Is dating okay now? (Sorry, long)

kaye820May 3, 2007

My precious DH passed away 18 months ago from cancer and liver failure, and I've had a desperate time trying to get my head back on straight. He was only 57 and he died exactly four months after the cancer diagnosis, and during the last few days he was terribly confused and disoriented and barely recognized me. He was suffering from encephalopathy, which is a build-up of toxins in his brain due to the liver failure, and we didn't get to say any good-byes or hug or kiss because he was so out of it. Obviously, I was a train wreck afterward, and I had no support or kindness whatsoever from his family, even though we had been married for 20 years. I have very little family of my own, and they all live across the country and are kind of emotionally distant. So no help there either.

I've been on anti-depressants but don't feel quite myself any more. I'm trying to get on with what's left of my life and have made friends with a couple of single girls who are my new neighbors. I moved out of our old house about six months after he died because I was afraid to stay alone. The house was 35 miles from my work and was fairly isolated out in the country, so I moved into a small apartment complex about three miles from my office in downtown Houston. Thankfully, the move has been a good thing for me as I do feel safer now and also have friends with whom I can go to movies, etc.

Finally (and thanks for your patience), here is my dilemma: My friends talked me into signing up with an on-line "match-making" service and I've gotten a few responses from men who seem interested in meeting me. They only know my first name, my city, and some general information about my preferences and hobbies, that sort of thing. But I am totally terrified to reply to any of the emails. I have not had a single date since DH died, nor a telephone call from any man, or email, or anything else. I feel so sad, lonely and foolish, and I'm alone for the first time in my life. Am I crazy or what? Is this feeling normal? Is it okay to date? Obviously, it wouldn't seem so sleazy if I actually met someone who liked me, but this on-line business seems like such desperation. Your thoughts, please, please, please!


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Kaye, this is the new way of dating these days. I am married so I don't have any personal experience with it, but I have been involved with my sister in law who has been doing this for the last few months. Nothing can happen to you if you reply to the emails. Start getting to chit chatting with a few of them. You can tell quite a bit by just emailing back and forth for awhile.

Its time to turn the page, and start enjoying your life again. You have nothing to feel guilty about. Your DH would have wanted you to enjoy your life and carry on.

Start slow, do the email thing for a little while, progress to telephone conversations after that, then date. One thing my sister in law has found to be a relief is, on the first date she only does coffee. That way if you don't click, you're out of there in a half hour. You don't have to rush out to date next saturday night if you're not ready. Take it at your own pace.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 8:35PM
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I ditto Linda's excellent advice. I understand why Internet dating might seem sleazy to you, but Linda's right. Most younger people don't give it a second thought.

I've read that is the #1 choice of people over 50. Also, I overheard a cell phone conversation the other day in which a woman (she looked like she was in her late 40s) described some of the very nice men she'd met through eHarmony. One was a college professor.

Best of luck, and let us know how out. ;-)


    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 1:39PM
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I agree with the previous post...You have to go on living and I'm sure your DH would want what makes you happy...My oldest son lost his wife, at 47, almost 2 years ago and he still won't let anyone break into his shell.He visits her grave every day and tells her about his day..I would give anything for him to meet someone and be able to share/talk, just to get him back in the world of the living.. Just this past weekend, my sisters youngest son (38) passed away very suddenly and I've come to the conclusion, live each day to the fullest...You deserve to have happy times again....

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 1:47PM
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Kaye, I just emailed you privately.

What Irishdancersgram said is TRUE: Live for today, because yesterday is GONE and tomorrow may never come. You will be fine if you keep your head on straight. Be picky and know what you want, then don't be swayed. One of the NICEST men I EVER knew, I met right here on Gardenweb.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 9:59PM
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Yes, I would have to say that a "timeline" for when it is appropriate to date after the loss of your significant other if really tough to determine. You may feel the need for companionship much sooner than you expected, but you may fear that family members of your deceased mate may think of you as cold hearted, or disresectful if you begin seeing someone too soon. Yes, I would say that you need to be mindful of the feelings of the deceased's children and family, and be quite thoughtful about how you might introduce your new "male friend" into their lives. However, people grieve in different ways, and if you feel the desire to begin a new relationship after 18 months, while others might need two-three years, this in no way deminishes the love that you had for your former spouse, and no one should tell you otherwise.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 5:45PM
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fil was remarried before a year was out, and dating again, after his 2n wife passed...(he's 83, lol)

piece of cake! if you want to go out and meet men, it's ok...i think you have to give yourself've been terribly hurt and bruised with your dh's sudden passing and really hadn't that time old "closure"...

do you have a religious organization you might meet men at? often it's a less stressful setting...

glad you're enjoying your new home...

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 9:15PM
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My husband died last month and I am not grieving as most would be doing. I grieved and shed my tears while he was in the care home 9 months before his death, I have no more tears to shed. He had Alzheimer's and he fought the aides every time they tried to help him. It took 2 men to hold him and one aide to change or bathe him. About the dating, no way will I ever have a serious relationship again. For the first time in my life and I am 70 I am free to do as I please without being criticized. Half of our money went to the care home, but I am still ok financially. If I marry again, my new husband will get half of everything I have left. If I liked the guy and was happy with him, I would be faced with losing half of my money AGAIN if he had to go to a care home.

About internet dating, be very careful. My neighbor's daughter married a man she met on the internet. She met him once, saw pictures of his home, his grandchildren talked to her on the phone and called her grandma. I met him, he was a prince charming. But I thought she was crazy. She quit her job, sold her car and took her possessions to Texas. He filed for divorce 3 weeks later, turns out he is a serial psychopath. He's not a killer, just a guy who courts, buys gifts, wins the family over, marries his bride then the fun is over. He locked her out of the house, got rid of her pet yorkie and wouldn't give her...her possessions. They are still waiting in Texas for a court's decision on who gets them. By the way did I mention she was his 12th wife.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 8:40PM
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My husband and I (second marriage for both of us) met online. A GF of mind kept trying to talk me into signing up for a online dating site and I finally signed up to "prove her wrong". LOL!
Yes, answer the emails of those that sound interresting to you. A few email conversations back and forth will tell you if there is a "fit".
Future DH sent me an email on a Saturday afternoon, we emailed back and forth till about 7pm, then starting IMing (Instant Messaging) for about another 3 or 4 hours. Then he asked if it was okay to get my phone number cause his fingers were getting tired. We talked on the phone until the sun came up! Met face-to-face and few days later "just for a quick drink" which turned into dinner and a 6 hour "date". Next date was from 6pm till 6am. After dinner and a movie we stayed up all night talking.
I am so very sorry to hear of your loss Kaye. 57 is so young. But be comforted in the fact that your husband probably would not want to see you spend the rest of your life alone.
I wish you well.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 7:05PM
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