Dear Annie: I read your column all the time. I was married to a wonderful woman for 27-plus wonderful years until she passed last year. We don’t have any kids, but we have an adorable furry guy named Max (he is a Cavachon).
I am a very hard worker. Our life was very comfortable; we are financially stable and own a nice house. Now Max and I miss her terribly. I work nights and don’t want to leave Max alone for 14-plus hours (he has never been left alone for that long). My cousin moved in, and I feel relieved that Max is not alone while I am at work. I am in grieving therapy classes.
My question is: Is it too early for me to find someone as my life partner? My friends suggested that I join a dating site, which I did, but I haven’t found any decent ladies. On these dating apps, 95% of the ladies are just wanting physical satisfaction for money. So I ended up deleting the profile from those sites.
I don’t drink, so I don’t hang out in bars or clubs. Like I said, I don’t know what to do. Is it possible these days to find a decent woman to spend life with? Any suggestions will be appreciated by Max and I.
-- Grieving in Portland
Dear Grieving: First of all, I’m very sorry for your loss. I’m glad that you have Max to help you through this difficult time.
To answer your question, no, it’s not too early to search for a new life partner. But you also don’t need to rush it. Grief has no timeline, and oftentimes, people meet their life partner when they’re least expecting it.
My advice to you is to focus on healing and building a community for yourself. Join a local club, sports team, volunteer network or church. When you have positive relationships in your life, you will inevitably be happier -- and you might even find a romantic connection while you’re at it.
Dear Annie: My wife will be retiring in the next two years or so. She doesn’t like big celebrations and has made it clear that I am not to throw a party. Instead, I’ve been socking money away for a round-the-globe vacation to visit places she likes and has mentioned before that she would like to visit. It will take over a month to complete. Should I tell her beforehand or not say anything until we complete the first leg of the trip?
-- Retirement Trip
Dear Retirement: What a fun and thoughtful way to celebrate your wife’s accomplishment; I’m sure she will be thrilled by the surprise you’ve planned.
Considering the length and scope of travel, I’d advise telling her of the vacation beforehand. If you don’t, it’s possible she could make other plans that interfere with your time abroad. Perhaps your wife would rather travel for a shorter period of time and save some of the money you’ve accumulated for something else. I’m sure she will appreciate your generosity and the incredibly kind gesture in addition to being in the know ahead of such a substantial trip.