Widower dating has its pitfalls, especially when all you do is give, give, give.
By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50
Singles need to be careful when getting involved with anyone who hasn't properly healed after the loss of a mate, especially widows and widowers. Bobbie, Minnesota, shared her widower-dating experience.
"We met at a swimming water-exercise class with me as the instructor and he as a participant. It started out great and was nice to have someone to do things with. We agreed that neither wanted to marry again. I've been divorced 26 years."
Bobbie said they dated for two years.
"We had a very nice relationship, as long as everything was about HIM and doing what HE wanted to do. We had many discussions about him always comparing me to his late wife. From time to time, he'd tell me he was having a bad time with the loss of his wife (five years) and was mad at her for leaving him. He is retired and they had many plans for retirement."
But Bobbie endured, thinking he'd change. "I had given more of myself in these two years than I intended, as he had health problems and I took care of him, helped him through the loss of an old dog, which wiped him out, and to get a new puppy. I helped him complete his home, which he'd been trying to do for 25 years, and helped clean out all his late wife's things. I made a new 'Granny' quilt, shams and curtains for his new bedroom, that HE wanted."
Bobbie added that sometimes he'd get depressed and be isolated from her for periods of time. Over the last few months, he didn't take her to couples activities as he once had. The romantic aspect dwindled and then became non-existent.
Bobbie feels he needs grief counseling. "I tried to talk to him face-to-face to seek counseling; he wouldn't discuss it. The next day I get an e-mail from him stating that he was 'putting himself to the curb' as he doesn't want to give me any of what I expect and life is going to be all about HIM now! I laughed out loud when I read it.
I was tired of being second fiddle to everyone and everything in his life. I am one spunky, happy, lady, seven-years-younger than he, with lots more ambition. She said, “All I do is give, give, give.”
So it's over. "I am relieved," Bobbie says. "He is missing out on so much in life, but can't see it. One more picture to add to my 'trail of terror' on my refrigerator.
"I don't regret the relationship or all I gave to it, but I have self esteem and it is time to move on. Being mothers, women are naturally givers, but there is a time when our own worth has to be considered and we shouldn't have to give, give, give, all of the time."
By the way, Bobbie still teaches the water-exercise class and he's still a participant. One has to wonder how "chilly" that water is up there in Minnesota. Bobbie says, "We both still attend--twice a week, It's fine with both of us. He doesn't seem to be uncomfortable about it and it doesn't bother me in the least."
In writing this story, I feel there are some unanswered questions about the relationship-but I'll defer to you folks, who always have astute observations.
Widower dating has its pitfalls. No longer will Bobbie have to “give, give, give.”