Elaine Williams ©2008

Well, I confess right away I passed the stage where I could be called a girl about twenty five years ago. However, in the intervening time there was a lot of life and living that I’ve participated in and lived through. Many days held life’s usual ups and downs. However, when I became a widow at forty seven years of age, I thought I was pretty savvy about the world and the myriad people out there. I dealt with my grief on what felt like a long, protracted journey, a wending road through the unwieldy thickets of life and other times the ride was as smooth as new pavement. While journeying through the thickets, many days I didn’t know what was up or what was down and I got jabbed along the way.

Once I began dating again, after a long absence, I found out I knew little to nothing about this sector of society’s structure. At forty seven years of age it was no longer the same world, obviously, as when you’re in your twenties and starting out fresh. Many people by this age have become jaded, injured emotionally and mentally by life. Life as a whole is different. When they talk about mind games in the dating sense, that’s an entire genre all by itself. If you go into dating with an honest mindset, you think that’s what you will find in return. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, so I learned to develop a certain type of radar to keep myself safe, not only physically but emotionally. I had to learn to grow a shell, of sorts, for my own protection. And yet at times, dating at close to fifty years of age was a liberating experience. My kids were older, I didn’t have to find babysitters if I wanted to go out. Financially, I could take care of myself, and emotionally, I had become a well adjusted citizen of the world, relatively secure in knowledge of how life worked.

My first inclination was to be trusting, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I also learned not to be naïve. If your dating situation doesn’t make you feel comfortable, let it go. And yes, even though sometimes I knew a situation wasn’t serving what was best for me, it was still hard to let it go. It’s a case of craving what isn’t good for us. When I first entered dating it was like I had a sweet tooth that was out of control, I just wanted more and more. Basically, I wasn’t getting what I needed, what I deserved in the dating situations I involved myself with, so I was searching for that special something.

I’m not sure I even knew what that special something might be, but I continued my quest by trying online dating, dating services and attending sporting events. Eventually, I decided to pull back from casual dating world. It was taking too much energy and dashing hopes too quickly. I began to feel a bit burnt. It was all too “casual.” In reality, I wanted something long-term. So I pulled back from the online dating and really thought about what it was I wanted. I had been married twenty years and I knew what a relationship was about and how it worked. And yes, at times it was work. I would not settle for less than a relationship that enhanced my life and who I was today, as I expected to enhance someone else’s life. I know the right person will come along, and perhaps for now, even though it’s never been my strong suit, I just need to learn a little more about patience. In the meantime, my life is getting better every day.

Author's Bio: 

Elaine Williams is a writer across various genres, published in women’s fiction, but also enjoys writing children’s books, self-help and screenplays. She is a mother of three boys and when life saw her a widow at 47, she eventually picked herself up and wrote about her experience. The resulting book, A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss will be available June 2008, www.ajourneywelltaken.com