We can all understand the heartbreak others feel on losing their spouse, regardless of their age. We know that the youngest, still overcome by the overwhelming rush of new love, feel keenly cheated of all the years they might have had, and the oldest feel as every year was a journey which brought them even closer together, they feel as if they had become a single soul. Those of us widowed in mid-life can find ourselves awkwardly in between, uncertain where to turn, uncertain of how to go on. The choice to look for a new love can be especially traumatic in mid-life because we spent so many years in the worlds we created with our partners, and yet there are so many years left ahead. Some of us have still got it going on, and some of us may have gotten so “comfortable” in our marriages that we find ourselves unwilling to face the rejection we suspect we might find out in the dating world. Whatever your story is, and whatever your choice is, you can help others by sharing it here.
We're like groundhogs... the sun was out, and we saw our shadows. Six more weeks of winter for us. I'm thinking that even in those who know that they want to start again, this starting and stopping is probably pretty common. Good luck to you as well, and I look forward to hearing how it goes for you in the future.
That's a hilarious analogy. I've never been compared to a groundhog before. I just think any future love will have to wait for another time, another season.
Ok , I got up the courage to put myself on match.com. Well so far its terrible at least for me. I keep wondering what the hell am I thinking??? I'm not really looking forward to meeting anyone, I'm not excited, I'm not , I'm not ... etc . The matches that the website comes up with are terrible . Some of these guys look like they just got out of jail or should go back to jail. And a bunch of them look so old. I know I"m no spring chicken at 58, but I'm fit and energetic enough to play tennis and ride my Thoroughbred . I actually messaged 5 men that seem fit, in my age range, and like the outdoors. It took tremendous courage for me to do that. Not one of them have messaged me back. Maybe they are looking at me thinking she's too old! Hahahahah! Who knows! But I wish I hadn't done this now I have to pay for 3 months of it. Geez! Kathienpb , you say you're dating. How do you meet anyone to date? I'm also feeling like you, I don't want to get married ever again. I had the best husband and he was the love of my life.
For me, it was something to do to pass the time. I am not looking for love, but I do enjoy men. I just make it clear that there will probably be no relationship and if they're okay with dating once in a while then that's what I can handle. Next month will be 5 years for me and I still feel the same way. I'm actually still dating one of the guys I met a couple of years ago and we are not exclusive and we are both fine with that. I bought a place in Mexico and share my time between here and there. I date pretty regularly, men that have a good sense of humor and are kind, but I will never feel the way about them that I did about my husband and I make that clear to them. It leaves an out for them if they find someone else they can have a relationship with, and keeps me sane and not feeling like I'm taking advantage of their feelings. I haven't had any problems so far. But I can say it's probably not for everyone and if you're not ready then that's okay. I'm sure if you stick with match, you will find someone. I had more luck with Our Time, I don't like to date too much younger than myself and I figured that those men aren't looking for a 20 year old, but the men that are in my life with any regularity I've met at bars (cliché but he's super nice), one was a mechanic that worked on my car, and one is a neighbor in Mexico. I met one man on Match, and a couple on Our Time, one other in Mexico. Those are the ones that last about 6-8 months and then they go on to find a relationship with someone who can handle deeper feelings than I can at the moment. I have not regretted any of them, and dating doesn't take away from what I feel for my husband, sometimes you just like the opposite sex around.
I wish you the best. :) I'm sure you'll find someone, you just have to get out there.
HI Kathie and Kirch, thanks for the replies. I understand what you mean by being around the opposite sex. Right now I'm like you, just want someone to share a movie or dinner with. Yesterday a 74 and 71 year old man messaged me. Good grief! My dad is 78! I can't go out with someone almost as old as my dad. I'm not having any luck with the match.com. But I'm stuck with it for 3 months so we'll see. I'm not going to marry anyone, so you're right about making that understood up front. I'm very independent and my late husband and I worked very hard to acquire this home and horse farm and I"ll be damn if I'll give it up or let anyone move in here. OMG , the thought of that is sickening to me. This farm is my safety place. This farm and horses is what keeps me afloat on this ocean of grief. Kirch, I have been through hell too these last 2 years. My husband died from cancer, then his sister died from cancer, then my sweet little parrot died unexpectantly, then my daughter lost a baby half way through her pregnancy, then the other baby survived but was born 6 weeks early and barely made it, then I broke my leg. I'm exhausted too. That is another reason I won't marry or get overly involved with someone , I don't want to go through another death or serious illness. I don't want to sit at a hospital and watch another person die or go through chemo. But here I sit all alone, that's not easy either. All my friends are married. My daughters are married. It's just me, my dogs and the horses. Thank goodness for grandchildren! But they can't heal this tremendous emptiness that I feel. Let's face it, I'm lonely for my husband and nothing is going to fix that. I have to find some sort of peace, somewhere somehow.
I went on my first "date" last week. Spent the next day trying to not have a panic attack and almost had to leave work because I was on the verge of tears all day long. It was like I was having flashbacks of good memories but it only made me very sad and heartbroken all over again. DAMMIT this is hard but I do NOT want grief to win.
