I am nowhere near ready to start "dating" again, or "getting myself out there" again, or fall in love again. I am still madly and deeply in love with my dead husband, and I am just not in that place where it feels right to invite someone new into this life with me. Not now. Not yet. I don't know when.

However, there is something that I do want. Let me rephrase that - there is something that I desperately need more and more each day and each hour, after just passing the 2-year mark of my husband's sudden death:

Human contact. Touch. A little intimacy.

I am not talking about sex. Not at all. I am not talking about sex, because, despite all the massive amounts of sharing I do in my writing since losing my husband, I am actually a very private person when it comes to the intimacy that I experienced within my marriage. That is between me and my husband, and just because he is dead, does not change the fact that we will always share that secret. That is the best part of marriage - the secrets that you share with only each other, that nobody else on earth knows about you. Don't even try to take that away from me. It's not happening. And so, I am not writing this to discuss the fact that I haven't had any kind of sex in over 2 years. Nope. As difficult as that has been, it is actually quite okay with me. Why? Because I am not in love with anyone but my husband, therefore, I do not wish to share that part of me with anyone except him. I am unable to seperate sex from love, and I am totally okay with that.

I am not okay with going 2 plus -years without feeling a man's arms around me. I am not okay with nobody kissing me, ever. Nobody stroking my long hair or holding my hand while we watch a movie on the couch together. Nobody's comforting and safe chest to lie my head upon, and let out a great big sigh of happiness.

Sure, my dad hugs me hello. My brother. Some male friends, most of whom are either gay or taken/in relationships, so allowing that hug to linger for anything more than a few appropriate seconds could easily get awkward. These kinds of hugs are nice, but they dont count. They are not what Im talking about.

Human beings need intimate contact. We need affection from whatever sex it is that we are attracted to. We need this. We need it in the same way that we need air or food or water. We do. When we don't get these things, we start to feel invisible, like maybe we aren't really even here at all. If nobody is touching us or rubbing their hands on our backs or draping their legs over us while we sit on the couch together, then maybe we are like the wind, and we are somehow untouchable. Lost. At least, that is how I feel most days.

So I think there should be a place for widowed people, or people who have lost their partners and their intimacy and their affection, where we can literally rent out someone, the same way that you might rent out a bike or a car or library book. Everything would be discreet and done online, so that we could just type in what we needed, and not have to actually ask the dude for it when he arrives, which would be embarassing.

It would be fantastic. You could rent a guy for say, 3 or 4 hours to sit on your couch and watch a movie with you, and be affectionate, but not in a sexual way. Or you could have him come by and give you a back rub, or tell you that you look pretty, but not in a forced way so that you are reminded that this dude is working for a service. You could even rent a guy to come over and take an afternoon nap with you. That is what I would do. I would use him to nap with, the same way Don and I used to nap together. And it wouldnt be all weird or awkward and I wouldnt have to worry about him liking me or not liking me or what it all means or any sort of stupid dating drama that Im nowhere near ready to deal with. I would simply get comfort , and be able to feel the touch of a strong, safe, cuddly guy.

Oh, and they would be at least somewhat attractive, of course. And they would be volenteers, because Im definitely too broke to pay for this nonsense, and even if I wasnt, you think Im gonna PAY some dude to come over and let me hug him and put my head on his chest? You must be high. Im not paying anybody.

Maybe he could even cook for me while he is here too, and then sit down and eat dinner with me sometimes, so we can talk about mundane things, or not talk much at all. But I would be eating with a man again, and that would mean everything.

I might even give him a nice tip if he would agree to tossing his stuff carelessly around my apartment when he walked in the door - socks on the floor, keys on the chair, jacket thrown in the corner - just like my husband used to do.

But mostly, he could just sit with me, and remind me that I'm still alive.

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