I’ve been dating a widower for several months, and like him a lot.
He calls every night before he goes to sleep.
We’ve gone out twice a week to restaurants or music events, or he’s come over to my place just to walk and talk together.
Through all these dates, he’s mentioned his late wife numerous times, even though she died 11 years ago and he’s had two long relationships since then.
He’ll hold my hand when we walk and sometimes in a restaurant. He’ll kiss my cheek when we part, but there’s been no move towards any intimacy.
He goes home every night to his teenage son.
It all feels very odd and frustrating. We’re both in our mid-40s, healthy. Also, I’m positive he must’ve had sex in his past relationships.
Do I ask him directly if we’re ever going to have sex or is he just not attracted to me that way?
Confused and Frustrated
This man’s still attached to his late wife despite the women he’s dated.
To you it seems odd, but the ongoing connection may be his life raft.
His late wife was likely in her 30s when she passed, leaving him with a child to raise on his own.
He obviously enjoys your company, and I’m sure finds your warm feelings towards him a comfort.
He’s not rejecting you. But he is rejecting cutting ties with his late wife and their past together.
He may one day move on and fall in love with someone. But not now.
Date others. Consider him a friend if you can, and have no future expectations from him. Otherwise, just move on yourself.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman, 43, who was very distressed over someone asking if she was “retired” (Oct. 18):
Reader – “It may’ve been an assumption based on the purpose of the organized bus trip, i.e. “seniors’ excursion” or “retirees trip” which are marketing terms to identify the target audience.
“The writer could be in any number of jobs where time might be flexible enough to allow a day trip by bus, and the venue could have been chosen by her to feel a sense of group security and safety, rather than traveling alone.
“Perhaps the writer could simply afford to set aside the time for the trip and didn’t feel like taking a plane instead.
“Perspective is important. Assumptions are deadly.”
Reader #2 – “People who take a bus tour may be retired or not working, or recovering from illness.
“I have many friends who retired very early because they took a package from their employer, or their partner retired early or were downsized, or they could no longer work due to illness or choice.
“I agree with your response that this question triggered something in this woman that she needs to look at closely.
“I coordinate over 100 volunteers and if someone doesn't look like they’re in school, I ask if they’re retired. And I get a wide variety of responses, which opens the door to communication.”
Reader #3 – “Last year I was going on a cruise, meeting up with a group that didn't all know me.
“While sitting and waiting, I was approached by a woman from the group who asked "are you 100?"
“Shocked, I said “No.” She was looking for a 102-year-old joining the group.
“I’d had a hectic trip to the airport, but was only 76 and worried that I must look bad.
“My friends and I had many a laugh over this.”
I’m the 18-year-old (April 25th column). My post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stopped for a short while, but seems stronger now.
I’m also forced to switch counsellors because the one I've been seeing is taking maternity leave.
I’ll have to catch my new counsellor up on all that’s happening. The medication I’ve been given is affecting my dreams more than anything.
Is it just an overreaction or do I need to get off it?
I’m glad you reached out. You’d had a very traumatic experience when a man with schizophrenia tried to attack you.
Ongoing triggers of fear and anxiety are consistent with PTSD.
Your counsellor will “catch up” her replacement through a thorough report on all you’ve discussed with her.
Tell your medical doctor right away if you think medication’s affecting you negatively. It may be a simple matter of changing the dose.
Be encouraged that the PTSD can and did stop for awhile.
Tip of the day:
Grief can live on through attachment to lost love.