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goldsunshine897

Emotional Gears Are Stuck

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Hi everyone,

It's been a long time since I posted here, but suddenly today I felt the need to. I lost Bruce over 4 yrs ago and time has slowly revealed a problem that I had forgot I had. I was always a shy socially awkward person. I would go to work, then school then home and that's it. I never had alot of friends as a adult so I didn't do many fun things at all. I met Bruce at work one day and we were together ever since (8yrs). I have coped pretty well now with his death, it's just that I haven't dated anyone or made any close friends either. I do feel lonely now and I definitely want to share my life with someone -but its so hard getting out there on the dating scene; I'm a complete novice. Some coworkers keep asking me why I don't have a boyfriend yet and I feel so uncomfortable I just don't know what to say. It makes me want to clam up and not speak to anyone, but that only leads to more shyness so I know that's not good. When I was with Bruce- I didn't have a life so I lived vicariously through him. I actually merged my identity with his. I see now that that wasn't healthy which is why I really want to live life to the fullest now. But if the thought of inviting a man over for coffee is so nerve-wracking that my stomach gets into knots, I don't know how or when I'll get over this. I've read that some of you have found love and happiness after your loss and I am truly happy for you. My prayer is that I will one day soon be able to come back and post about my growth in this area. I appreciate any thoughts or responses you may have to what I wrote. Thank you much.

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Hi Gold! I do have some thoughts for you, but have to run to work right now. I´ll post a reply tonight, it will be better if it isn´t rushed. Hang in there for now!

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Gold - all I can say, is wait for Fred's response. I'm waiting, too, because his posts are thoughtful, and from the heart. It's only 5 months for me, but I can see where you're coming from. But don't sell yourself short. You say you merged your identity with Bruce, but in any good marriage (and it sounds like yours was wonderful) - there is a melding, yes, but not just one's identify going into the other. You contributed to your marriage - you brought your ideas, your fears, your love, everything you had. And now all of that is in you. I'm sorry I have no dating advice - lord knows whenever I'll be ready, but please see that you are you - unique, with all the strengths that you got from loving someone to the fullest. Don't let others tell you what to think, or feel! Oh, I wish I could give better advice - Hugs, Marsha

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Okay Gold, I was hoping that some of the others that are so much farther along than I would jump in during the day and help out with their thoughts and experiences. I don`t know why they would wait for me; so you first need to know that only twenty-two months have passed since my wife died and there haven`t been any dating relationships for me yet either. Since you are shy and a woman, I would recommend avoiding the online dating sites. My limited experience has shown them to be very disappointing places. There are all kinds of very frightening and disturbed people that frequent them and though I have made a couple of online friends that way (because I am enjoying the adventure), meeting in person is a major step.

Friends are what you need for the moment. You have to learn how to read people and see the variety of outlooks and interests and beliefs they hold. Basically to become a little more outgoing first. My wife said that I was a very shy person also. I preferred the term observant and compared to her, politicians are shy. I learned that in her way of reaching out to EVERYONE, she showed how much she cared. She truly wanted to know about each person and how life had treated them. People responded in kind and she made friends instantly everywhere she went. I can`t do that, I have reservations, issues with trust, etc.; but I am trying now. Take some of that life that you lived vicariously through Bruce and try to step back into it. But on some of what he gave to you and reach out to others. Don`t worry about the dating, it will happen when you are ready, or when you least expect it. For now, just try to reach out beyond yourself to learn about others. It may be safest to begin with female acquaintences, you don`t sound ready to deal with a misunderstanding man yet. Start slowly and carefully and be aware that there will be setbacks. Some people are just not friendly, or have their own problems to deal with. See if you can form a network of girl friends to do things with; a movie or concert, dinner, shopping trips, hikes or whatever. With success you will gather different groups of friends for different activites. Take your time, there is no hurry. This will be part of your working through your grief, becoming a new person yourself.

Please keep us all posted on your progress. I`ll start you off with a hug. ( :wub: )

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It doesn't sound like you were looking when you met Bruce so let the feeling come to you again. You don't have to seek it out if it is meant to be.

