She said “no”

Last week I asked someone out.

On a date.

She said “no”.

I know that I’ve said many times that this blog is for me – and it is – but I also know there are people who read it so I don’t post everything and often I leave out names when I do post things.

Last week I didn’t post something I wrote because I worried that it might effect the court case against the man who hit Kim’s tiny car with his semi. I showed the post to a lawyer first.

He said, “there’s nothing wrong with what you’ve written here.”

Even though he said there was nothing wrong, I had a feeling that he would prefer I didn’t post it.

So I didn’t.

I tend to be pretty good at reading between the lines.

After I wrote to thank him and to tell him I wouldn’t be publishing the blog post he went into more detail of why he thought it was better to restrain myself in this case.

I started to not write this post as well.

I know the first sentence will upset some people.

Last week I asked someone out.

“How could you,” some will say and many will think.

“It’s too soon.”

“You must not have loved Kim that much.”

I understand those that feel that way.

I really do.

I’ve looked at other men and women in my position and judged them. I didn’t understand how they seemed to be off and dating or so happy so soon.

I completely understand that others will judge me.

I’m not sure that those who say, “it’s too soon” are wrong.

Not because it implies that I’m moving on from Kim cavalierly, but that maybe it really is too soon for me to be making a rational decision.

It may be too soon because I may not be ready.

I’m really not the best judge of that.

And yet, I’m the only judge I have.

Those who think it implies that I didn’t love Kim completely and in every way and with everything in me – I can’t answer them. They’re wrong.

If they don’t understand, then they won’t understand.

In fact, most of you know I still love Kim in every way with everything in me.

And yet…

Last week I asked someone out.

It’s not that I was looking for someone.

It’s more that it felt appropriate to take that step with someone I’d been talking to.

I likely misread the situation or misinterpreted a signal. But from what she was telling me, it felt right to ask her on a date.

I tend to be pretty good at reading between the lines.

It felt right. It didn’t feel awkward. It didn’t feel like back in seventh grade crossing the gym floor to ask a girl to dance.

I thought she was giving me an opening. I thought it made sense for both of us. I asked her if she’d like to try cautiously dating.

She said “no”.

I waited.

I watched my reaction.

I looked to see if I’d feel bad.

I didn’t.

I didn’t feel bad or embarrassed or wrong – if I did, I don’t know if I’d be telling you about it now.

I also didn’t feel ok in the “I didn’t want to go out with her anyway” kind of way.

I did want to go out with her. I asked her. She said, “no”. And I was ok.

As a younger man I might have thought of the reasons she should have said “yes” and tried to convince her. At my age, I know that that never works – not in the long run. Even if you convince them in the short run they’re not there because they want to be.

I looked back at our conversations and thought about how we’d had such a different view of what we’d been saying to each other.

I tend to be pretty good at reading between the lines. It seemed that I wasn’t this time.

As I looked back, I saw both sides.

I understood how she saw what she saw. I understand how I saw what I saw.

Both interpretations are readily apparent in the conversation. The two views are consistent with our different vantage points and not in the actual words that were spoken.

So, I felt pretty good.

I’m not in a rush to go out with anyone. Really.

Actually, I don’t like going out that much at all.

Mostly, I stay in.

I cook. I hang with the dog. I hang with Maggie. I go to the gym. I go out for coffee with friends.

I’ve been happily married for twenty-some years. I’m pretty boring.

So now what?

Now that I’ve asked one person out and feel pretty good about it, I’m not going on a “will you go out with me” rampage.

I’m in a good place.

I feel really good that when it felt like I should ask someone out, I did. And when she said “no”, it was ok.

The next time it feels appropriate, if there is a next time, I hope it goes as smoothly.

Right before Kim died, we were in the kitchen talking about how we were glad that we’d never have to date again.

I’d still prefer not to ever have to date again.

But if I have to, I’m so glad I’m not the person I was when I was twenty.

Last week I asked someone out.

On a date.

She said “no”.

I’m ok with that.

Published in: on February 26, 2017 at 5:57 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Daniel, as someone who has similarly dealt with love and loss and grief, I can completely relate. (I wrote a post about finding love after Lee died, and how strange and beautiful it all was, and how it did not matter what that meant for my love of Lee.)

    I think your writing is good and strong, and your willingness to bare yourself here is helpful not only for you, but to others.

    Peace,
    Rick

  2. Congratulations. No judgment here…just glad that you are doing what you feel you need to do. Continued prayers for you and for Maggie.

  3. No one who has ever met you, even once, would have any doubt about how you felt/feel for Kim. When I knew you, you wore it in a way that made other women wish someone felt that way about them. It was genuine and solid, without need for the frilly, showy things other couples need. I don’t want to say “she’d want you to…”, but she loved you the same way and she would want you to have happiness, Daniel. You acted on a genuine feeling. For what it’s worth, think she’d have liked that you gave it a shot. Although, I’ll admit, I’m crying that you have to. I hope you have more happy moments than sad ones today.


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