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I know so many of us are in so many ways stuck in neutral.  Holding our breath, waiting for what we have been facing to go away, but it never will.  I find myself stuck in new ways.  I decided about 2 months ago to open the chance of finding someone new to bring into my life.  To open my heart to the possibility.  So I jumped on the online dating bandwagon.  Being a computer person and also a person who worked specifically in computer security, I actually relished the random fake profile coming my way so I could mess with them for a few minutes and then report them to the admins.  Yes I find joy in crazy places.  The problem with this for me really comes down to history.  I have never dated before.  And I don't mean just in the last 27 years while I was with my wife, I mean I have really never dated before.  My wife and I lived in the same house at college, we were around each other a lot and then just decided one day, we were going out.  I decided about 5 days later I wanted to marry her, took me a year to convince her :D.  And so I went from just hanging out with someone at school with half a dozen other people around while doing it, to being in a full relationship to getting married without any of the first date, second date type of thing.  I honestly get how not having done something for many years would also leave me in almost the same place, but at least I may have had history to guide me a little.  

So after going out for coffee or a dinner with someone, I honestly don't have a clue how to move forward, and I come back and start to do the horrible thing of comparing them to my wife.  This one is too tall, this one doesn't have any interest in the stars, this one doesn't have that look when they are up to something...The excuses I can make to tank anything that may be good.  I even did something worst than that with one person, I left an empty space between us where my wife would have sat.  I know when I said I was going to do this, I convinced myself that I could push through this, that I could actually be fair and open for someone else.  Now I wonder if I am still stuck in place where the only person I see filling my days is a person who can no longer be here.  

What I think is worse for me is that after each date I come home doubting myself, thinking, that the person was interesting but they probably don't like me, that I am boring or withdrawn or whatever I can come up with to torpedo myself.  And the reality is that I am many of these things. I spent 27 years where the topic of conversation when I was chatting with someone new was my relationship in one way or another.  I now find myself trying to draw back into a corner and not spend the entire time with someone new reminding them of who I was with before.  I want to find out about them and for them to find out about me rather than us.  Yet still I am sort of stuck in that place where the things that come to mind are always about her.  Sitting across from someone with my wife's antics and face flashing through my mind.  

So perhaps I am not really ready to open the door, maybe I will just have to make myself be happy with being alone for a bit longer while I work through some things, but honestly I am not sure that will help.  What I think I need is dating 101 :D.   Why don't they give a class for adults in how to start a new relationship?  Not only that the fear of all the recent 'Me Too' movement has me waiting for them to make whatever move they will and are willing, but perhaps this standoffish nature is also making things worse.  

I think that what brings me to the blog today is that fear that perhaps I like someone new but just can't figure out how to open the right doors or say the right things to let them know without coming off like I am racing in with flaming hair.  And that fear, that anxiety has had me stuck in place to the point where if I didn't put it somewhere, say something about it to someone, that I would just go a bit crazy.   Well crazier than I already am :D.  

Anyone else explored the world of dating after your loss and managed to figure out how to get past that first hump of admitting that you could like someone who wasn't your spouse? And not only that, but that it was okay to like someone new?

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Comment by Mrs. L. on March 12, 2019 at 7:43am

Interesting comments from other widows/widowers thoughts.  All of them represent me.  It's almost 3 years years.  Yes, I am lonely, but don't where to start.  I can't come to the thought of online dating and who do you trust.  So many scams you hear of.  I don't have a large community of friends, mostly I am alone.  After being with one person for over 41 years I can't imagine someone who I would be comfortable with me.   

Comment by alwayssmilemichele on March 4, 2019 at 5:28pm

First, I applaud you for your courage.  It is a different world out there even if you had dated extensively prior to your marriage.  My Bob was a young widower when I married him when I was almost 30.  I am grateful that he was courageous enough to seek love again after losing his first love /wife!  We had 29 lovely years together.  I hope that one day I will find  another man to share the remainder of my life with.  I know from experience that the heart is capable of expanding to incorporate new profound love without diminishing the deep long term love we have for our spouse.

I have dated a few men  in the almost 3 years since Bob passed.  I haven't tried online dating..mostly because I am not very PC savvy.  I met the men at work related social functions and a special interest club I joined last year.  Realizing that  this dating thing is just going to be plain HARD really help me.

Wishing you Peace-

Michele

Comment by barbee on March 4, 2019 at 6:17am

Yes and yes. After almost three years of widowhood I decided I really missed the sound of a male voice, someone to talk to at the end of the day, someone who could get the up-high things off the shelf, someone to take out the garbage. Not knowing what else to do, I started online dating. SCARY! When I did find a man who interested me, I kept it to a coffee date in a very public place. When I left, I drove home in a very different direction so no one could follow me home. No phone numbers exchanged until I was ready. A friend had all my backup information about me, my vehicle. where was the meet, and whatever I could find out about him -- to give to the police if I didn't call her by a certain time. I was so paranoid.

Then one day, unexpectedly, "something" happened. Vern had been widowed for 12 years by then and also was lonely. We discovered a lot to talk about and our quick coffee meet turned into a three-hour lunch. We both had been married only once and for almost fifty years. We each had two daughters and a son who came much later. I could go on and on about the similarities. Long story short, it now is over three years that we have been together. Valentine's Day 2015, on a Mississippi riverboat, we tied the knot.

We traveled across the county for six months in his motor home, as travel buddies, doing and seeing things that neither of us ever had done with our mates. We met and visited each other's families who are scattered all over. It grew into a loving and important relationship. I recently sold my house in the city; we are in the process of selling his house in the country; we need to find a place this year that will be ours. We understand and respect each other around our respective mate's special days--birthdays, anniversaries, death days--because those can be sad or reflective and go beyond just a day.

One agreement we made very early on was that our finances would be kept separate. (We know we do not have fifty years ahead .I'm almost 80 and he is 84.) We make each day count and treasure it. Without children or grandchildren to raise and simply enjoy their visits, life is sweet! When our time together is over, we will have his and hers furniture and belongings and no one will need to argue over who gets what.

There is nothing wrong with dating or marrying again. It does not disrespect or diminish what you had in your first marriage. In fact, all those experiences helped to mold you into the person you are now. When I was a very young girl I remember asking my mother about how one would know when they were in love. Her answer was "you'll just know". And so, in this later time in your life, you too will just know when -- or if -- and how -- you might want to let someone else into your life. Follow your heart and see where it takes you.

Comment by sis on March 3, 2019 at 8:16am

I haven't tried online dating and feel uncomfortable with the idea, so you took a step I'm not willing or wanting to take. But, I don't want to spend what time I have left alone. I was a part of my husband for 49 years, but we got to know each other by growing through friendship. I suppose that is what I would be comfortable with. He was far from my only date, I was actually engaged 3 times before we got together, but I prefer the idea of getting to know someone face to face. My problem is I actually don't go many places to meet someone, but I believe if there is someone out there for me I will meet them somehow. My sister does date online and seems to be fine with it, but she seems more interested in going places than growing a relationship,so it works for her. Sorry I can't be of any help, but I always find your postings well on target and very interesting. God Bless

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