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Thinking about dating again

Started by Platypus, April 10, 2019, 04:48:15 PM

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It'll soon be 3 years since I lost my beloved wife of 30 years to cancer and for a while I've been thinking about tentatively dipping a toe back in the world of dating. I do have a particular someone in mind in fact - no guarantees that she's be interested of course - but I've pretty much made up my mind that if I can summon up the courage I'm going to ask her out.

I'm really here to ask people's advice regarding my kids.  I have three, all in their 20s, with one still living at home.  We're very close (as were they to their mum), and although I'm sure that basically they'll be fine with the idea of Dad moving on, I really want to be tactful and don't want to cause them any unnecessary hurt; and I would love to hear others' experience about how they've handled this.

I think this would probably be easier if all the kids lived away from home and I could play things by ear a bit and talk to them as things progress (if they do!).  As it is though, the one still living with me is going to be fully aware what's going on, however I handle it.



Hi, I am not sure if I can give you any advice on dating again but know what you mean about upsetting the grown up children.
I am not yet ready to be 'back out there' but also feel a little uncomfortable when I think about spending the rest of my life alone so maybe some day I will but like you, how do you tell your children.   

I think if it was me, then I would try the relationship first and if didn't work out then no harm done. If it does work out then I would let my children know that though I loved their father dearly I am now alone and don't want to be. When you lose your life partner it leaves a huge hole, part of you that they take with them and another partner maybe just what you need to fill that gap. Good luck and also good for you that you feel ready to move on  :hug:             


I have done this in the past -this is the second time i have been a widow - we both had a daughter each who were at school together and were drawn together as friends because of their losses - and Keith and i were also drawn together through the same thing, supporting them, taking them for days out, and supporting each other with the general issues teenage daughters can wreak  - so we were also friends and nothing more than that for a long time. My other daughter was living close by so she was aware of the friendship too - he had two older grown up children and a step son as well. Being friends first and being known to each others children well in advance of it becoming anything else helped as did making it clear that i was not a threat to the memory of their mum nor him to Mark.Thats not quite the same as having a "date" i know but if you know who this person is perhaps you are already friends and perhaps the transition will be the same. It wasnt straightforward we knew there would be issues particularly with the step son who was already suffering from all the changes he had been through in his life - but it didnt create a massive rift in his relationships with them because they were all  told we were not trying to replace them, and we each understood that the other would always cherish and love the ones we had lost, but this was a differnt relationship and it is possible to love two people.

as you say you havnt asked yet and she may say no, and she may say no because she feels three years is not long enough for you to be thinking straight, and that this is a rebound thing, - that perhaps depends on her own life experieces, and how well you know each other now -  If she does that then dont feel that is a rejection of you as a person, it perhaps is a sign of her regard for you,  not wanting to wreck your friendship with a relationship that went wrong because the timing was wrong, so again think of it as something two friends can share, keep her in your life you can always ask again later.

If she says yes, then a "first date" will perhaps tell you whether you want more than that, so maybe if you make it something that you can play by ear at the time - maybe tickets for a concert or something she enjoys doing, rather than an intimate candle lit dinner might be the way to play it.

You may find the children, even the one at home,are pleased for you,because they are concerned you will end up lonely, but if you are up front and say - the first time you are doing - whatever you decide to do - with the persons name - and it turns out not to be right for you, then they have nothing to be concerned about - if it is a date which becomes something more, then explain too them that it doesnt take away anything from theirs or your memorys of their mum, she isnt trying to replace her, doesnt expect to be called mum etc etc then they may well be fine about it, you cant really know until you ask.


I'm sure that at some stage we all wonder about finding a new partner and at one stage the thought certainly crossed my mind. The strange thing for me and I'm probably different to most people, is that I feel more 'married' now, after three and a half years, than I did after the first couple of years. I think I've decided that it's not for me but I'm pretty certain that my two daughters would be only too pleased if I struck up a new relationship. I know they worry about me a lot particularly the eldest one.

I reckon that we know deep down what is right for ourselves and that varies from person to person  :smiley:
I'll never get over losing her and I used to think that eventually
I would learn to live with it - that's not happened yet.

        ~ I'm George by the way ~


I agree longedge - I was really lucky to be loved twice and by two such great people,  but i dont think i would be strong enough to face this potential a third time. Plus i dont have the confidence to even consider going "dating" and while part of me is very sad at the prospect of being alone for the rest of my life i think that is most likely how it will be, but that doesnt mean i cant enjoy that life and make the most of it.

and you are correct  we are all different. I had a second chance which i grabbed and got so much happiness from - many people are not so lucky - i didnt go looking for that second chance it found me - so i dont think any of us should say never -because we just dont know who will come into our lives in the future.  :hug:


Thanks all, your thoughts are appreciated.

