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.
I haven't been on much lately, so here's an update. I tried messaging Lulu and invited her and her mom to dinner, but she didn't respond. Then we went out for my birthday last week and one of the people who came along started pestering me about dating, which I hate. He told me I should start hanging out in sports bars and maybe I will meet someone. I feel that if someone is so concerned, they should either fix me up with someone or if they are single and female, ask me out. I don't bite. I think I'm going to continue taking time off from dating. I'm open to it, but I've taken on some new things in the past year and I should probably master these new things before I get into a relationship.
I think the reason it is so hard to take it when someone pushes us to date is that it triggers our fears that we will be responsible for our own unhappiness if we are not proactive. We women harbor additional fears because of our gender and we think every year is another year further into the territory in which even if we try, it won't make a difference, and the pressure can be unbearable. I say we need to ignore our fears! Anyone with me? To ignore age, to ignore statistics, to be better than what's happened to us, and even better than what's expected of us?
I am not often on WV, but your post on Buddhism really resonated with me. Almost 2 and a half years post loss, I find myself in a very strange place in my life. Having been married for almost 25 years when Rob died, turning 50 this year (gulp), about to be an empty nester in two weeks, struggling through the ‘sweaty’ part of life and figuring out what to do next! I’ve spent the past 18 months in therapy and my biggest takeaway is letting go of what I like to call, “WOPeT”. What Other People Think. They have not walked in my shoes and if they don’t like my choices...I don’t give a rat’s. This has cost me a few ‘friends’ but it is a liberating feeling.
My boyfriend (boy I wish there was a better word for that!) recently moved in with me after about 16 months of dating. It is hard not to compare him to my late husband. But to do so takes away from both relationships. I was a different person when I was married and while I doubt I’ll ever marry again (too many financial complications) I find this new me to be pretty cool. Once I dropped the ‘expectation’ that my new relationship should be exactly like my marriage...I am a whole lot happier. Wishing peace to all of us who are struggling with this very difficult situation.
PS. I met my new guy on Match. I’m 49 and he’s 56. Older but not decades. Match was a means to an end. I hated online dating, but love that it introduced me to my new partner. There are a lot of weirdos out there...and at one point it seemed like they were all PM’ing me...drunk, from their deer blinds at 2am.
What a valuable post. I think all of these things are key, the letting go of what other people think, the not making comparisons, the realization that life can never be the same, and then finally coming to realize that it can still be worthwhile to find someone to be there for us as the people we have and will become. Thank you so much for weighing in.
Yes I agree, it seems harder for us ladies. I too worry that about getting older and older. On the other hand I think I'm fine with being single because I had such an amazing marriage for 39 years. I think maybe it could last me for the rest of my life. Although , its pretty lonely around here when the grand kids go home and all your friends are busy with their spouses, and I start feeling sorry for myself. So I'm taking a big step to try to find out what I want to do with my life. I'm going out on a date tomorrow evening with someone I met on match.com. I'm already feeling nauseated .
I know that nauseated feeling. Don't worry about it though. I went on a date from Match.com and really felt awful in the days leading up to the date. Although I ultimately wasn't interested in the man that I met, we had a perfectly nice conversation and it was fine. Just be your confident self; you have a lot to offer, not the least of which is that you made a relationship work for 39 years.
Erica, Thanks for that! You're right its just going to be a conversation and food. I can do this. I think the experience will tell me a lot about if I'm ready or if I need more time to heal.
And you are right about that. I definitely learned at that time that I needed more time to heal. No matter what you learn, I hope you have some fun!
However which way it goes Riley, you will be helping others who are hanging on the fence by sharing your story. Good luck tonight.
Hi all,I"m home early because my first date since my husband died stood me up. I waited at the restaurant for 50 minutes , ordered wine and then got dinner to go. I'm not so much pissed at the fact this guy didn't show up , but what I am mad about is all the stress I caused myself yesterday and all day today . Not worth it. I'm home now with my beautiful horses and property, eating a good Italian meal LOL
I am sorry that it went down that way for you. I have a fondness for the stand-up story because back in the day a lackluster guy I thought I should give a chance to stood me up, and my very next date was with the man I'd marry. So it means nothing, of course, and I'm sure you know that. If only we all had a worth-it not-worth-it crystal ball, dating wouldn't be so bad, we could just have fun dates with nice people. I have the feeling that you'll have somebody some day, I even think that I will, even though I am really enjoying the pressure free life of not feeling like I have to look right now.