Nearly three years after the death of her husband, Bobbie Thomas is looking to the future of her love life with optimism, even if things haven’t gone quite as smoothly as she might have hoped thus far.
The “Today” style editor was married to Michael Marion for about seven years prior to his 2020 death. This week, she addressed her first breakup as a widow both in an emotional post on her “Bobbie’s Dating Diary” blog as well as an accompanying interview with her colleagues, Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. Though the relationship was brief, she said she is “thankful” to have had the experience.
“I had met someone who was also a widower with a child,” Thomas, who began dating her former partner in April of this year, said in the interview. “It was fun. It was so exciting to get dressed up, to go out.”
The pair felt comfortable enough to plan a weeklong trip together with Thomas’ 8-year-old son, Miles, and her partner’s young daughter. The shared vacation, she wrote, turned out to be a bit of a turning point.
“It was great to finally be together — but as the week wore on, so did the stress of managing two kids and our own respective responsibilities,” she explained in her blog. “Even though we were in the same place, it was still difficult to find one-on-one time.”
Shortly after they’d returned home, “the initial excitement and frequent back and forth quietly shifted to a more transactional, casual dynamic, which, in its own way, was welcome,” she added. “But deep down, I began to realize that casual is also the killer of communication.”
By August, Thomas had decided to end the relationship, and found herself feeling hurt despite the fact that the union was short-term.
“I was shocked, because it’s not like: ‘Oh, my God, I’m so in love,’” she told Hager and Kotb. “As an adult when you date, you kind of push aside the B.S., and you’re more mature, you put yourself out there. So you don’t expect it to sort of come back around because you were really hoping for something to unfold.”
And though she doesn’t regret her decision, she said dating the widower has given her more confidence to keep putting herself out there.
“Whether our waves of grief aren’t in sync or something else is meant to be, I’m thankful for the moments we shared,” she wrote in her blog. “In some ways, I’m surprised, perhaps even unexpectedly excited. Not because we aren’t still dating, but because this connection helped me realize that I can feel … and that I’m ready to be open.”
Marion, a lawyer, died in December 2020 after experiencing a bacterial infection that led to organ failure. The Maryland native was 42.
Since Marion’s death, Thomas has pledged to be forthcoming about the challenges she’s encountered as a grieving widow who is also eager to take on new endeavors ― including, of course, navigating the dating game.
“I still have a lot of questions — which way do you swipe, again? — but I’m excited to start this journey,” she wrote in February. “Life is too short to wait for the perfect time or the perfect person. I’m ready to make space for the past, embrace the present and see where this journey takes me.”
Watch Bobbie Thomas’ “Today” interview below.