Widowhood Love and the BAE Phenomenon

WSN-MO: A Few Minutes with Terrell Whitener

Next month I will experience the sixth anniversary of my wife Robyn’s death. Over the almost two years that I have had the privilege of sharing my thoughts with you brothers, I have admitted that I have discovered that I feel that I know very little about women.

In the twenty-two and a half years that Robyn and I were together, she was the primary focus of my affection. Now full disclosure, it was not like I never appreciated other beautiful women, but in my selfish desire to continue breathing, I never acted on straying too far from home.

As the calendar changes to 2021, I think, dear brothers, that I may be ready to tread to the deep end of the pool again. I still do not know how to swim, but what the heck, it may be time.

In most of my conversations/flirtatious conversations that I have experienced with women my age, I have found that I, after a period, can categorize most of them in one of three areas. In today’s slang, there is an acronym BAE- Before Anyone Else. For me, however, I would sum my experiences with these acronyms differently. Let me share my experiences with you.

“B” stands for broken. I have found that the relational history of these women has left them with some significant wounds. However, very high functioning, successful women, boy do they come with some issues. Now I am sure that I am not “issue-free” myself but come on, not on this level.

Being a man attracted to intelligent, independent, successful women basically around my age, I have found that there is a definite reason that most of them are still available. I make this observation not out of bitterness but out of sheer observation. I live my life as a glass half full person, so I press ahead optimistically.

“A” stands for annuity. Boy, I have met a couple that loves to run through money! Fortunately, I am blessed to live a comfortable life, but like many, that comfortable life comes with a modicum of common sense as well. While among my cohorts, they know that I have a propensity to pick up the check, a practice my son always chides me on; everything has its limits. I very much believe in taking really good care of individuals that I may be interested in, but one whiff of entitlement, and I’m get immediately turned off.

So, I avoid being the “come up, brother.” I never mind investing in good ground, but please bring something to the relationship, will you please! I am sure this is a byproduct of living for more than two decades with a highly successful and generous woman, but I am who I am.

“E” stands for emotionally unavailable. I have experienced individuals that want all the perks but none of the responsibilities. I am far too old to play “house” in a relationship. Being serious is not a pre-requisite for me in a friendship, but I will not commit to exclusivity to an emotionally unavailable person. I am experienced enough to understand that there may be many reasons why an individual becomes emotionally guarded. However, careful, cautious, and unavailable are different things.

I often say that knowing what I want in life begins with knowing what I do not want. Over the years, I have had the good fortune of discovering what love looks like, feels like, and acts like. I am not saying that it needs to be precisely what I have experienced in the past, but it should exhibit some strong similarities to what brought me happiness in the past. I do not have a clue if a meaningful relationship/friendship is in my future. But if it comes along, I want it to be positive for both parties involved.

So, there you have it, my current state, Widowhood Love and the BAE phenomenon. I admit that this article is a bit of a departure from my usual offerings, but an honest offering none the less. As always, I welcome your feedback on these thoughts. Until next time.


Terrell Whitener is an author, motivational speaker, and coach. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Terrell is the author of The First 365, Learning to Live After Loss. Terrell can be reached at his newly redesigned website, thedebriefgroup365.com; there, you will find all my social media contacts or through the Widowers Support Network.

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