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Widowed Village connects peers with each other for friendship and sharing. The moderators, administrators, and others involved in running this site are not professionals.

Please don't interpret anything you read here as medical, legal, or otherwise expert advice. Don't disregard any expert's advice or take any action as a result of what you read here.

We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

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.

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I said I wouldn't but I have gone on a second date with a man, I have no excitement about it, no butterflies, no attraction, no feelings at all.  He seems normal (I have this fear of meeting a psycho - sorry if that offends anyone)  We watched a movie, sat side by side and it felt good when he gently rubbed my back as we talked.  This is all so foreign to me.  I am liking the company but I also know this is not the person I want anything more than dating with.  My question is.... do you have this discussion right now or do you just go with the flow and take it one day at a time?  Seems kind of silly to discuss that when it's just a casual date.

I would love to hear some replies to Silver55's response.  I was wondering too, is it possible to ease into this just by casually dating someone without any pressure.  I have the same question , do you tell someone up front you have no plans of getting married right now , that you just want someone to go out with and do stuff.  

Hi...I'm new here.  Have been a widow for 2.5 years and DH passed away from his service in Vietnam due to Agent Orange.  I'm 73, so a little older than some of you.

This topic is one that my group of widows have discussed many times.  All of us say "nope, never again".  I took care of my DH for the last 2 years of his life, I'm never doing that again.  

A friend convinced me to join one of the major dating sites and it was a disaster.  Either a young guy wanted my money or the ones my age wanted a new Mommy to replace the one he had lost.  I don't fall into either of these categories.  Guess I'll just keep living my life day to day.

I'm 58 and I keep getting these men as old as my dad trying to talk to me on Match.  The men my age seem to want a woman in their 40's.  I did end up talking to a nice guy who is 56, but then he told me he had stage 3 colon cancer few years ago, and I'm like no way!  Can't go through that again .  

I would reset your age parameters.  It's okay to want to date a guy your own age!  I saw some really interesting statistics once that said women our age doing online dating are more likely to get responses from men younger than they are than men their own age, so spend some time thinking about dating younger ;) 

I put 55 to 62 on there, but evidently match.com doesn't honor your preferences. 

My vote would be to be upfront about your hesitations without making it personal.  I think that would slow it down (maybe the back rubbing felt nice but you felt uncomfortable about what it meant about where he was headed) while leaving the door open to seeing him again casually if you wanted to.  I don't have any real life experience to share, but I did lose my sister a year and a bit before I lost my husband, and her husband is dating someone seriously now, and the only way he was able to progress into it was to go as slowly as he needed to.  He said a couple of things about it which strike me as really meaningful; that he had to stop thinking about wanting to pick up where he left off, and that after 20 years he had forgotten to date and didn't want to learn, so his first dates with this woman were specifically not dates, "only lunch" and without any thoughts of a future together.  This was one of those situations where it was just a neighbor and they'd gotten talking, and so, the effortless kind of thing which evolves without having to make the intentional steps that so many of us find difficult.  I wish you the best of luck silver55, whichever way it goes for you.

So, lately, in the scheme of things, while trying to let go and to accept what has happened in my life, I’ve ventured lightly into Buddhist philosophy which says that happiness and unhappiness is a product of the relationship that exists between our subjective expectations and the objective reality. This really makes sense to me in my case as, having come from a kind of sad start in life, the marriage/husband I had was so much better than I had ever expected that I was profoundly and actively happy.  Life had given me so much more than I had expected.

Taking that mind-set into the possibility of dating or re-partnering, having had so much, my expectations of what is achievable are high; too high, I have often thought, for it to ever be realistically matchable.  And then there is the whole being a middle-aged (and getting older) woman, and all the fears we are confronted with that even a decent man will no longer be interested unless he is much older, or much less financially secure, or otherwise troubled and difficult.  Is it true?  You can see from my posts that I’ve resisted thinking that.  So I was reading this article today on Quartz https://qz.com/1332841/the-simple-art-of-not-being-miserable/ which says that when we fixate on something which doesn’t occur, we can make ourselves quite unhappy.  This is the passage which struck me enough to want to write in here about it: “The only way not to fall into this trap is to expand the zone of your fixation when the time arises. It’s to loosen the definition of your desires so that they can accommodate the feedback given by the objective reality. And that’s only possible if you’re willing to step back and let go.”

