Monday, June 15, 2009

"I'm afraid of hurting you"

I have heard "I am afraid of hurting you" a lot from the few guys I have dated in the last few months.
And I have to say it is frustrating.
Beyond. frustrating.
I want to say to all of them, "Are you kidding me?"

First, do they really think I am that weak?
Have I not proven that I can handle the worst pain ever?
I am stronger than most, I think.  
I think I can deal.  
I am actually pretty sure I can deal.
Even if I cry, it does not mean I am weak.
People cry.  
Get over it.

Second, if it does hurt me, do they really think I could not survive this new pain?
I mean, come on.
I lost my husband.
The man I loved more than anything else.
My best friend.
And I survived.  
And I am surviving.
My sister-in-law says I am even thriving.
Do they think they are on the same level at that? 
Do they think the pain they may cause will hurt me that badly? 
Even if they were half as important, I am pretty sure I can survive not being with them.  
I may get a scar in the process, but scars still heal.  

Third, what kind of person wants to hurt other people?
As long people do not hurt me intentionally, then it is fine.  
I will be fine.
Cry, maybe.  But I will be fine.
And I have to believe the people I am dating are not the type to hurt people on purpose.  
I am a better reader of people than that.

Sometimes, I put myself into situations knowing the outcome.
I know what I am doing most of the time.  
I know the outcome of some things before I do them.  
I would not put myself into a situation that I could not handle.  
I know what I need.
I know what I want.
And I know how to express those things and get those things.

It is not necessary to treat me differently.
It is not necessary to try not to hurt me anymore than normal when dating me.
I am not that different than an ordinary person besides surviving a tragedy.
Yes, my heart was broken.
But many people get their hearts broken. 

And I will always survive.


Mars Girl said...

I think a lot of young men are intimidated by the whole widowhood thing. It makes them uncomfortable. Plus, what they won't admit to you is that they are afraid of being compared to the dead. I know that I've had my share of men saying, "I feel I will never meet up with the love you had for your husband."

I dont know why someone would bother to try. I will always love my husband, but in a completely different way than I could love anyone else (simply because they are different people). Besides, the heart is big... there's lots of room for lots of people. A man shouldnt feel he has to eclipse your former love to be just as special to you.

But I'm the wrong person to take advice from, I guess. I've dated several guys long term since my husband died and I remain unmarried (8 years since my husband died). So maybe I am comparing them to my husband. Or maybe I havent had "that feeling" like I had when I met my husband. Either way, I try. I guess I am ultimately okay with being alone if that is to be my fate. At least I had a great love once.

Be careful with those first dates so soon in your loss. Sometimes we date because we're looking for someone/something to fill the hole in our hearts. We have to make sure we're dating for all the right reasons...

Bettydog said...

That's a stupid excuse ("I'm afraid of hurting you") along the lines of "I never meant to hurt you" when someone gets caught cheating. Why, however, does widowhood make some so uncomfortable? I feel like I was successful in a marriage, doesn't that make me a better new partner? A better risk/return gamble? Even better, the husband is dead! He won't be coming around, you (the date) won't ever have to deal with him! Mystifying...