That Whole Dating Thing…

Since losing my husband I have not really dated at all.  I tried a few times but it never quite worked out.  Like about a year after my husband’s death I decided to go out with this local guy I met online.  I was not sure I was ready to date but I felt I needed to try.  I got all dolled up… and he stood me up.  He called the next evening to apologize.  It seems his blood pressure got high and his daughter took him to the hospital.  It was really quite funny at the time!  All I could think was “Welcome to your 40s ‘Nita!”  We did finally get together but I quickly realized it was too soon for me.  It was another 3 years before I tried again.

After moving to the east coast, I met another guy online.  He was absolutely determined to go out with me.  I told him no several times because he lives 3 hours away.  I just got here and was not going to move while he was well established in the community where he lived and was never going to move.  The long distance thing is not for me, so I really saw no point in even going there.  But he kept on until I finally said yes.  The date was a disaster from the moment I got out of my car.  The guy was on my Facebook page and saw my pictures, so I did not think my weight would be an issue.  Yet when he saw me, he could not hide the look of disappointment.  The whole time we were together, he really did not even try to hide how he felt about driving 3 hours only to find out I’m a fat girl.  And there I was feeling pressured to make sure he had a good time because I obviously did not meet his physical standards.  That was a first for me.  I never had issues with my weight before marrying, so it was my first experience with that type of rejection.  I had no clue how to handle it but I was raised to be polite so I endured the date, and tried to make the best of it.  But all I really wanted to do was say, “Don’t blame me for your disappointment.  I never wanted to go out with you in the first place.”  Snap.  But I didn’t because my Mama raised me better.  But dang it!  Sometimes…  Anyway, he went home and a few days later quietly disappeared from my Facebook page.  Good riddance.

Since then I have not dated. I get lonely sometimes, but for the most part I have not really wanted to.  And it only takes an hour on the phone with a girlfriend to realize I do not need that kind of drama in my life!  I have gone out with male friends, including a few exes from the  past but never as anything but friends.  Some men have shown interest, but they are almost always married or in a long term relationship. That is a bridge I do not care to cross.  I respect myself too much to be someone’s second choice, or anyone’s back-up plan.  So I thought the whole dating thing was not an issue for me…

Until week 1, when I met a guy online.  Very handsome and a little younger than me.  We started talking because we like the same sports teams.  I did not know where this new friendship was going because we were only talking about unimportant things like sports, movies, music, but for the first time in a long time I was rethinking the whole dating thing.  Immediately connecting with strangers is not something I do, but I did with him!  It wasn’t long before he told me he was married with no interest in straying.  So there went that but it is all good because he is quickly becoming a friend.  So what does this have to do with my weight loss journey? Three things actually:
1)  There is a lot about him that reminds me of my late husband and that brings back a lot of good memories of what Bryant and I had together.  It also reminds me of how lonely I get sometimes and all the good things I miss about being in a relationship.  So I am still rethinking the whole dating thing…
2)  It also brought up a bad memory I did not realize still bothered me… the fear of having a man look at me with disappointment and rejection because of my weight.  It hurt too much the first time and I did not even want to go out with him!  Imagine how much it would hurt to see that from a man I do want to go out with.
3)  As much as I love having a new friend, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed to find out he was married.  That disappointment made me feel sorry for myself and I wallowed in it.  I decided to go out to eat and start walking again tomorrow, but I knew I was lying.  After all, when it comes to weight loss, self-sabotage is what I do.  But this time, I did something different.  I went into the kitchen and cooked my dinner.  It was another couple hours before I got up and started walking but I did.  I had to push it but I hit my goal and then some.  I know it might seem like a small thing but not letting myself down… that was a big victory for me!

So for now, I am going to hold onto that victory.  As for the whole dating issue, to be continued…

Southern Yang

What is a Southern Yang?  It’s me! Or rather my writing pseudonym. The nickname came about back in 2006 when I first started blogging.  I was newly widowed and needed an outlet to keep my sanity.  My best friend and rock, Nadine, helped me set up a MySpace page, then showed me how to maneuver through this foreign world of social media.  With her help, I was all set to start writing, except I did not have a name for my blog.

I knew I wanted either “Southern” or “Hillbilly” to reflect my Virginia roots but beyond that I was clueless.  Everything I came up with (Southern Twang being my favorite) was already being used. Then someone made a comment about Nadine and I being Yin and Yang.  That night I started thinking with all I was going through, her support really was the yin to my yang.  The light in my dark.  Opposite in so many ways, but we understood each other completely.  In such a short time, we connected and intertwined in a way that I knew she would be my friend for life.  She was the angel God sent to save me and I wanted to honor that.  So that night I became “Southern Yang”, and my blog finally had a title… Yang With a Southern Twang.

My days on MySpace are long gone, along with that original blog.  As all my friends migrated to Facebook, I eventually broke down and followed.  I moved all my blog entries to a new blog with a new title, but barely wrote at all.  I still felt that need to pull my jumbled thoughts out of myself, lay them out in print and somehow make sense of them, but I no longer wanted to do so publicly.  Looking back, my writing up to that point was a distraction from my pain.  I wrote about it, but not in a way that healed me.  I wrote to avoid being alone with it.  In my third year of widowhood, I knew it was time to truly face my loss.  I wrote, but I wrote for me.  I wrote to heal.  Occasionally, I would go to my blog and add an entry, with every intention of beginning again, but I never did.  It never felt right.  This time, it does.

So, many years later, here I am. I moved halfway across the country but despite the miles that now lay between us, Nadine is still one of my best friends and I am still trying to find my way.  Still getting to know this woman I am becoming.  One thing I do know for sure… life is too damned short and it is meant to be lived. We each may have our own destiny… if you are like me, you don’t know what that is but that is no excuse to not participate.  Destiny is not going to come looking for you.  This blog is about finding mine, finding me, and experiencing life along the way.