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Advice & More December 2016

Ask Miss Nora

Make Hay While the Sun Shines

No there’s nothing wrong with becoming close to someone. I understand that you might be feeling sensitive because he was married to your sister but sadly, she is no longer with you and it has been a respectful amount of time since she passed. You are both human and in need of comfort and companionship.

Dear Miss Nora: I recently lost a very dear male friend after 12 years of fun and companionship. We met at a senior social event several years ago as recent widowers and became each other’s support group and occasional date for other outings. Neither of us was looking for a relationship or anything serious. But we became close friends and had a lot in common.

Now that he’s gone, I don’t feel the need to go out and about any more. I’m quite content to keep to myself and stay indoors. However, my family keep trying to include me in their family events and when I decline the offers they lecture me about becoming a recluse and how it’s bad for me.

I’m almost 80! I know what’s good for me. How do I convince them to leave me alone and allow me to quietly reflect on better times?  — Happy to be lonely in Vermont

 

Dear Happy to be lonely: Similar to your family’s opinion, I’m not totally convinced that you’re happy in your self-imposed isolation.

Grief takes many forms, and far from being finished with all social engagements, I think you might just need a little space and time to mourn the loss of your friend without the distraction of crowds or gatherings. Likewise, I think you’re doing yourself an injustice to permanently shut the door on other opportunities of friendship.

Ask your family to give you some time to mend. Ask that they respect your need for a little peace and quiet while you come to terms with your loss. Give yourself an allotted time to wallow in solitude and then open-mindedly reevaluate how you feel and what you need. Much like finding this man when you weren’t looking for him, you never know – you might just be fortunate enough to find another companion in fun. Or at the very least, enjoy social engagements and entertainment again.

 


 

Dear Miss Nora: My sister passed away last year and ever since I have helped her husband with domestic chores, some festivities and the holidays. I have been divorced from my husband for longer than we were married! Just recently, we even went on a short cruise together, although we stayed in separate cabins. The problem is that I have started to feel quite close to him and would like more of an intimate relationship but I’m afraid to broach the subject in case I ruin the good thing we have now. What’s worse is that we’re both in our 60s and this is making me feel like a foolish schoolgirl.

Also, I’m not sure how our families would react (he has one adult child and I have two) to our being together. Is this wrong? Am I right to feel apprehensive? And how would I even start the conversation?               — Wanting more in Austin

 

Dear Wanting More: I would reply to your question quite succinctly: No, no and wait for an intimate setting and tell him exactly how you feel and be done with it – but there’s no fun in such curtness.

While you make no mention of where your respective children live, it sounds as though they have their own lives to be getting on with.

So … to elaborate on my initial response, no there’s nothing wrong with becoming close to someone. I understand that you might be feeling sensitive because he was married to your sister but sadly, she is no longer with you and it has been a respectful amount of time since she passed. You are both human and in need of comfort and companionship (hence the cruise, holiday breaks and sharing of domestic chores).

Not everyone is as lucky as you two seem to be. Personally, the only person I’d wish my sibling on is Walt’s brother. There isn’t a decent human being between them! But that’s an entirely different conversation.

Stow your apprehension and create a setting where you have time, space and a relaxing atmosphere in which to bring up your feelings. Make it clear that you are very happy with things the way they are but that you would like to move closer to him.

Serve dinner, order dinner, stroll in the park, sort each other’s laundry etc., etc. without mentioning it again. Allow your beau to explore this new development and how it makes him feel without you giving the impression that you’re expecting an answer.

I doubt it will ruin the good thing you two have. I suspect that he, your family and anyone else who’s been in your company over the past year already know how you’re feeling. There’s no time like the present! Make hay while the sun shines. Strike while the iron’s hot. Just go get him!

 

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