I have been out with someone, to go to the movies, I found out later she thought maybe there was a chance, between us. I let her down I cant deal with it, the relationship. It has been a year and 6 weeks from my wife passing. we were married 30 years together 35. We lost one of our children. I just cant see me with anyone, I took care of here for 10 years, wore me out. I cant deal with anymore heart ache and loss. I had to put down my dog after 13 years last weekend and I was exhausted and slept all weekend, went to work Monday tired, it brought up so much crap and emotions. I went to the doctors and he told me I need companionship in my life, I just cant take care of anyone again.
Hi Kirch,, I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your wife. Also sorry to hear of the recent loss of your dog. The pain of losing a child is unimaginable. I lost my husband 2-1/2 years ago after a 2 year long battle with prostate cancer. He was my best friend and soulmate. I also had to put our 14 year-old yellow lab down this past fall. Felt like I lost another part of my husband and my "old" life. It makes it very hard to imagine ever letting anyone get close to me again for fear of another loss. I tend to keep busy to avoid the loneliness. I wish you peace.
Hi Everyone, I thought I'd drop in with an issue I haven't seen before. If you've been following my story, you know that its been about 3 and a half years for me, and that as much as I loved my husband (very, very much) I am determined to find a way to start dating because I don't want to be alone for the rest of my life. I have hit a lot of emotional roadblocks in trying, and even though I have decided to date, I'm finding it so difficult to actually bring myself to do that I've decided to take a break until my middle child enters college in September. (So yes, more stories will start up about then for better or worse.) When I made that decision, I disbanded my online dating profile, but one of the men I'd been chatting with had made it through to my personal email, and we just kept chatting. It was long distance, and therefore not threatening, and I told him I wasn't ready to date, but maybe friends, and he kept on just being very nice and I started to think, well maybe I will meet him after all on one of the trips he kept "threatening" to make to come see me. I would say, it can't possible work between us for geographical reasons, and then he'd come back and assure me that if we really fell for each other, nothing could stop him, and etc. I'd lol, and basically be nice but noncommittal. He gave me his phone number about a month or two ago, and I never used it, that kind of thing. However, he eventually moved into a space where I thought maybe it would make a nice entry date because he didn't feel like a stranger any more, so I gave him my phone number, and... crickets, he didn't use it. This is the second time that someone has pretty vigorously pursued me despite a lot of soft no's from me, and then *poof* vanished when I gave some indication they might have a chance. The first one was a man, a recent widower I knew irl who was always asking me to come in, to do things, etc., and I'd known his wife, for a variety of reasons it was a non-starter for me, but one day I did accept his invitation (I thought as a friend), and it was like his pants were on fire he couldn't get away fast enough after (even though we had our kids with us, not like a date!), and then *poof* this man I had thought was just a friend just vanished.
I understand these men are probably my true counterparts, ambivalent about me, but they find it safe and comfortable and maybe even fun to pursue because they are relying on my no to protect them from any risk of intimacy, even as they can flex their chasing muscles because it was a soft non-personal no. I wasn't invested emotionally so its not like I'm hurt or anything, but I do wonder if any of you men out there can give some insight so that I can understand and avoid this pattern in the future? I'm guessing its as simple as they reassessed when it got more real? I am the queen of that, so its not like I could possibly complain.
It's been a while since I've been on here. Interesting posts the past few days. Mary, I have a question. I get this feeling that you find dating to be kind of daunting and abstract. Do you have any male friends that you could just try going out with to a movie, concert, ballgame or dinner? Maybe try something like that, so when you meet a man you really want to be with, it seems more natural and less daunting. Just an idea, not trying to pressure you or anything like that. I shouldn't speak for you, but maybe there is a man you know who you could "practice" dating with? It could help.
As for me, after my bad experience in early May, I've kind of stayed on the sidelines. However, I didn't join Facebook until after I retired. Recently, I became Facebook friends with some of my wife's former coworkers. I've known all these people for about 25 years. One, her name is Lulu, I always thought she was beautiful, It appears there is no man in her life. She's almost 50 and she takes care of her Mom in addition to working full time.. Last week I asked her and her mom to join my daughter and I at a diner we all like for dinner next week. I know it sounds strange to ask a woman and her mom out, but I'm OK with it. My wife and I used to take my MIL with us everywhere. We'll see how it goes. I figure if her Mom likes me, that could make it easier for me to go out with Lulu.
I think that sounds really positive for you, and I hope that it works out. I am sure your friend really appreciated the gesture you made, inviting her mother along. Me, I don't have any male friends I could go out with, I have business acquaintances, men who work for me and I have meetings with them, and I like them, so I'm not daunted by men per se. Its more an internal roadblock, a way of not letting my husband go, of not letting someone into that spot. Almost as if I can't admit that I've lost him. I know that its been long enough, and that I do want to move on, so I fully admit, I am all messed up and conflicted about dating. On that subject, if anyone is interested, I've recently updated a story I wrote not long after I lost my husband about a widow trying to let go and move on and its on kindle for free for the next few days, The Church of the Rational Atheist by Sandra Mann. (It's not about atheism per se, that's just the world the story is set in.) Here's the link, I don't know if it will be operational here, but just in case, http://a.co/iNKyUZz