Now that I’m perfectly content and happy and have purpose in this season of widowhood, I’m tentatively, cautiously, hesitantly — maybe — considering male companionship. (My children have given their blessing to dating and remarriage, but my son had one stipulation: “As long as he has a yacht.”)


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A girlfriend came for a visit this past week. We snow-shoed, hiked the Deschutes River, walked the Tumalo Creek trail, explored through the western-themed town of Sisters, and ate at a favorite eclectic Bend restaurant that began its life as a food truck.

My friend and I are both health food devourers, addicted to books and hot tea, and obsessed with knitting.

Interestingly, this girlfriend’s visit stirred me into thinking about dating and marriage (which had awakened several months ago for the first time since my husband’s passing, but had dimmed with no prospects in sight).

I found myself thinking how pleasant it was to have someone to get outdoors with, and someone to browse antique/junk stores with, and someone to cook for, and someone to talk about the deeper things of life with, and someone who enjoys reading in companionable silence.

Although I’m deeply content and there are no dating possibilities, still, I probably wouldn’t marry someone I hadn’t dated. So just to be prepared, I drafted a list of requisites in a date.

Owning a yacht is not on my list.

My purpose for sharing a portion of this list is not for any husband-hunting to commence, but to consider who you want to be, and who you want to hang out with. Because the people closest to us influence who we are.

Here’s a peek at a few basics on the list of the type of person I would want to hang with:

#1. Follower of Jesus Christ; a strong and quiet leader

#3. Romantic in a thoughtful way, not in a spend-lots-of-money way

#5. Not in debt; not an extravagant spender, but an extravagant giver to those in need

#7. Family oriented; fits in with the Mallory and Johnson clans

#10. A good listener without interrupting, but also a good communicator – not afraid to open his heart

#13. Takes good care of himself with physical activity and healthful eating

#14. Adventurer — delights in trying new things, going new places, but loves coming home

#16. Enjoys cooking; would enjoy being in the kitchen with me

#19. Not in love with his easy chair or remote control

#22. Addicted to hiking tall trails, snow-shoeing through powder, kayaking/ canoeing mountain lakes, walking ocean waves, chopping and stacking firewood (I get a gleeful satisfaction from helping stacks of firewood grow tall and brawny and orderly)

For the record, although I’ve revealed some highly-sensitive secrets here, I’m not looking for anyone, but I’m open to having someone find me.

This from an unknown author:

When you connect with people who are good for you, you feel it. This is a big deal. Don’t forget to acknowledge how great it is to be around someone who lights you up. Tell them, even if you feel a little weird. Your people love your weirdness.

A while back, I heard a young woman speak about the importance of connection. Toward the end of her talk, she asked someone in the front row of the crowded auditorium to clap. Hmmm … a bit underwhelming.

And then she asked two people to clap. Still not very impressive.

Next, she asked everyone in the first row to clap. Now we’re getting somewhere.

But when she invited the entire audience to join in, it was thunderous.

Her point, which was illustrated in a way that’s stayed with me all this time, is this: We’re better together.

P.S. If you know someone who needs to connect with good people who light them up, please share, tweet or pin!