Ready to date again

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

It has been two years since my hus­band of 25 years passed away. He was my best friend. We did ev­ery­thing to­gether.

My chil­dren have been amaz­ingly sup­port­ive to me. They are al­ways in­clud­ing me with their own fam­i­lies for din­ners, with go­ing to church, etc. Nei­ther my son nor my daugh­ter has even hinted at this, but lately I have been feel­ing like a bit of a bur­den.

I am in my mid-50s and feel as if I am ready to start dat­ing again. My daugh­ter told me about a sin­gles group at her church. Well, I went to one meet­ing, and it was all women, with only one man in the group — who was only show­ing in­ter­est in the 35-yearold; go fig­ure. I just feel that men my own age are look­ing for some­one younger. I am ready to just give up and be alone for the rest of my life. — Lonely Wi­dow in

Cal­i­for­nia

True, it might be a lit­tle more chal­leng­ing to meet some­one now than when you were in your 20s. But it is by no means im­pos­si­ble, so don’t give up so eas­ily. Any­thing worth do­ing is worth a lit­tle grit.

First, I sug­gest you check out on­line dat­ing sites. Find the sites that seem right for you, and ask your chil­dren to help you set up your pro­file, if you need help. I’m sure they would be ex­cited. They want you to be happy.

If you’re re­ally not com­fort­able with on­line dat­ing, just telling your friends and family that you are now open to dat­ing could open doors for you. They may have not wanted to set you up be­cause they weren’t sure about your readi­ness, but now that you are ready, it’s time to spread the word.

Do not al­ways take let­ters at face value and make as­sump­tions. I am that daugh­ter de­scribed in the let­ter from “Miss­ing Her,” the 82-year-old mother who lamented that her daugh­ter hasn’t spo­ken to her in 12 years.

For years, I was the family scape­goat. I was called “trou­ble­some” and “al­ways prickly.” Ev­ery time I did some­thing good, my par­ents took credit for it. (I got into a pres­ti­gious uni­ver­sity be­cause my mother took the ap­pli­ca­tion to the post of­fice, for ex­am­ple.) Any­thing bad and I was go­ing to kill my mother with the grief I caused.

When I asked my par­ents to stop do­ing things that were hurt­ful to me, they would say such things as, “How dare you tell us what to do? We’re your par­ents.” I was dragged to coun­sel­ing on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions, but when­ever the ther­a­pist sug­gested my par­ents could change some of their re­la­tion­ship tech­niques (for in­stance, talk­ing di­rectly to me rather than com­plain­ing about me to my brother and drag­ging him into the prob­lem), the ther­apy ses­sions were some­how no longer “work­ing” or “con­ve­nient” and were stopped.

Af­ter decades of this, I fi­nally de­cided that I had had enough and stopped re­spond­ing to them. They have not once reached out to ask what they could do to re­pair the re­la­tion­ship, nor have they apol­o­gized for past wrongs or in any way of­fered to work to­ward a bet­ter re­la­tion­ship. In­stead, they write long, chatty let­ters that are all about them and pre­tend that there is noth­ing amiss. Mean­while, they vil­ify me to any­one who will lis­ten.

In th­ese cir­cum­stances, An­nie, you have the gall to say that I seem “quick to burn bridges rather than re­pair them”? My opin­ion, An­nie, is that rather than just sup­port what this “poor, vic­tim­ized” woman wants to hear, you could per­haps present the pos­si­bil­ity that there is an­other side to the story.

— Griev­ing for the Re­la­tion­ship I Couldn’t

Have

Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­nie@cre­ators.com.

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