Was the dating game always this difficult?

Discussion in 'Dating Again After the Loss of a Spouse/Partner' started by CarolC, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. CarolC

    CarolC Well-Known Member

    My husband of 25 years passed away a year and a half ago, suddenly due to an automobile accident. I've dating (or hung out) with a couple of men since then but they all seem to be players. Now I've met a seemingly good man and I just can't relax about the whole dating situation. I'm finding myself waiting for him to hurt me (emotionally, not physically). My extended family and friends are trying to be supportive but I know they miss Butch and talking to them just feels awkward. My son doesn't like me dating but said his dad would want me to do whatever I had to in order to survive and would approve of me dating someone good to me. But... he doesn't want to meet him or talk about it. My daughter refuses to meet him or acknowledge him and will only speak to me to line up a sitter for her daughters. She does let the granddaughters go places with us, when she needs a sitter, and they've accepted him.
    We've been dating, seriously, 5 months now. Seriously as in I've spent every weekend from Friday after work till Monday before work with him for 5 months. I've gone to his house randomly throughout the week and spent a couple of whole weeks with him when one of us doesn't have to work. We've been on three vacations together and about to take one for Valentine's day. I've met a lot of his friends and all of his family, except his dad who had dementia and passed away last week. At his funeral his sister even had me sit with the family and he made sure I walked in with him.
    But... we don't have any labels. He introduces me as "Carol". He never calls me his "girlfriend" or anything like that. He made one very sceptical comment about "before we were...dating..." like he struggled with classifying us as dating. I've told him that I love him twice. Once when I was drunk and about to fall asleep, once when hanging up the phone (it slipped out, "bye, I love you"). He chucked and said "I love you too". That's the only term of endearment from him. He's called me every single night that we're not together for the past 5 months, right before bed. He and his family have talked about four women in his life (his 1st wife that he married at 18 and divorced 5 years later, his 2nd wife that he was married 23 years and she cheated on him numerous times before they divorced, a girlfriend in between that his family never mentions and a woman two years ago that his family doesn't like and he wouldn't call "dated her" even though he did mention it had been 5 years without a woman in his life.)
    He's given me no reason to feel insecure or doubt his intentions, but he really hasn't given any intentions. We haven't really been dating that long to even declare intentions. We have a lot of fun together and get along really well. He's gentle and kind. Why can't I just relax and enjoy this???
  2. plalonde

    plalonde New Member

    Can I relate! I think the difference between years ago and now is having children. Regardless of how we're treated by them they are still our children. We would like to have their approval and at least understanding. It's been two years since my wife passed and my daughter, like yours, doesn't want to hear about it or talk about it or discuss it. She's the only family I have and her opinion matters to me regardless of how much I fight that feeling I've got to have it.

    Sorry, I have no idea what to do about it and but provide some amount of consolation that it's "normal".
  3. KVR

    KVR Active Member

    Dating again, knowing when it's time feels hard and also taboo. Talking about your personal needs separate than your role as widow/widower and mother/father is complicated. I think wanting to be with someone knew is normal and also being exhausted at the possibility of having to start all over again is also normal. Then, how to just relax after experiencing death, well that's another story. I think it's important to try to have fun and enjoy love, wherever you can get it. We are so scared to love, to love again, love, love, love! One thing I'm learning is that love without expectation, living in the moment can be important. We can all go at any minute, and we only have the now
    Mothernature likes this.
  4. ainie

    ainie Well-Known Member

    We all need to remember love doesn't divide it multiplies. We know from having our children that the second one does not mean we love the first any less. I think love is life and life is love. Without love, all kinds...family, brotherly, platonic, romantic... we feel deeply that "we have no life". I may not yet be ready for another romantic love but am soaking up all the family and brotherly love I can get!
    Mothernature and griefic like this.