

When I was involved in my tryst with “George”  there was no worries, no thoughts about the future together.

I knew what he wanted, what he planned.  He didn’t want a live-in girlfriend, he didn’t want to get married again, he didn’t want forever.

And he lived close enough that the “Walk of Shame” was short.  It didn’t bother me to date him because I knew I’d never be “married” to him, never merge our lives.   And that was ok.  Its not what I wanted out of that relationship.

And now there’s Mike.   Mike is a blast from my past.  He found me through POF.   But my POF profile had certain restrictions such as marital status, location in order to contact me.

After all – what’s the point in meeting someone who doesn’t live close enough for me to plan a future with?   I’m not moving, I love my life, my kids’ school, my friends, my job.   All my memories and my past is tied up in the house I’m in.  And on a purely practical note – I have really great rent.

Between all that – whomever I dated – I swore – would be either local, or willing to become local.  Not only that – the ones that weren’t local would have to come to me for the first date.

And now there’s Mike.

I’ve read somewhere that you never stop loving someone.  That you may be separated by time, distance, etc., but if there’s real love there – you never. stop. loving them.

And Mike showed up in my life recently.

I dated Mike 20 years ago.   I was young.  I loved him fiercely.  My memories of our relationship are disjointed and fractured, but aside from the colour of love that permeates what memories I do  have, I remember him doing and saying some things that hurt me deeply.  I loved him enough to accept them… and in the end we broke up anyhow.

So now Mike and I are back together.  Who would have thought?  I wouldn’t have ever thought I’d have ended up dating a man who I’d dated in the past; after all  – you’re ex’s for a reason.

The problem is… I have to rely on him for the reason.   When I’m with him, all I know is that I love him, still. I love being around him.  He makes me feel safe.  He makes me feel loved.  He makes me feel protected.

It’s a good thing we live far apart.  He lives 7 1/2 hours away from me.  His life has complications.  Him moving down to me would be WAY more complicated than me moving up to him.

It’s a really good thing that we live far apart.

I’m up visiting him this weekend – and I am looking at the town where we’d live if I moved.  I’m looking at the houses, the potential, the plans he has.   I’m looking at the family that would suddenly be close by, the change in lifestyle I’d go through.

And I’m grieving hard.

What should be a lovely weekend (and is for the most part) is an exercise in grieving over holding on to the past vs. embracing the future.

My home… is where I lived with my husband.  My bedroom I shared with my husband.  My garden he built for me.  The apple tree we planted in Kamloops then transplanted in Squamish when we moved back.  The pathway he built me by hand.   His Jeep.  His fishing gear.  My marriage, my husband, my loss, is all tied up in that place.   My job is a daily reminder of what I had and what I don’t have any longer. Everything reminds me of him.

I’m not ready to let go of that yet.  I’m not ready to go into the craft room where his stuff is, and sort through it.

I’m not ready to pack up his things into boxes.

Most of his stuff has been sorted through, but there are pockets of “Mark” all over my house.   I’m not ready to sort through those.

When I move forward with another relationship, I will have to, in order to be fair to that new relationship.   It would be unfair and inconsiderate for me to insist that someone new move into my home, with all the reminders of my husband, and expect that person to be comfortable in calling that place “home”

So dating, and getting serious about someone, is a new form of grief… there will be some letting go.  There will some be a moment of saying to myself, my children, my family, my friends… “Yes, Mark was and is still a very important part of me… but he’s part of my past and I’m looking towards the future”

I’m not quite there yet.  I have some grieving to do first.   And some honest assessments of how I want my life to look.



There is a part of me that feels guilty about wanting a future.  That feels that I’m betraying him in some way, even though I know that he’d want me to be happy.

It’s almost as if by choosing happiness, choosing life, that I am choosing to say goodbye.

Fuck.  That threw me.  I wrote that… let the words fall… and realized… I don’t want to.  I desperately want happiness and love and life and laughter… but I don’t want to accept that he’s not going to be a part of that.   I don’t want to acknowledge that he’s never coming back.

I know it logically. I just don’t seem to know it emotionally.




4 thoughts on “Dating and Grief

  1. Sierra says:

    I love your honesty you have with yourself. Your journey is not easy and the loss of Mark has impacted you and your family greatly. I know it is not easy to move forward and to say it takes time, feels lame to say, but it is true. Breathe and enjoy your good days and embrace your grief days, there will be balance in time.

  2. This is really an amazing post. You are very perceptive, clear and honest about this. I wonder if I will ever get to where you are now.

  3. Jax says:

    Incredible post. You DESERVE love, life, happiness. We all do. But it has to be in a form that makes you comfortable. Mark will ALWAYS be there – he’s part of you, your life, your history. Best to you!

  4. […] couple weeks ago I wrote about the new grief I’m experiencing as I move forward in my relationship with Mike.  I wrote about how I […]

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