MY FRIEND WAS A WIDOW... at the age of 61. Her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor shortly after they retired and within 3 years he was gone. They had both been vibrant and full of fun. After their children were raised they began saving for a 5th wheel motor home and had purchased a big pick-up truck to pull their dream retirement home. Then the dream was turned to dust within a few short weeks.
My friend had not driven across the state, did not take care of the finances or even have a clear picture of how it worked. Her husband was in the computer industry and a lover of all things tech. She did not know how to program the audio system in her house so she was left with a great deal of silence after he was gone. Her life was changed in ways I cannot even imagine.
She was and is a beautiful woman full of energy...she was definitely not ready to stop living. She grieved for a considerable length of time and probably drank too much wine. Her daughter wanted her to move in with her but my friend knew she needed to live her own life.
She built a friendship with a widow about her same age and they enjoyed golfing together. She had a group of "yayas" but still, the nights were very long. Her new friend remarried and most of her work yaya friends had moved on to retirement with their husbands. She began to think about dating again but found that there was no one in her circle of friends that could or would help. It was a very hard time for her but I felt the period of time she had taken going through these steps as she learned how the finances worked and even the audio system were essential to her long term happiness. During that period of time she learned what we all knew...that she was strong, smart and independent.
THAT WAS WHEN SHE JOINED EHARMONY.COM... It took a lot of courage but she started looking for the companionship she wanted so badly and so richly deserved. Her friends looked on with some anxiety and her children I am sure, were very worried about her mental well being and safety. After all, none of us could imagine that a senior woman would ever find a man that was not more trouble than she bargained for! Sorry dear friend...I was very wrong about your ability to do what needed to be done.
After a period of searching and visiting on the telephone with a variety of gentlemen, she agree to meet a nice man from Denver. She flew out to see him and his daughter hosted her visit. I think this daughter was worried too. The man had been very successful and I am sure the daughter visualized a gold digger or something.
In the following months they talked frequently and my friend invited the man to join her for a visit in the condo she owned in Arizona. He came to stay for almost a month I think. In the end my friend, a very neat woman, could not stand the man because he was so messy. (eharmony could add this to their questionnaire perhaps.) He had dribbled food on the carpet, spread crumbs all over the kitchen and it drove her nuts. Knowing her as I do, I suppose she told him just that.
But she was not discouraged and she started from scratch. She again found a man that fit her personality. He was very neat, had a great deal of money, and had a family in the area. He was moving from California to be closer to them. They traveled together, found companionship in Arizona and had lots of plans to go places. He owned her dream retirement RV... and even a motor cycle. She was dancing on air.
Then the other foot dropped. A friend and his wife came to visit in Arizona...they were very old acquaintances. There was friction between the two women from the beginning I think. They managed to get along for a full week before my friend lost her temper over the whiny, demanding behavior of the new/old queen bee in the relationship. My friend is not the type of a person that will be run over. The relationship did not survive and she was again alone. The eharmony points of compatibility may not take into consideration that we all come with some luggage. I don't know.
THE HAPPY ENDING... I have always thought that these two failed efforts were what prepared her for the friendship that was right under her nose all the time. A gentleman at the country club we both belonged to had lost his wife and wandered around like a zombie for what seemed like years. After a time he returned to normal and several of her friends saw the opportunity to get these two nice people together. It was not easy but it actually did happen. Remember the luggage will always be there. They don't live together all the time and probably will never marry. But they spend most evenings together and share their meals. They travel a great deal, spend the winter golfing in Arizona and own a time share in Mexico together. eharmony had served it's purpose.
I love that my friend is happy. If I am ever in her shoes, I hope that I too will have the courage to do what she did and be proactive about finding companionship. I think there are pros and cons to dating services but they are worth at least considering. We are living longer and staying active. There is no reason to pull the earth over our mortal bodies when we are left alone.
Just a thought!