Are there any others here ...
... who truly do not want to date?
... who do not feel a need to date?
... who believe they can be content alone?
There's a vibrant discussion going on over in the "For those who have dated" Forum that I have enjoyed reading. I am genuinely happy for those who have found new loves or new friendships and have found new joy in those relationships. I'm one who doesn't believe there is a set amount of time before you can feel ready to allow someone else into your life. If it happens soon, then it was meant to be and it is wonderful. It has absolutely no bearing on how much you loved the one you lost. So this discussion I'm adding is not in anyway judgmental. It doesn't matter how long 'out' you are, how long you were married, whether you are young or old, have young kids or none ... it's a personal decision that is ours and ours alone to make.
HOWEVER, I'm wondering if I'm the only one here in Widville who just doesn't see myself ever dating and I'm ok with spending my remaining years alone. Just wanted to offer a voice for those who might have a different point of view.
It's been awhile since anyone posted on this discussion, so I thought I'd do an update to bring it back in view in case any of our new members want to post.
I can still say I don't want to date but I must admit that I've been thinking about it the past couple of weeks for the first time in 7 years. Now no one has ever approached me or shown an interest in those 7 years ... so I do fear if I were to decide to put myself out there my fragile ego could take quite a hit. Would it be worth it? I honestly don't know.
But I do find that I'm now missing having someone in my life to care about and having someone that cares about me.
Will I do anything with these feelings? I don't know. I married at 18 right out of high school and have only been with my one guy. I really don't think I'd fit in with the current dating scene. And I do know for sure that I would never join a dating site. Geez, the stories I've heard about that scare me to death.
If God drops someone in front me like he did my Vern, then perhaps .... ? But just typing those words makes me very nervous. I've been ok with this alone life up to this point. I'm doing all sorts of new things, keeping very busy and doing some good stuff for others, too. Do I play it safe and keep on doing that or do I take a leap?
I think I'll just sit with all of this and see where it goes.
Funny that you mention this, Dianne, because I've been wrestling with the same thing.
Like you, I have NO desire to date. The idea of putting myself out there, to be judged as too old, too fat, not pretty enough...by a bunch of guys who are equally old and fat and unattractive just does not appeal. I dealt with enough crap in my young dating years; I can't even imagine what it would be like now. I have had exactly two dealings with men in a social setting since my husband died. One was an actually rather attractive man at a meetup who refused to even look at me until I'd made clear that I was in "I'm here to make new FRIENDS" territory. Another is a man I see at an annual party; an old friend of my sister's, who for two years said we should hang out sometime and never did anything about it, and the one time I gave him my contact information I was terrified.
When I was young I dated through personal ads, which is what people did before there was an internet. I dated a lot, I had quantity but not much quality. I met my husband through a mutual friend. I still think that the "Do things you enjoy" method works best. Right now, the things I enjoy are all things with women, and I don't feel I'm lacking anything...until I get home. And even then, most of the time, I'm OK.
I know that my ego can't take the hit of outright rejection. When I was snubbed at that meetup when I hadn't even expressed any interest threw me for a loop. Obviously this was a man who has to fend women in this age group off with a lit torch, but still...
Here's the thing: I have a lot more confidence in my worth than I used to. I'm a giving person. I'm financially secure. I'm funny. People like me. I'm a good, loyal friend who'll bend over backwards to give to people. I'm a good cook. I'm smart and a good conversationalist. I'm also less than 5' tall, a size 16, with thinning hair due to thyroid problems and I was never a great beauty. I'm what guys used to describe as "she has a great personality", when they meant "She should have a bag over her head." Not that I'm that bad, but let's face it -- I'm short, fat, and in my 60s. I spent a half a century fighting my own body before I gave up.
Oh, and that other thing? That ship sailed after menopause. So I'm done there.
So I have a pretty good idea of what dating sites would do to me.