What I get out of this is that it’s time for me to stop wanting dating at this age to be what I want it to be, and to just let life be what it will. Some of us will go on to re-partner, whether happily or unhappily, the men if they want to, lol, the women who are attractive and easy to be around, and the rest of us, maybe, maybe, who knows.  I for one am going to really try to let go.  This may mean the end of my posts here, but I am hoping that this forum will remain a place where mid-life widows and widowers can find support in figuring out where they are and where they are going.  Good luck to all of you in your search for happiness and peace in the aftermath of your pain.

IMG_7540.jpgThis is an interesting post to me right now.  I've finally got up the courage to just join Match.com and see if I could even handle looking at pics, etc.  I've realized a few things, and I'm trying to come to the belief like you said to let things be.  My experience with match.com has not been pleasant for me.  For one thing , I look at it too much and I really hate that.  I don't want to waste time on more technology, Facebook is bad enough LOL.  Also every man on there except for one, that I thought would be a good match for ME, hasn't even messaged me back.  So now not only am I still a grieving widow , but now dealing with rejection.  I guess I'm too old for men my exact age.  That's ridiculous!  I'm just assuming that's it because I don't know what else it could be.  I think I'm still attractive and I'm very fit and athletic .  I play tennis and ride and train my horses , and I'm financially independent.  One man my age actually started messaging me .  Then for whatever reason, he backed out of a date that we had planned.  I have no idea why and I didn't ask, nor have I heard anything from him.  So I'm thinking I'm done.  I too had the most wonderful marriage for 39 years and maybe that's all I'm going to get in this life, I don't know.  But it was truly wonderful and miss him so much, it hurts real bad.  I think searching right now for another relationship is causing me too much stress and anxiety.  I feel I need to get back to dealing with being alone, my horses, my grandchildren, my wonderful tennis friends, and taking care of my beautiful farm that my husband gave to me.  I attached a pic of me on my Thoroughbred, Cool Hand Luke!  

I sure hope you continue to post in here, Mary. You have provided so much value with this dating sub-group. Your perspective is very much appreciated and you are a wonderful writer.

Well … I got the offer for a second date. I had previously worked my way through all of the emotions and decided it was best to decline. I know it's not realistic to expect the immediate connection and sparks that occurred with my husband oh so long ago, but I can't help but expect there to be some kind of attraction. I felt it with this other widower who initially got me to thinking about dating, so I know I can have those feelings. But there just was not anything with this other guy. And I did not feel he was just looking for a friend to do things with, regardless of what he might say, so it didn't seem fair for me to continue. 

His offer was by text to me while I was knee-deep in Camp Widow and I did not have time to respond. He wanted to meet for drinks, which felt better than going to dinner so I actually started to contemplate saying yes (since so many suggested I give him a second chance). So I waited to respond until I got home from San Diego and opened up his entire message. He ended it with "You were in my dreams last night."  Well, that changed it all for me. Did I over-react? Perhaps. But it actually creeped me out. Before the first date, after I explained that I had not dated anyone since my husband died nearly 8 years ago and that my last date before Vern was when I was in high school back in 1969, he said we could take this as slowly as I needed. I liked that. But that dream comment ... well, what kind of dream was it? A sex dream? It just sealed the deal for me to decline his invitation.

So I wrote what I felt was a really lovely response, blaming it entirely on me just not being ready to date with no mention of not being attracted to him. He responded quite nicely and I felt good about how it all ended.

And then I received a call from our mutual friend who said he told her I had 'opened up' and shared that I did not like men.  WTF?  She was laughing and asked if I had turned lesbian after one date. Good grief. I understand this was probably his ego's way of dealing with the rejection, but really.

So at this point I honestly do not think I will be doing any dating, and I'm ok with that.  But I will admit there is this little tiny spark inside me that kinda hopes someone will just appear in my life magically and there will be fireworks and love. I know that is not realistic at all at my age. I won't let that spark flicker out but I also won't let not having that magic appear make me sad or regretful. This is hard stuff, for sure.

I've been watching these posts with a lot of interest. I lost my husband very suddenly and unexpectedly when I was 54 and am now 56. I just started thinking about dating when someone recently did magically drop from the sky that interests me. We are just friends now, and I think I will leave it that way. I don't really know what he's thinking, and my last, first "date" was when I was 23. (I do go out with this man, but just as "friends.") I am a generally confident woman in other aspects of life, but the whole dating concept just makes me nauseous.  

I think being friends first is wonderful, Erica. It's nice that your friend is agreeable to that. I'd surely be more comfortable doing things together as friends and seeing whether it led to anything romantic down the road. Far better than the expectations that come along with 2nd, 3rd and 4th dates with a brand new person. I just cannot even imagine that.

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