With my last post I began the journey down my dating history, first offering a bit of history, something to lay the foundation for my attitudes and perhaps perspectives.  I think it now appropriate to move into the post divorce era, which only slightly preceded my cancer diagnosis.  It is really uneventful, for the most part, but nonetheless of some value.  The journey began two months after my now ex-wife moved out and a good friend started taking me out  That same good friend also introduced me to the online dating world, perhaps this is where I should say he wasn’t such a good friend; joking of course, but that was the beginning of my ‘new life’.  A life after the end of a 14 year marriage and a life, as it would come to be, of dating with cancer.

In the early days post divorce my mind was more preoccupied with the issues of being in the trenches, in the throes of the dissolution and what came to be something of an embittered battle over all the little things and, the one thing we both cherished the most, our son.  At the outset of the proceedings, as I will call them, I had asked my son what he wished, what the best outcome would be for him under the circumstances.  The answer in some ways wasn’t schock, but given his relationship with his mother came as a surprise.  His answer was that he wanted to stay in the house, that he wanted to stay in this town and he wanted to finish school with his friends.  He was in sixth grade at the time, but his wishes were clear and I made the promise I would do the best I could to make that happen.

For those of us who have experienced a divorce, irrespective of how peaceful or acrimonious, the majority frequently cycle through an array of emotions and pass through a number of phases.  The inclusion of a child or children can intensify those emotions and the phases may endure longer, hence mentioning my son’s wishes.  It is also important to understand the emotions one experiences, often lost in the milieu of struggles, must find closure and in the process, allow us to mourn the death of something in which most bear a significant investment.  It is the early emotions that seem to dominate and infect any attempts to date because, no matter how hard one might try, there are those times when something divorce related consumes your mind and spills into the conversation during the date.  It surely happened to me and I’ve yet to find anyone who dated during a divorce did not find themselves spouting off about something divorce related on a date.

So with that backdrop, on to my dating experiences leading up to my cancer diagnosis.  As I said, my friend had gotten me out in the world , presenting a challenge given his being nearly 20 years my  junior, as were his friends.  The result of his effort to include me at his friends parties I tended to find myself a bit out-of-place. While, in terms of mindset, I tend to skew younger, I did manage to reasonably hold my own in conversation and interaction thosse much younger, not a bad thing.  However, finding that not working very well he introduced me to the online dating world and from that domain arose the majority of my dating experiences.

The early days, actually the first several months of having a profile posted yielded a number of contacts from women, yes, they reached out to me, I rarely initiated any contacts.  Most of the time I simply exchanged emails, screening many out for any of a number of reasons.  In some cases moving to telephone conversations with the occasional meeting for coffee or perhaps lunch.  Each of my encounters received some sort of nickname, an ambiguous label which denoted something about the individual as I shared my experiences with my ’emotinal guardians’, several women friends with whom I worked who found it their responsibility to ‘look out’ for me.  In any case, there was widow lady, Geneva lady, crazy lady and IBM lady. to name a few met over six or so months.  With each my guardians required a report and then passed judgement on the person’s suitability for me.  In some cases we had an enjoyable time, in others it was clearly an awkward situation with each seeking a means to ‘escape’ without appearing impolite.  In the end, nothing really developed with any met in the ‘pre-cancer’ days.

With my diagnosis in September, the beginning of what seems a rather active period for ‘pairing up’, providing a new variable to the equation.  The question coming to the fore was whether I should disclose my condition or keep it to myself until things played out to some degree, to a point when, or if, the encounter would evolve into something more.  I chose to keep it private, holding it close for my experience to that point had been most of these encounters were relatively fleeting.  That all changed when I received an email from Bethany.

Happy reading, happy thoughts and happy trails.

As always, feel free to comment or you may email me at lifeabstractions@gmail.com



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