Like you, I have good friends, I go out 2-3 times a week, I entertain at my home, I live in an area with a rich cultural life and lots of volunteer activities and political activism. BUT...sometimes I'm missing, as you say, "someone in my life to care about and having someone that cares about me".
When I bang this around in my head, here's what I always come to: The bottom line is that the one I want is the one I had. Anyone else I was with would have to have the same qualities my husband had that made us compatible even during those times when I thought if I had to spend one more day with his depression I would go insane. Getting through these crazy times without him to laugh with is hard sometimes. It would have to be someone he would have wanted to hang out with. But someone he would want to hang out with would be like having an imitation of the real thing. OR, it would feel weird, as if he were here, but somehow different. And it's all moot because he was so unique.
I have no advice for you, alas. But I thank you for reviving this topic where those of us in that middle place can kick it around.
Here's another aspect to this: My husband had no family. He didn't like them when they were alive and they all predeceased him. Because he had become so socially withdrawn in the last decade of his life, he had no close friends, just casual acquaintances. His social life, to the extent it existed at all, was me. He made "work friends" along the way, but when the job ended, the friendships ended. He has two friends from high school that he kept marginally in touch with, but they were not a big part of each other's lives. He was not close to my family either, because he refused to let them in because he'd been so wounded by his own.
I am literally the only person in the entire world who cares that he even existed. He's largely forgotten by almost everyone else he ever knew. At the very least, he's not in the forefront of their thoughts. So part of my inability to even consider letting someone else into my life is that it would somehow dilute his existence. As long as I am "carrying the torch", so to speak, his life matters. If I were with someone else, would it still? Maybe that is just a convenient excuse that I give myself.
I really get what you're saying about "carrying the torch", Bergen. My husband's parents and only sibling are gone and our son is not married so there are no grands on the horizon. It's important to me that Vern's life matter and that he be remembered ... and I'm the one to do that.
That's why I love katpilot's description of his new marriage. I would expect nothing less than that with any new relationship in my future. I still can't imagine being with anyone else ... but these feelings have stayed with me so I'm just being open to whatever God might have in store.
I often wonder if I have the self-confidence to share someone new with a "ghost". I think it takes strong, confident people to allow both the new person and the one who died in. I'm not sure I have it.
I suspect you're right, Bergen. I feel quite confident doing all of the things I do that have filled this alone life of mine for the past 7 years - but the negative feelings I carry around about my physical self make me think I just wouldn't be able to do the dating thing without getting hurt badly. That's where my struggle lies. Why open myself up to being hurt when I can be comfortable living out my life alone? But then these new feelings arrived and I just don't quite know what to do with them.
I do love what katpilot said about just letting fate lend a hand. So perhaps the best plan is to just keep living my life and see what unfolds.
Yes....I do not have it in me to get hurt again....to be rejected or deal with someone who changes his mind because it is an all-you-can-eat buffet of women out there. Or to have high hopes and then realize someone is a troll and have to break off. I don't have the wherewithall to deal with that anymore.
Men seem to have it easier, both logistically and emotionally.
I am going to be retiring soon. My job has filled up a lot of my time and taken a lot of my energy. Lately I feel like I haven't really grieved and it is all hitting now. So I think that is why I am thinking about loneliness and having to give myself a good talking to.
Rejection... I don't think I could handle that. Luckily I never had to. I met Paul in High School and he's the one I married years later. So I didn't do the dating scene.
Too bad there isn't a site out there called " I just want to talk & have Dinner ". But that would be too good to be true.LOL
Exactly, Susan! Love that idea!
Read the book Our Souls at Night or watch the Netflix movie by the same name with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.:)
I did, GG. Ah, that would be lovely. (Especially with Robert Redford as the neighbor.)
This is what I firmly believe - of course I think that movies and TV hold truths to everything! :-)
Of course real life - can it ever be like that? (The good parts of fiction, anyway.) But that is how it's supposed to happen...right??
Especially for those of us to whom it already happened once...in the past...