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Love — It’s History.

In the months and years after my husband died, I missed HIM — his person, his presence, his touch. Five years later, the rawest grief has abated and I miss him in a different way – as the person with whom I shared a unique history.

After long-term living and loving together, a couple can speak volumes with a single glance, feel contentedly linked during periods of silence, sense the meaning of incomplete sentences. Myriad events, trivial and momentous, have formed the mosaic of their lives. The face of the departed can fade, as can the memory of his touch, but this awful sense that you’ve lost your history remains.

Re-inventing Oneself for Someone New

Being ready to look for and bond with someone new means being ready to return to the explicit, the detailed. This is why when we say, “He isn’t my type,” or “We have nothing in common,” we may really be saying, “There’s no history there.”

If you’ve finally decided to date after losing someone — whether through death or divorce — you surely haven’t come easily to that decision. Because it means opening yourself up to what amounts to a blank page. There is no “there” there — yet. Whether you remember your past relationships with joy or misery or a mixture of both, moving on is a dangerous new quest. Your very being is on the line. Finding love after 60 means overcoming many more roadblocks than you found the first time around. Your new partner will be set in his ways. He will not easily become fond of the Rolling Stones if he’s spent the last 40 years without them. Slowly you will build a new history that does or does not include listening with fondness to Mick Jagger, but you will never totally separate yourself from your past and that other person who helped to shape who you are.

PASHA is the first man with whom I think building a new history might be possible. We’ve fallen into the same life rhythms with alacrity. We’re emotionally as well as physically expressive. We like the same music.

PASHA also lost a beloved spouse and a history. This mutuality of loss is part of a history we might begin to build for ourselves.

strolling senior couple


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'Love — It’s History.' have 7 comments

  1. July 19, 2011 @ 7:02 am Lillian

    Here’s another argument for widows dating widowers. I think a widowed man is more sensitive to your needs and understands what you are saying about the history, since he has a history too. Another great, thought provoking post, Sienna. thanks.

  2. February 6, 2011 @ 8:30 am Willa

    Glad to see this posted on Twitter. I needed to read this again. It’s very helpful.

  3. January 28, 2011 @ 8:22 am Sienna

    I don’t mean to minimize your pain, but you really have to be proactive, ElizAnn, and to keep at it. I know you were out there looking before. Did something awful happen? It’s important to pick yourself up and keep going. He’s out there, believe me, and he wants to find you.

  4. January 27, 2011 @ 12:56 pm ElizAnn

    I really can’t take being a widow. There are no men out there for me even though I try.

  5. October 29, 2010 @ 4:16 pm Pretty Patti

    This is such an insightful blog. The experience of widowhood is devastating and you “get it”. You are lucky to find Pasha. He must be a great guy. I hope I am as lucky some day.

  6. October 24, 2010 @ 8:34 am Emma

    I miss my husband every day, even though it’s been three years since he died. We were married 36 years and I never thought of it this way, but it really is the history that I’m missing now, and I know I can’t replace that. Thanks for these insights, though. I’m just at the beginning of trying on-line dating, so I guess I have to wait and see. This is a great blog!

  7. September 19, 2010 @ 5:30 pm Bubbles

    This is a very helpful perspective. Thanks.

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