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Ronda

Need advice first real relationship

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I have started dating one man exclusively.  The first one since my husband passed away.  I am starting to have feelings for him.  I am scared to death.  How do you get over being scared to love someone again when you know how devastating it is to lose them?  I don't want to hold back my feelings for this man but it is so hard already to just give in to them and let whatever is going to happen happen.  Any advice on what has helped any of you would be greatly appreciated.

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It's really hard to say how. I think it's mindset really. I do a lot of self coaching trying to decide and understand what is acceptable to me. I'm good with sharing my feelings and opening up but my own personal hang up is the ability to make any potential long term goals or plans involving him. I am not ready to take this level of risk. I fear making long term permanent plans. What I have told my NG was that, yes, my heart will always have a love for LH. However, love for me is not a set amount. For me, love grows and any love or affection I have for him is his. I think you need to understand yourself and your feelings first and foremost. I have learned from my loss that life is uncertain so I think that has helped me be more open and willing to pursue a relationship than to wallow in solitude and sadness. It is not what LH would want for me. I know he would want me loved and cared for in some way. My kids also encouraged and supported me as well so that helped. Sorry for the random ramblings but I as just typing as it came to me. 

 

Good luck!  

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9 hours ago, Ronda said:

 How do you get over being scared to love someone again when you know how devastating it is to lose them? 

 

Hi Ronda - I sort of took the opposite approach. Namely, "how can I hold back knowing that she won't be here forever?"

 

I guess I'm a fatalist of sorts - Since it is a undeniable fact that ALL successful marriages end in death, I strove to embrace it and pack as much love and caring into whatever time is left for us.

 

Granted, my approach is not for all, but it's another possible way to face what is unchangeable.

 

Good luck!

 

Mike  

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When I first started hanging out with bf, at 18 months, I was still grieving quite a bit, still wearing my rings, and I do recall saying something to him about never allowing anyone that much power to hurt me ever again. The thought of going through that much intense pain a second time truly did terrify me. We’d known each other in college, so he was kind of familiar to me, and I was brutally honest with him because I didn’t particularly want a boyfriend so what did I have to lose? 

 

And yet, here I am, pretty much 5 years since that conversation, totally committed to the man. Was it easy? Nope. Sometimes it was downright messy and teary- and he was very good at dealing with it. I imagine it takes a special kind of person to date the widowed, someone who is self-confident enough in their own self-worth to deal with the special problems it can sometimes entail. Especially with those of us who ruminate way too damn much. I do recall saying to him more than once that first couple years, with a shrug of my shoulders- you’re just gonna die on me anyway. It became a bit of a joke between us. 

 

I guess, for me, in the beginning it came down to becoming kinda addicted to the happiness he brought to me. After so much pain, it felt like the best drug on earth. And it turned out I wanted it more than I wanted to protect my bruised and battered heart. I just took it day by day- probably the slowest I’ve ever taken a relationship. I mean, I probably could have gone even slower, but after a couple years he started to push a bit harder- and I let him. Because, honesty, this is the easiest relationship I’ve ever had. 

 

He's been having some health issues and I can’t lie- it can fill me with anxiety when I let it. But all I can do is the same thing I did when my husband was diagnosed with cancer- live in denial and in love until something happens to show me otherwise. Because the truth is, I have given him that power, even though sometimes I do play little head games with myself to convince myself I’ve held back enough so it won’t hurt so bad if he does die on me. Denial is a brilliant thing sometimes. 

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Thank you for all the good advice.  I did share with new guy tonight that I am scared to be in a relationship because of loosing my husband.  He was very understanding and told me he isn’t going anywhere unless I tell him to leave.  Funny thing is that years and years ago when I was starting my relationship with DH and got cold feet he told me the exact same thing.  

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Mike is right, we know more than many that these lives we have are fragile things. Living them to the fullest is our best option.

 

C.S. Lewis has a wonderful quote about love, and I can not add more to this conversation than he does here. 

 

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” 


 C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

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I found NG about 2 ½ years ago.  

I am losing her already.

If I could go back 2 ½ years I would not change a thing.

I made that same promise others mentioned.  That I would not leave her unless she asked me to. I am very glad I made that promise. 

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