In terms of the kids, it would all be easier I think if one of them didn't live with me, meaning I have no possibility of staying under the radar to see how things pan out (if they even start!), and then deciding how to play it.

The woman concerned is someone I used to work with, and we've been friendly off and on for years; I've barely seen her since losing Ann though we've been in touch now and again via the dreaded Facebook.  She's never met my kids.   Anyway, I'll report back here if anything happens!  :azn:




I finally managed to pluck up the courage, and ask her to meet for an early evening drink at a pub later this week. Am terrified. I can't even remember how the whole 'dating' thing even worked, it's been so long since I last did it, and it's all so different these days, isn't it?   But then again, she's roughly my age so maybe we're more in tune and traditional about that than my kid's generation.  Although - she's been single and presumably dating people for years, so maybe not.   Complicated, complicated...   

I don't know whether she's coming because she thinks it would be rude to say 'no' (and knowing her, I'm pretty sure she would think that), or whether she might actually be potentially interested in me. And if she was interested, I imagine she'd be keen to know if I've 'moved on' sufficiently to warrant the possibility of getting involved.  Don't know how that works.  It's actually a question I've asked myself a lot before deciding to take this step.  The best 'evidence' I can come up with is the fact that some weeks after the funeral I was presented with a condolence book by Ann's employer - she had quite a 'public' job and was very well-known and well-liked in the community; and it was filled with pages and pages of lovely comments about her.  I tried reading it several times over the first year or so, but on each occasion I just ended up in floods and feeling utterly lost and devastated.  So I had never actually read past the first few pages, until I sat down with it a few weeks ago to try again.   This time the result was moist eyes and smiles, which I take as a sign of progress.  But I think that's a bit Too Much Information for a (potentially) first date!  :laugh:

I'm overthinking all this, aren't I?   :rolleyes:


Yes  :grin:

Forgive the frivolity I hope it works out well for you  :smiley:
I'll never get over losing her and I used to think that eventually
I would learn to live with it - that's not happened yet.

        ~ I'm George by the way ~


Its natural to be overthinking it.  Do your best to stay calm, try to have a nice time and not worry about the what-ifs. Whether this goes anywhere or not,  its another step forward on your journey  :hug: xx
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. 
Hold on in there xx


Good luck and hope all goes well, I think you are being very brave and good for you x


I've not been on this forum for quite a long time now; in fact I just logged in because I wanted to start a new topic/query, and before doing so read back my old posts. And I definitely allowed myself a smile when reading this thread!  I promised to report back with how my date went, back in May 2019... so here goes: sorry it's a little late!!

It went brilliantly! Conversation flowed very naturally and I enjoyed myself more than I could possibly have guessed possible. It turned into another date, and another, and another, and we both realised it was becoming serious. Sue and I formally moved in together just before lockdown started, which is where we are now (and if lockdown wasn't a good enough test of a relationship, I don't know what is!).   This is hopefully for keeps now; we are really good together, and I am happier again than I would ever have thought possible.   Crucially for me, Sue gets on famously with my (adult) kids, too, they are really supportive of the relationship and are delighted that I've 'found' somebody.

One of the things I love about Sue is that she's 100% understanding of my widower status. As I mentioned in a previous post she knew my late wife, Ann, and is very comfortable talking about her when appropriate; there's none of this awkward walking on eggshells: Ann is actually something we both had in common.   Sue fully understands that I adored Ann and that but for the dreaded Big C we would still be happily together, and told me early on that she totally gets that this makes her my 'second choice'. Which was a bit cringey to hear her say, but we both know it's basically the truth and I love that she's comfortable with that and is open enough to say it out loud.   Her take on the situation is that she really admires the long, happy and faithful marriage I had with Ann, and that the experience makes me the sort of person that she can envisage spending the rest of her life with.

I certainly haven't forgotten about Ann and do still think about her a lot.  Ann was undoubtedly the love of my life, yet I now love Sue, though, too - and that's such a strange, weird feeling which is almost impossible to describe.  I find I can't think about them at the same time - it's as if my brain simply can't process it and will explode if I try.  The best way I can describe it to myself (and you guys here; absolutely nobody else!) is that the two of them live in two different rooms in my brain. The two doors are always closed.  I spend most of my time now living in Sue's room, but sometimes, when I'm alone, I just nip out into Ann's for a while.  Is that weird?

So that's me now.  I hope that my experience might help someone else who was where I was a few years ago...