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A few days ago, a friend of mine texted me and asked how I was.

“Sad,” I replied.

“Come out for a drink,” he invited and I did, to a Greek restaurant with live music, instruments and singers. My friend had been away on business and visiting family abroad so we caught up with each other’s news. We have had a flirty relationship for months but this time, as we talked and laughed, savored the music because music transports us both, and watched people dance, I found myself looking at his lips and wondering what it would be like to kiss him. Awkward, exciting, scary.

My husband, David, and me were together for almost 25 years, always faithful to our vows by choice. Yeah, it’s been 25 years since I kissed any man other than David. I knew the taste and texture of his lips and the smell of him. I could breathe him in and be home, and it was that way for him too, he said.

Out considering the taste and texture of another man’s lips and I panicked. I might be ready for kissing but not sex. And some days, yes, other days, no. I don’t know if kissing another man, this one or another, will be better or worse, if I’ll be better or worse. It’s been a LOOONG time. Maybe I am out of practice, have lost my moves. Certainly, I no longer know the rules. Always, “What would people say?”

In addition, I am much more wholly me than I was at 32. I am unwilling to shrink to make another person feel better about themselves. Empowering others makes me happy. I am more appreciative and joyful. I am braver about going after what I want in business, life and love. My time with David shaped me in wonderful and painful ways and I won’t give up that learning. I wear our wedding rings around my neck and will take them off when I am ready, even if I start dating before that happens. I am unapologetically masterful in my zones of genius. I love brainstorming business with smart men and women, creating innovative solutions.

I hesitated, as I was overwhelmed by feeling a desire to be kissed by a man, this man, again, who is not my husband, and the moment passed. Because I am a widow, it’s tricky. I am not sure how to feel, what to do, how to be. I have so missed kissing and I am conflicted. My only move is to be peaceful with this new development and next time, because now my body is waking up to desire again, maybe say, “Yes please.”

This is not a blog post with clear solutions. I don’t have any, only the willingness to let myself be, take my time, trust my knowing, and choose the man mindfully. Just a kiss. Just a date. Not sex. Until I am ready.

If there is any wisdom here, it’s you trust you and go as slowly (or fast) as you wish. You’ve got this!