What kind of things are you interested in? Seek out groups that do this. Like if you like going to theater is there a theater guild group you could join? Or here at the Univ. there are sometimes party like things before some of the plays where you can meet people. What about a book club or card club? It could be bridge, pinocele, poker, whatever you're interested in. One thing that I used to enjoy in the past was what was called Home Extension. It is put on by the county in union with the State Univ. It is a very well rounded program. It has cooking, talks about far away places, how to take care of a garden, etc. I think most states have them.

What about a church group? When my sister in law finally decided that the group she was waiting for to ask her to do things wasn't going to ask, she joined her churches women's guild and they do a lot of things. She is so much happier. Plus she has neighbors that she gets together with to play games about once a week.

I hope some of this is helpful. I do think that you should go with women or mixed groups at first especially.

Good luck on finding some happiness and come back sooner for a visit.

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So, our Gold friend, do you have any comments or questions about the thoughts you have received so far? Unfortunately, not to many of the regulars spend much time in this section. Guess I need to start a publicity campaign for those that are ready to consider ¨new beginnings¨ from the ¨loss of spouse...¨ section.

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HI Gold,

Fred has some good points, I am very shy and awkward myself and found myself devastated for a long time knowing because of that above, I wouldn't meet anyone, i may get some heat for this, but I signed up with several dating sites and very cautiously and made many mistakes along the way, eventually found a wonderful gal I am still with today, most importantly exposing yourself online to an extent will pique someones interest, but firstly I would wait for about a month before meeting someone in person, I had some bad and good experiences but scrutiny and caution are always the best in this case.

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Hi fred,

Thanks so much for the hug, and here's one back for you :wub: You guys have written some thoughtful and very true words. If I sounded like I was throwing a pity party for myself- I wasn't, just venting you know ;) . Its funny, your wife sounds like Bruce and you like me in that he talked to EVERYONE, and I was more private and cautious. But we both learned from each other, Bruce had to learn to keep some things private and I had to learn that I can't wait for others to initiate all conversations. It's a process that's for sure.

I am pretty unsure about online dating so I just concentrate on going out more by myself. My coworkers don't seem to like the same things that I do so instead of missing out on shows, concerts etc like I used to, I end up going places alone now. Its ok because little by little I am starting to enjoy life more and I can always meet people when I'm out. Thank you again for the kind words fred.

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To mlg,

Hello to you and thank you for responding. You are so right. I was just thinking that I should stop worrying about dating, and concentrate more on just living my life and growing. I wasn't looking for someone when I met Bruce so I shouldn't feel like I must date someone now. I've decided to work more on hobbies and going out alone if I must. I'm also considering going back to school, I figure I'll probably meet people with similar interests anyway.

Thank you for the advice.

Gold

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To Stallyn,

Well, the online thing actually worked out for you that's good. Don't worry about any criticism- I know that some people have tried it and it really worked for them. It's just that there are so many potentially bad matches that I'm cautious about taking the risk. I wouldn't knock anyone who tried it though so Congratulations!

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Gold, thank you for your kind words, I had many bad experiences, scammers sending fake money orders, people that arent what they claim to be, oh i could go on, I noticed when I became a widower eventually wanting companionship, the landscape was different, 10 years later, have you been able to find peers that interest you locally? with the daily hustle and no-one paying attention to others anymore, I have to wonder does the old methods still work :glare:

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Hello Stallyn, and Merry Christmas to you . Or Happy Holidays , whichever you prefer :rolleyes: I don't seem to have a lot in common with many people but I don't blame them for that. Since I've always had a tendency towards being quiet and going straight from home to work and back- I probably wouldn't have much to say right? Little by little I am determined to change that though. I'm currently finishing up my college application and when I'm back in school again it will slowly help me to meet more people. I guess that shows that I'm healing from losing Bruce 4 years ago.

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Merry Christmas Gold! Sounds like you are making good progress in putting yourself back together. I am sure Bruce would be very proud of you. Enjoy the day! Best wishes (( :wub: ))

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Gold,

I agree with what's been said already...I am an outgoing person but shy at first, if that makes any sense...I have a hard time breaking the ice but once it's broke I'm usually okay. I wrapped up my life in my husband and am now having to rebuild it. I, too, want to make more friends and am not sure where to start, but it seems to me if you do things you are interested in, you will come into contact with others with the same interests, which should be a start. Remember, you met and married once and that can happen again, if not through work like before, then through another avenue. Try not to worry about if/when, it'll happen when you least expect it...just concentrate on enjoying life and it'll go from there. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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