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I am not a kid anymore I am 66.   The last time I dated was 45 years ago.  I am not sure that I want to date yet but am thinking maybe in the next year or so.

In the meantime I need a lot of help in HOW to date at my age. In the '60s as a late teen and in my early 20s I met most of those I dated at dances, I went on Friday and Saturday night around a country dance circuit.  Now if I meet men it is mainly as part of a couple and not as singles.

I don't want to go into online dating or go to a meet up I am not ready for that. But I would like to find someone to go to the movies etc with. 

Tell me your own experiences or where did you find that someone special?

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I don't know if dating is the best way to combat loneliness.  I remember enough about dating from my 20s to remember how depressing it could be going home to an empty house after yet another awful date.  If you can regard dating as an end in itself, a fun way to experiment with new people, that's one thing. But to treat every date as an interview for a partner?  Well, that way madness lies, espeially if you had many years of someone who knew you better than anyone else ever did or will.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not planning to do any online dating, or really, any kind of dating.  If someone managed to fall into my life the way my husband did, I might (emphasis on "might") be open to it.  But I am not pursuing anything.  I enjoy being with friends and I'm comfortable enough in my own company that I don't feel I have to have a man -- any man -- in my life so that I'm not alone.

The one area where I feel a profound lack is in the area of travel.  I am just back from burying my husband's ashes at sea in Jamaica -- a trip my sister and brother-in-law insisted on accompanying me.  I felt like a third wheel the entire time and that I was a burden on them.  I do not want to travel like that.  I hate dealing with airports under the best of circumstances, and without someone compatible to travel with, I'm not sure how  much travel I want to do.

Really, I thought a dinner date would be a nice way to fight lonliness.   Is there a better to get know someone?

Susan

What I meant was that looking for someone to "fill the hole" of loneliness is not the best way to be able to discern someone you might want to be with over the long term.  The other thing is that loneliness can make us seem "desperate" and nothing makes a man run faster than desperation.  I'm not saying YOU are desperate, but loneliness can cause people to not see clearly.  

My view, and your mileage may vary of course, is that it is only when you can be comfortable in your own skin and your own company that you are in a position to make smart decisions about a partner.  Loneliness is not "being alone."  Loneliness is about FEELING alone.  And there are many ways to deal with that, including being with friends or making new ones (something I think most widows have to do).

I haven't dated in 33 years, but I do remember how it felt to date when I was lonely, and I always found it more depressing than being alone.

Not sure how you're planning to meet people to date, but what I would suggest is to start slow -- meet for coffee.  Let someone know where you are, when you get there and when you leave.  And don't try to fit every man you meet into the role of "partner."  It's not just about filling the space in your life, it's about finding someone you are compatible with.  No man is going to be just like your husband, so you need to know what that "new person" would be like.  I have never been able to define what I would be looking for; it always comes up that the one I want is the one I had -- WITH all his issues.  So I don't date because it wouldn't be fair to me or to the other people.

I understand. :-) 

Bergen, your expression "fall into my life" rings a bell with me. My second serious boyfriend did that. We were playing a game of beach volley ball, a group in our teens and we both lunged for the ball and I fell on top of him. A muffled voice said: "Mmmm you're soft and sqishy." And at the end of the game he asked me out. I don't think that could happen these days without one of us breaking a hip. It gave me a laugh anyway.

Oh Sue.  Funny.   Breaking a hip?   Maybe.  But  in today's  madness  that "fall"  might  escalate into  sexual  harassment  suit  as well. 

I have had a few dates in the past six years and one relationship that was more about coffee than love but I still enjoy male company so will continue to seek it. But at my age and with my health issues it is just for the company and that is all. A lunch date, a dinner date and home alone. Six years of widowhood and things have changed so I have less expectations of life and am more contented with a simpler life. It is what it is.

Sue, what a blessing it is to hear you have come to a level of acceptance. A simply life can still be a wonderful life!

Most of us struggle for years and years to accept widowhood. It has been almost six years for me and I do have a loving relationship with someone, but it appears he may be leaving sooner than we want and I will go though the grieving process again. The thoughts you've shared here and on your blog have been most insightful and helpful. You encourage me to stop fighting for what was and learn to embrace what is. Older age, declining health, changes in finances, loss of friends and family all contribute to making life harder. Thank you for your words, which help me unscramble my chaotic brain!!! Simple, simple, simple will be my mantra this week.

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