I am 15 months out and up until two months ago I never imagined I would want to date. Then at the end of May I received a call from a guy that I dated briefly when I was 15 years old. He moved away the summer before I met my husband. I had not seen him in 31 years. He came to see me and it was crazy. We are so incredibly alike and we have so much fun together. We were never awkward. Sometime I feel a little guilty because it seems so soon. My adult daughter had a hard time with it at first. But I am only 46 years old and I don't want to be alone forever. I still grieve. I miss my old life like crazy but I don't get to have that back so I have to move forward in the life that I do have. My new relationship is separate from my grief for my husband if that makes any sense. I feel like I am actually living again and that is a good feeling.
A little piece of my 58 years of wisdom I am sharing
That's exactly the way I feel too!!! Thanks!
I have been widowed now for over eight years. I live a very busy and would like to find a widowed lady to be a friend, and shares interests. How does one find someone widowed to share thoughts about this journey, and feel somewhat connected?
I feel lost in search of just a widowed female friend in my area.
I was widowed at 55, after 10 months of dealing with pancreatic cancer. I had watched both my mother and MIL cope with widowhood forever it seemed, so I had role models. My mother was in her early 40s with 6 kids between 16 and 7; she said any man that would marry a woman with 6 kids was crazy and she didn't need that. She is now 93 and still living in her own house. My MIL was 58 with 3 boys grown and gone, and one son (16) left at home when my FIL died. She never married again, although she started dating at 65. He asked her to marry him, but she said no, and they dated the rest of their lives, 20+ years: dinners out, movies, dancing, the occasional trip to see a live performance somewhere. But they maintained separate houses, and separate lives the whole time.
At the time of Tom's death, I just couldn't imagine ever going through the pain of losing someone again. Marrying at 22, you knew that barring some accident that claims you both, one of you is going to die and leave the other alone. I always thought I would outlive Tom, given our families' genes. Marrying at 60, that "till death do you part" is a whole lot more real. I'd look at couples and wonder, "Which one of them is going to die first and leave the other alone? Do they have any clue what they're in for?" and I'd feel sorry for them. By the time I'd passed the 3rd anniversary, it really had sunk in that I was facing 30 more years of this lonely hell. I decided that if a man came along who was as good a match for me as Tom, I wouldn't hold back because of the fear of losing them some day. If I did that, then I couldn't ever get attached to anybody again, and that's no way to be. I am definitely not a loner.
Well, when I was 59+, I finally joined CatholicMatch.com. I was really specific about the type of man that I was looking for, and kept that in mind when I did the surveys and essays. Worse than any term paper I ever had to write. My prerequisites? A man close to my age, professional or retired professional, educated and able to carry on an intelligent conversation, financially stable, grown children who are out of the house, has done or would do community work, attends church on a fairly regular basis (enough so that he doesn't question my desire to go to mass weekly), who likes to travel and wants to do so when retired, especially global; who doesn't smoke; who does not own a vacation home himself (because I do, a house on a quiet lake about an hour from home, and I didn't want to have to choose), and, here's the kicker, who lives no more than 25 miles from me. I was not interested in a long distance romance, and it would scare the bejesus out of me if some man moved to be close to me. What if it didn't work out and I'd uprooted his life for nothing? Too much resonsibility. And preferably a widower and not divorced. Didn't want to deal with a crazy ex. Was that specific or what?
It will come as no surprise that there were few matches. In fact, there were only 2, and the first one I read was terrible and I deleted him. The other was Russ. He matched every point. In fact, he went above and beyond. He actually sits on the parish council at church, and was not only working full time as a mechanical engineer, but also taught classes at the university nearby. The only thing was that his wife had passed less than 6 months before, and I wondered, was he really ready for a relationship? But I knew that I always felt better when I posted (and vented) on Widville, and what if he didn't have that outlet? So I just sent him an email, acknowledging his loss, and said that I'd been there and knew it was difficult, and if he ever wanted to talk, let me know. He was very touched, said I was the only person to reach out that way, and so it began. We emailed back and forth for 6 weeks, and then finally met in person for a bike ride. 6 weeks later we got engaged. We were married 9 months later - it's been 13 months now - and we suit each other so well. At the wedding reception I told our guests about my checklist and how he'd been the only match, and joked that the only thing I'd left out was having a sense of humor - and he was an engineer, how funny could he be? It got a laugh. I said in all seriousness though, that God put the right man in the right place at the right time to get my attention, and He did it twice in my life.
