Ask Amy: Widower ponders the heartache of dating The Denver Post

Dear Amy: My wife passed away in a car accident about seven years ago.

We were together for almost 25 years.

I had a few dates with women in the years since my wife’s death, but I didn’t meet anyone who really interested me. My last date was three years ago. I guess I just didn’t think I was ready.

I’ve been pretty content with my status until recently.

I joined a dating site and started talking to a woman. We talked for a week or so and got along great. We have a lot in common.

Every time I heard from her my heart would race and I felt what I haven’t felt in a long time. I was smiling all the time and in such a good mood.

Finally, we decided to meet. We met and afterward she told me she is only interested in friendship. I’m assuming that she just wasn’t attracted to me.

I get it, but it kinda knocked the wind out of my sails. I feel heartbroken. I don’t even want to look anymore and think I should just stay single.

My friends tell me to keep looking, but I don’t want to get my hopes up again and then be let down.

Any advice?

– No Confidence

Dear No Confidence: I hope you would describe your emotions as more “heart-aching” than “heartbreaking.”

It is challenging to bounce back when you’ve been grazed by Cupid’s arrow. But matching and meeting is a bit of a numbers game, and the way back is to simply have more dating experiences – and to try to learn from all of them.

When I tried online dating (years ago) the most helpful advice I received – after my own near-misses – was to manage expectations until you meet your match in person, and to try to schedule an in-person meetup as soon as possible.

This means that once you and a prospective date establish your commonalities online, you refrain from overly emotional intimacies until you actually meet.

Your own previous dating experience showed you that when you met someone in person, sometimes you just didn’t feel a connection. It was not the other person’s fault, and it is not an indictment of their character, personality, or looks.

This feeling of connection is the mysterious work of pheromones, compatibility, the good timing.

The best way to protect yourself in the future is to not let your hopes soar until you experience a mutual in-person wow-wow-wow with someone. I hope it will happen for you.

Dear Amy: What does it mean when there is activity online from your partner to another person?

Can it be considered cheating if they are on dating sites and texting other people outside of the relationship?

I feel like its cheating.

What do you think?

– Storm

Dear Storm: You get to decide what you consider cheating in your own relationship. And even if your partner doesn’t consider this sort of behavior “cheating,” you still get to decide whether to accept it.

Some couples agree to have open relationships that welcome the concept of continuing to play the field. Your partner may want this, but if you don’t, the most important thing is to be brave enough to own up to your own feelings and vulnerabilities, and to discuss your feelings with your partner.

Dear Amy: I just had to write in response to “Can’t Wait Forever,” who is about to turn 35 and has a ticking biological clock.

I was hoping that you would suggest that she harvest and freeze some of her eggs. Although I don’t know the cost that this entails, it might be a viable solution for her.

It seemed to me that she has a lot of anxiety around this issue, which, to my mind, is not off-base, and rather than being told to “breathe through the anxiety and live in the moment”, she could be given a proactive, practical piece of advice that could set her mind at ease so she could actually live in the moment without fear.

– Better Solution

Dear Better: Thank you for the suggestion. Yes, egg harvesting and storage can be quite expensive (I’ve seen estimates of up to $30,000), but I agree with you that this would empower a woman whose biological clock is ticking loudly.

To be fair (to me), this person’s therapist suggested living in the moment. My overall suggestion was to talk to her partner and (if he is in agreement) make plans and (possibly) a baby.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

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