Left a comment on a post about remarriage that prompted the author to come back – gloating a tiny bit at what she perceived was “striking a nerve” – to “explain” that she really meant no offense and was writing from her own perspective.
What perspective? Longing and need. Not atypical when one is alone again after having been contentedly cocooned in a relationship. But she made the mistake of comparing her missteps with those who venture back in a more relationship oriented mind and who, unsurprisingly, find someone.
I have written it before but it bears repeating – most people find what they are looking for when they date. The trouble is that most people look for the wrong things.
But the observations that prompted me to comment were directed at folks who remarry. In the author’s opinion, moving into marriage again after a short interval is based on the longing only. There couldn’t be any possible way that real love is the motive.
And in the absence of the one we truly want, I am sure that occasionally the “stand-in” can fall into a small space made where the huge void developed. And maybe that is love. A new love.
Stand-ins. Second wives are “stand-ins”. How could we hope to be more when we are not what is actually wanted?
And one wonders why dating goes wrong or new relationships don’t lead anyway? As if anything good could come from using people? Or thinking of them as second best or pale imitations?
This particular blog is multi-authored, but more than a few have a decidedly poor opinion of the men and women who dare to be second. Surprising given that a couple of the others are in relationships or remarried themselves.
But I’ve observed this elsewhere. At Widower Wednesday, a widow left a comment in the middle of a conversation taking place between mostly non-widowed second wives and girlfriends that upbraided them for their desire to come first in their relationships.
“Seconds should know their place,” and I am paraphrasing except for the “seconds” term. “They cannot expect to supplant the late wife, who by rights earned her spot eternal as first and foremost.”
Heavens to sisterwives! Seriously?
I left a response to the explanation of the blogger who has such a low opinion of the idea that love can be love on the same level as one lost, but it wasn’t approved. Which did not surprise me. I was pointed and called her out for mixing her metaphors. Basically, one can’t fall back on “it’s just based on my experience” when citing an example of that is based on the life of someone you heard about via a friend.
She’d started her post with the tale of a widower who’d remarried in the first year after his wife’s death. She implies that he was simply filling that void. Not that she was judging or anything.
So why bring it up?
There is no corner market on longing and loneliness and the need to be held and make love. It’s not exclusive to any particular relationship aftermath or more keenly felt by widowed as opposed to divorced or someone whose broken up with a boyfriend. Hurt is hurt. Pining is pining. The degree of attachment and the owie it leaves when severed is dependent on the person and will vary.
But no one is a stand-in. No one should be viewed in that light or allow herself to be cast in that role. And if you are prowling for a warm body only have the balls to say so upfront so the object of your carnal desire has the right to choose to be used or not.
Using someone for sex and dating with an eye to a permanent relationship are not the same things at all. Perhaps that post should have been a two part’r.