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Hi all. I lost my husband 18 months ago, and know that timelines are specific to the individual, but for me, I would love to have a companion. The sad part is, everytime I think about it, I impose restrictions that would be impossible to meet. For instance, I would love to meet someone with no children I would have to contend with. I also hate the thoughts of someone with a large family that I would have to navigate through the drama they bring. Is this selfish? There will never be one like my husband and perhaps that is what I am really seeking to have. People do form new relationships. I just don't know how they manage to do it.

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Hi Tess,

I was there about the same time after I lost my husband.  He's been gone over 7 years now.  At that stage of loss we really miss the companionship of a mate because we haven't found our new us yet.  I got on dating sites and found it's not for me.  The men wanted to fast forward the relationships - if you know what I mean.  I scared the begezees  out of me.  It made me pause.  What exactly was I looking for?  I think I'd be happy with a gay man because I just want the friendship and not the sex.  All I can say is to give yourself some time to figure out what you are all about.  Take time to grieve and take care of yourself.  Remember that you are navigating new territory.  

I know how you feel and my husband has been gone only a little over a year.  I love my independence but I really miss the companionship even though I have a full life with many outside activities and a wonderful church community.

I've browsed two dating sites (OurTime and e-Harmony) but haven't gotten up the nerve to pay for a subscription that would actually let me contact prospective matches.  I'm worried about liars, predators, gold-diggers, STDs, guys with lots of emotional baggage, etc.  I bring a lot to the table even though I'm not drop-dead gorgeous and I want someone who will add to my life, not drain something from it.  I'm certainly open to a sexual relationship, but not on the third date!  I suppose my most likely course is to find someone who comes across my path in real life.  Hasn't happened yet.

Hi, Tess:

My husband died over 4 years ago, and like you, I have no idea how people do it.  I have only now reached the point where I can feel that being with someone else would not be somehow being unfaithful.  Some people find that being with someone else who is widowed is better because they "get it", but to me that would be like being in a marriage of four people, and frankly, I do not have the self-esteem required to compete with a ghost.

Like Barzan, I have no interest in sex.  Like Athena53, I've browsed dating sites and every time I come away with this reaction:  "Ew!"

I replay the following script in my head over and over again:

Me:  "I'd really like to have someone to go to dinner with."

Me2:  "You go out with friends 2-3 times a week and always have a good time and come home happy.  What would going to dinner with a man bring you that this doesn't?"

Me:  "Well, I'd like to have someone to go to the movies with."

Me2: "You have friends to go with, and you enjoy going alone.  And Steve only liked comic book, sci-fi and movies where stuff blows up anyway."

Me:  "Well, it would be nice to have someone who's just THERE."

Me2: "So you want just some guy sitting on the couch?"

Me:  "No, I want someone that I have that long-term bond with; someone who will get me an ice pack when I face-plant after missing the last step in a restaurant" (which I did just the other night and then came home and cried because I had to get my own ice pack and it hurt)

Me2: "That takes a long time to build.  Do you really want to go through the whole dating/getting acquainted/possibly getting dumped/kissing a lot of toads thing?"

Me:  "No way.  I guess what I want is the one I had, WITH all the problems we had."

Me2:  "Bingo.  Well, you can't have him, he's dead."

Me:  "Well at 62, I really don't have time to build that long-term bond, and there'd be a strong likelihood of going through it all again and losing another one."

Me2:  "So call a friend and go out to dinner and a movie and stop bugging me.  We always have this conversation and it always ends the same way."

Love your conversation with yourself.  

My me has many such conversations and, we end up on good terms each time.  I think your convo is great and a good example of how our lives may be.

I have those conversations all the time, too!  The possibilities are there.  We have the ability to make our lives what we want/dream them to be.  

I have been widowed 4 years now.  In my second year of 'widowhood' I really started feeling comfortable and happy in my independence. Exactly two years after my husband died I met a man (through Match of all places but that's another long story).  He is the total opposite of my late husband and that is okay and good.  I knew if I ever did get involved again, I did not want someone to replace my husband (who I loved dearly).  And new relationships do happen.  My advice is never compare what is now to what you had.  View from a totally new perspective, a new vantage point.  Be open to the person and try not to impose too many restrictions.  Some are good for your sanity and safety, though!   The new relationship does not negate what you had with your husband.  And yes, I have grown into a somewhat different person, blossoming in areas that had laid dormant when I was married.  Do I miss my husband.  You betcha!  Do I love my life now.  Yes! Truth be told, I do miss my independence and am trying hard to keep that a part of this new life and relationship, as does my partner.  We moved in together last August but I still have my own place which I spend time at every week.  We both know that time apart makes our relationship stronger and more interesting.  It's the old absence makes the heart grow fonder thing. I'm a believer that if it's meant to happen, karma and kismet will find a way.  

P.S.  Even though I met my partner on Match, I would agree with Athena53 that the pickings are slim!  How men think a photo of themselves asleep in a recliner is attractive I will never understand!!  

Hi. I have done the same thing you are doing now, but for a long time. I have put restrictions on myself psrtly because I was afraid to start anything new for fear it would end up a mess. I had a great time when I was married. There is n one like Norm, and the effort was too much to try not knowing what the results would be. It is a chance you take. I am now living with my decisions 20 years later. Now I am mostly ok. It is hard to be alone so long. But there was no more hurt and pain and fear.

beans

Hi Tess...so sorry for your loss....having lost my 4 closest lifelong female friends....and working with all men for many years...I am very comfortable being friends with men, and companion....I understand exactly how you feel....I have noticed with one man I spent more time with then any other..that I was looking for my husband.....this man asked me to join him and his brother to watch the Super Bowl and I nicely said thank you...but you 2 enjoy...If I watch it I do , if I don't it doesn't matter to me...when I got home....I watched most of the game...I;m live in the Philly suburbs....BUT I talked to my husband through the game...he was one of Philly's finest fans...never gave up on them...and didn't live long enough to see them win the SB......I hope that makes sense how I felt....I have become friends with a few men...we all have kids....but have never met each others...by mutual agreement...there was never a reason to...I never want to re-marry..nor do I have any interest at this point in life of living with anyone but one of my daughters.....so I hope this helps you to see we are all different in many way, but some very much alike...no rights and wrongs...do what is best for you always......you make your own rules for your life....PEACE

Wow, lots of good advice and personal reflections. Thank you all. Yes, I love my independence and no, I would not want someone imposing themselves to a degree that I am not ready to experience. I must say that it does make me sad to think of many years down the road still not having a partner, but I guess you can't force it. Serendipity would be nice.

Hi Tess,

   A friend / companion sounds good to me. (It will be 2 years in Dec. )  ... The main restriction I have is " My son & Daughter In Law have to like him"....  I have others, but that is the biggest one. If I see someone and think, " I wonder if he would like to go out to Eat & Talk "...  Then the COMPARING begins. And they never measure up to my husband. 

Susan

Hi Tess, 

My husband passed way 17 months ago, I started on match.com about 3 months ago, it has been a good distraction. I have a wish list that includes, looks, ability to fit in to my family, political leanings, health, interests...They are probably all unrealistic. I am dating someone right now who does not top my wish list, but is a very good person. So I am taking it one day at a time, trying to lean into the joy of liking someone of the other gender, feeling feminine and sexy and having good moments. I believe when we had been married for so long, we just start comparing, it is only natural. No one can compare to my husband in many ways, but I am finding that there are other traits that I never thought much about that I can enjoy in prospective "boyfriends".Most importantly any new man has to understand that I was happily married for 36 years, and that will always be part of me. 

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