In the Waiting Room: “On Relationship”

Woman to Woman

In the Waiting Room: “On Relationship”

kristine carlson sacred siteI didn’t wait the standard year before having sex with a man for the first time after my husband’s sudden death. I was 43 at the time and in my sexual prime. The Tibetans say that sex brings life, energy and creative force to a woman where it depletes a man of his life and creative force. Makes total sense to me! We are energized by sex whereas men are sleepy and tired after, right?

Well, this has never seemed so true until when, in deep grief, I put it into practice: ‘fake it, til’ you make it.’ Meaning, I felt that my heart was breaking and like I would die so I chose to do those things that made me feel equally alive and sex can do that. I was careful to choose a healing companion and someone I trusted, and I’ve been equally careful to choose my lovers over time.

Christina Rasmussen in her brilliant book, Second Firsts, speaks about living from “The Waiting Room.” While I have not appeared to be in much of a waiting room in my life choices, there is a more intricate way this has manifested and remains so in my life. I am in the waiting room as I wait to have a real partnership again. (The live-in kind.) I’m dating someone exclusively now, but I’ve noticed how I’m not in any hurry to have him move in with me or even for us to appear publicly as a real “couple.” And, you know what? That’s okay. Of course, where likeness often attracts, it turns out I’m in his waiting room, too.

What many widows will profoundly understand is that my love cup is half-full with my current relationship and over flowing from my marriage to Richard—even after seven years this December 13. I’m in no hurry to bring a man into my life to stand in union beside me. I’m still very presently married to Richard in this way, and while he’s not in form, he’s still very present in my life. Sometimes, our past experiences fill us up and we remain full for a very long time. I’m not sure that I’ll ever be ready to give so much of my life to another, again. My life is full and having a less demanding relationship allows for a different kind of fulfillment that comes from being free to make many choices and make my own decisions. For example, I’ll be heading to Bali and Thailand for a feminine retreat this spring, where I would usually be accompanied by a male companion; this time I’m going on my own. It may not be the “LOVE” trip, but I’m sure it will be something else equally enchanting.

It may not surprise you at all that in many ways I’m dating my late husband’s opposite. He’s similar in that he’s kind and caring. He’s smoldering hot and sexy… (a Scorpio, too!) What I presently need in relationship are very specific things: laughter, friendship and companionship among the top three. What I also need is romance, intimacy and sex, and I receive those gladly on a regular basis. These things are enough for now.

I have this dear friend, Betty, who took a trip to Mexico with me years ago. She was in her forties at that time, and I was in my late twenties. Sitting on lounge chairs in Cabo San Lucas, staring out at the ocean, she turned to me and quite shockingly out of the blue in her Southern accent said, “Kris, I love SEX! I mean, I really love it!” At the time, I’d never really heard her say anything like that, so I was taken off-guard but the southern drawl and the voracious appetite in the statement really stuck with me. Betty has remained single and now is in her sixties. A few months ago, during our phone chat, out of the blue I asked her, “Betty, how do feel about sex now?” She replied in the same southern drawl, “Kris, SEX is messy!” We laughed as long as we chatted over that!

I share all of these thoughts with you so that you feel a sense of sisterhood and a deep understanding of where you also may be in your needs for relationship. All of this said, my sisterly advice is to stay open to what is unfolding in you and what may come. Things change and so will you. Follow your instincts and you will know when you need more; you’ll know when you’re ready for partnership again.

I know that I’ll know when I know, too, and for now, it’s just divine as it is.

~ Kris Carlson