Following are leftover questions from my online chat, “Moving On” (Nov. 5):
I’ve had four significant relationships, starting in college through building my career. I was married once for three years, in my late-20s.
I’m now 38 and fairly successful; I can afford to travel. It’s easy to meet women. But I’m starting to want the whole package – wife and kids, maybe a cottage, etc.
Online dating’s easy for me, to find women who are into fun, casual, dating with sex. But now I’m wondering what’s the best route to finding the One.
Need to Move On
You’re looking at Moving On with a purpose and a goal. It may sound positive but it can be a blinkered approach if you create a checklist ahead of who will be “the One.”
It’s like looking for a specific needle in a vast haystack. What you need to know are your own core values to find a likely match. Example, a woman who enjoys family life and doesn’t just want casual sex may attract you, but if she already has a couple of young kids she may not want a baby right away, or she’s younger and feels she has time.
Rushing into a relationship, with someone who fits into your shopping list, can be a big mistake when you later discover what else is in the package.
So go slowly and thoughtfully, be honest about your hope for a serious relationship, and learn who the person IS, not just what she wants from you – your success and a proposal – and what you love about her beyond her suitability right now.
My second husband was the love of my life, which was remarkable since I married my first husband for love. We had a wonderful short life together, but he passed away at 29 from an undiagnosed heart condition.
I’m now 44 and widowed again. I realize that in one way I’ve been luckier than many. But two sudden losses have taken their toll.
I don’t even know what “moving on” means for me. I’m afraid to even consider another serious relationship lest I rush into something just for security, or avoid great people as dates because I’m scared stiff.
Moving on means having a present and a future, not living in the past. Lucky you that your memories of what you gained in those loving relationships are so positive.
Yes, loss takes a toll! But you have more reason than most to be optimistic about finding companionship, supportive friendships, and love.
You know how to give and receive respect, trust, and love. Like everyone else, you still need to take time getting to know new people, but unlike many, you know the possibilities ahead, so stay open to them.
My son’s getting divorced after 20 years of marriage. They’d been together through higher education, careers, and have three great kids (the oldest is 11).
We’re heartsick and wondering how grandparents “move on” with this… do we offer our home to our son and grandkids (and change our life to what it was 30 years ago)?
It’s your son’s divorce, not yours. If he asks to move in, tell him to first work out the financial division of assets including the marital home.
If he can afford his own place, or needs some financial help for that, it’s likely better for him and his children to bond as their own unit (assuming there’s joint custody) and that already seems better for you.
Be supportive emotionally through regular contact with your grandchildren.
What does “moving on” mean? People have relationships, some last, others don’t. You can’t stop living, so you carry on.
Maybe you meet someone else soon, maybe not. Maybe you decide not to get involved again for years. I just don’t get what the whining’s about.
It’s about emotions, not whining. While some relations are casual, many others have involved emotional investment, which included a huge part of someone’s self-esteem.
Their relationship implied security, being loved, a way of life, plus plans and dreams. The break-up may feel that all that was a lie – no security, no love, plunging self-esteem, and the loss of what was familiar.
Hold back your judgment. What affects some people as painful isn’t yours to critique. If you don’t want to listen to what you call “whining,” walk away. You’re not the right friend for that person anyway, not at that time.
Tip of the day:
Moving on means taking steps to not dwell in the past.