Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Dating and Happiness

Monday, October 5, 2015
Posted By: 
Marlene Delaney

How do you define happiness? I think that everyone has an opinion on being happy. And many of my friends and family have opinions on what I should be doing to be happy. And one constant seems to be that I should be dating.

I was never good at dating. I was the smart girl who tried too hard to fit in and as a result, I didn't date in high school. I had a boyfriend in college but in hindsight, it wasn't a good relationship. My siblings were all married by the time they were 21 so they assumed that I would never get married because I was too old at 22. After college, I had a handful of not very serious relationships but then I met Tom and everything fell into place. Before he died, he told me that he hoped I would find someone else so my hesitancy to date isn't because of my loyalty to Tom. I think it has more to do with lack of skill and high expectations. I explained the lack of skill but the high expectations comes from the fact that Tom was a pretty good husband. The few post-Tom dates I have been on were not good experiences so I haven't been pursuing a relationship.

But does that mean I am unhappy? I would say no. I love my career and specifically my job. I find my volunteer work to be extremely rewarding. I enjoy my children even during the difficult times (see my previous blog for more on that). I travel. I read. I socialize. I am happy most of the time.

Does that mean that I will never date? Of course not, I hope there will come a time when I will but I believe that I can be happy as a widow with or without a boyfriend. And it is tiring having people try to convince me that I can't be.

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