Yes, Russ has some health issues, but they're not serious and life is good. I have 3 thoughts every day: 1) Thank you God for bringing Russ and I together, 2) Forgive me Tom for loving someone else, and 3) Forgive me Russ, for every time I think of Tom and wonder about what could have been had he not gotten sick. This last thought is NEVER expressed out loud, but it's there. Sometimes I feel like I've been disloyal to Tom, and other times, I feel disloyal to Russ. It's less now, but it's there. (Goes along with feeling guilty that your spouse died, and you didn't, and you're able to have fun and laugh again and they can't. Guilt, ain't it grand.)
I'll tell you, the second time around is not the same. We've both learned that there were things we argued about with our first spouses that just didn't matter. There's no keeping score this time, not on doing dishes or laundry, or whose turn it is to take the dogs out. Money's not an issue: if you want something, get it. What are you saving it for? If we want to take a trip, let's do it while our knees and hips are good. Russ traveled for business, but his wife wouldn't go with him, so we're all for going whenever/whereever we want. Money's not an issue: we each had enough for 2 people to retire on, and it only has to support 2 now, not 4. We don't go nuts, but we dont' worry either. (and yes, we did a prenup and redid our wills, and wrote a life lease for each other so our kids get our houses, but not until the surviving spouse dies too)
For those people who've told me that they just couldn't imagine marrying someone else, I tell them it's like having kids. The first one is so perfect, so cute, so everything you want in a child and you love them so much. So why have a second one? When I was pregnant the second time, I couldn't imagine how I could ever love the second child like I loved the first. And I don't. I love her, but she is a different person than my son and I love them each for the person they are. My love for one does not mean I can't love the other. If I had my life to live over, and could fix all my mistakes and improve the so-so items, but the catch was that I would have to give up one of my children, I would leave my life exactly as it is. And it's the same with my husbands. I am the person I am today because of the effect that each has had on my life.
I have some favorite from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel:
Evelyn: "There is no past that we can bring back by longing for it. Only a present that builds and creates itself
as the past withdraws."
Sonny: Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end."
I really like that last one.
I am lonely. I am so lonely I feel like I could choke on it. The thing is I can’t imagine dating yet. I hope that someday I will find someone to marry or to settle down with (don’t know if I will need the piece of paper again…). Do I just have to sit in this pit of loneliness until I feel like I have the courage to date? I wasn’t good at dating before I met Ron. Men were rarely beating down my door and I found dating awkward. I do understand how Ron will always be with me and finding someone new won’t erase one second of the love or life that Ron and I had together. Nothing can take that away. But bloody hell, dating??!!? It makes me tired just thinking about it. Also the idea of someone who doesn’t know me, touching me, turns my stomach. I ache so for Ron’s touch. But it has been more than two years without being held, without being kissed, without emotional or physical intimacy. Then there is the logistics. My children are my shadow. How do I date without them knowing? Could I really bring a strange man into their lives (only if he’s a keeper and after a very long vetting period)? Don’t really know what to do other than sit with this current state of being until it changes.
Is this how it was for any of you? How do you know if/when you are ready? Or, as in many things in life, there is no ideal ready, things just happen when they do? I know now that I am not interested in online dating and will have to actually get out of the house and sign up for some activities if I am ever going to meet someone new. That makes me tired too. Advice/thoughts? HUGS to all!
That's the tricky part, isn't it. You never know where or when your path will cross someone else's and you'll make the connection. It's a different story for everyone. Just being open to the idea of meeting someone can make a difference. Give it time.
I do share with people that I am widowed. That has led to a couple of people offering me introductions. I have accepted those offers and I am glad that I did. I am blessed to have some good/supportive people in my life. Even my wife’s niece offered an introduction.
I’m doing online dating, so far so good. I was married for 27-1/2 years and didn’t date a bunch prior to my wife, so this truly is a whole new experience for me. My children are very supportive, that helps.