[I mentioned dating in a post a while back, but someone asked about it recently in comments, so I thought I'd address it again.]
It was about ten months after John died that someone first asked me if I had thought about starting to date.
The question was from a close friend, and I didn't mind. I actually don't mind when anyone asks me this. It strikes me as one of the many instances I encounter of somewhat oddly placed concern for my well-being. I think there's a healthy dose of curiosity mixed in, but I do think that when people ask me about dating, they are saying, "It's not easy—emotionally or physically—to be without a partner in this life, you have a lot to give, and I want that for you. Do you want it?" That's how I choose to interpret it, at least. I'm very generous with my interpretations, otherwise I could be driven quite mad by the things people say to me.
I loved being married, and I had a wonderful partner and partnership. I waited fairly long to find the right person, and once I did, was he ever right. This means that I have very high expectations of what marriage can and should be. I'm not going to get married just so that I have a spouse. I'd love to have someone else to help me out with the kids and the stuff of life, but getting married just to have that seems pretty drastic.
Then there's the time factor. When am I going to date? I don't get enough rest as it is, and I'm running at full-throttle to keep my head above water at home and at work. Not only would dating add something else to my to-do list in terms of time spent out on the dates, but there would be the associated logistics of arranging child care and such. The whole idea makes my head spin.
The bottom line, though, is that I'm not emotionally ready. I love the idea of someone taking me out for a nice dinner, maybe a movie. Sounds fantastic. But the idea of holding hands with someone or any other kind of physical intimacy makes my stomach turn. And I'm really not ready for anyone to want to be a parent of sorts to the twins. Being a dad was so much of John's identity during our time together that I can't bear the thought of someone else stepping into that role.
So for now, I wear my wedding rings and create my own "dates." Last night, I sat on the porch in the balmy, early summer weather and had a glass of wine with my (gay) upstairs neighbor. Next week I'm going to the movies with a fellow twin mom. Sometimes I ignore the laundry and the other chores around the house and have a beer and watch the Red Sox. Any time I take totally for myself—be it by myself, or with friends—suffices for now in place of dating. I'm sure that someday I'll be ready for romance, but for now, it's not like I even miss it. I've realized that it's not being married or romance or dates that I miss, exactly. It's John that I miss. Someday I will miss those other things, but I'm not going to rush it. All in due time.