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Courtship advice second time round.

(72 Posts)
DeanMartinx Tue 18-Dec-12 12:41:31

I am a Male seeking the female perspective.
I came here by a very circuitous route.

Originally, I posted on the Dating thread. There are some very nice people there, but tbh, that thread is focussed totally on the vagaries of On-Line Dating, and my story is only remotely connected to OD.

As briefly as I can:

I lost my wife three years ago, to too short an illness.
Up to early Summer this year, I operated basically as a automaton, keeping up the facade of normality.

My daughters are grown up, one married in the other side of the world, and the other, unmarried here. I am 59, nearly 60.

During the two and a half period, while I was in a fug, I had what was the equivalent of a wet, heavy, grey concrete block lodged in my chest acting as a block to my normal way of operating with the world. Inherited from my father, I am of a very lighthearted disposition and I am blessed with his ready wit. But the "concrete block" just blocked all that.

Bad golfer that I am, I had a flukey hole-in-one while on a trip with a bunch of mates in early Summer. They made the usual fuss, but they did not realise that my wife and I had a running joke for years about a hole-in-one. The whole thing just caught me, and right there on the green, I literally broke down. I convulsed to such an extent that they thought I was having some kind of stroke. Could not continue the round.

But that night, for the first time since my wife, I drank pint for pint with the best of them. The following morning, I woke a little seedy - but, the "concrete block" was gone. Kaput. Vanished.

Since then, I miss my wife every day, miss all the little things and most of all, the laughs - because that was our lingua franca. But, my wit and drollery are back, despite the hole in my life.

In September, I went on holiday to Italy. Day 2, I decided to go on a full-day excursion to a number of tourist sites. Completely fortuitously, I sat next to a lady, at whom I hardly even glanced. A few desultory words grew into an easy conversation, to the extent that neither of us noticed when we had arrived at out first stop, two hours later.

It transpired that the lady had lost her husband four years ago, after a very long illness.

She was travelling with her Daughter, Niece and Pal of the niece. They were all in the their late 20's and great fun and really nice. Widow (to give her that name) lived back on her own back in the UK and was, best guess, 6/7 years younger than me. We all clicked immediately and we had really great fun all day. Throughout the day, Widow and I had great conversations - everything very easy and natural. We swapped experiences about being bereaved etc., hugged and had a tear or two, but mostly it was laughs and banter all the way.

At some point, she asked if I had ever tried OD. She told me about some of the ways she was messed about in that jungle - frankly, I thought she had to be exaggerating. At the time, I had no awareness of the crassness of some of the people inhabiting the OD world.

On the way back, and as they were in a villa an hour up the coast from me, I suggested to her, that I would take them for Dinner the following evening and asked for her number. She demurred, saying something to the effect that she did not give out her number anymore. She said "lets not spoil it", pecked me on the cheek and said I was a "charming man" and wished me "a lovely life". I told her that "charming" to me denoted a bit of a chancer and when I pressed her a little, she said that if I was genuine, that I would find her.

Earlier that day, I had given my number to Daughter. Niece was having no luck in getting interviews to get into a particular sector in which she wanted to work. I happened to have senior contacts in that sector in U.S. and promised I would make some calls - but not to tell Niece until I come up with something concrete.

Overnight, I got the promise of an interview for Niece.

Next morning, armed with the knowledge that they had not yet "hit the shops" in the resort town near where they were staying - I set out ready to "stalk my prey". As it happened, Widow rang from her Daughter's phone. Daughter had berated her for the way we had parted the previous evening. Told her I had some good news for Niece and they all came and joined me.

We spent the next four days talking and laughing and generally taking the piss, interspersed with long conversations about my wife and about her husband. Even though, we hung around as a group, the younger lot used to take off and leave us to our own devices.

Conscious that I was monopolising her time with her Daughter and the others, I said I would get out of their hair and took off on a three day trek. I was out of phone reception for a while and when I got back to base, I found a text from Daughter saying that they had had a change of plan. A friend of her Dad's had arrived with his "boat" and that he taken them off to Elba (there is a family connection) - thanking me for everything and hoping we would all meet again, etc., etc..

It was only then that I realised that I had not got Widow's number - when she had called me on the second day, it was from her Daughter's phone. So I was back to square one.

I did not know whether to be just sad, aggrieved or perplexed. But,I was devastated.


I actually managed to get three interviews for Niece, from which she got two job offers. She was extremely grateful and emailed me with progress steps all the way. She is a smashing girl.

Daughter has emailed me four times with bright, breezy messages and is talking about a career change, bouncing ideas off me. I have a very easy relationship with her - and the correspondence has all the hallmarks of continuing into the future.

From the Widow - not a word.
I sometimes feel that she could easily get my contact information from her Daughter. They are very close.
While Widow is very vivacious and great fun, there is a reserve about her.

After two months of failing to get her out of my mind, I called Daughter ostensibly to speak to her about her career plans. Mentioned that I had no number for her Mom. Daughter said it may not be a good idea if she gave me the number, but that she had a load of photographs from the holiday which she would circulate and that way, by default,I would get her Mom's email address.

By probing obliquely, I discovered that the guy with the "boat" was a co-executor of her Dad's will and that her Mom (who is not business-oriented) was a bit dependent on him. Despite being sick for many years, her Dad had remained a major shareholder in his business and that the business had been sold around the time her Dad had died. Together with some other companies, the company was being sued in relation to some contract and the sale proceeds had been frozen by the Court, pending the outcome of the case. In the meantime, Widow is reliant on this guy making claims for ongoing release of monies from the Court.

(Independently, I have since found out that this guy is a bit of a Flash Harry and is not, at all, the man of substance the Daughter described to me. He is divorced and unattached and when I asked Daughter if he and her Mom were a bit of an item, she no, but that "he used her" as a partner for some functions and stuff.)

The photographs were circulated to us. Daughter was cute and used the header "Guess who does all the talking in our family?". All the photographs were of Widow (talking) and a big number of them feature just the two of us. There was a bit of ribbing by the girls about me - Widow joined in the banter but never referenced me in any way.

Daughter had told me two things: "Mom is the straightest person I know - maybe too straight" - and - "Mom still carries a big torch for Dad".

So I emailed Widow. Very lighthearted in tone, I gave her an update on lots of stuff we had spoken about. Had been given advice in RL, to get the message across that I was not going to be hassling her - and to that end, I rather exaggerated how much time I was going to be away for over the next few months. I put in three "hooks" which should give her the opportunity to reply in a non-agenda kind of way. No kisses, no hugs, no flirty comments, no over-familiarity and no smileys. But, I felt the tone was nice and warm and easy.

That was six days ago.
No reponse.
Am I completely wasting my time?
I know she would not want to lead me on - but, I am very deflated in the sense that I thought her innate good manners and courteousness would have ensured a reply of some sort.

I know this is a total contradiction in terms - but, this is where I miss my wife the most. That is why I am looking for the female perspective.

I would be grateful for any insights. Instinct tells me that I have messed up somewhere. I might be the classic "no fool like an old fool" - but, I am no teenager either, and I can recognise when there is genuine rapport and spark as there was in this case. Maybe I am fooling myself!!!!!!!.

Leverette Tue 18-Dec-12 12:47:12

Sorry I just don't think she's interested...whether that's due to her perception of you or whatever else is happening in her head/life, who knows. But I think you've given enough opportunities for her to reciprocate your interest and it's probably best to enjoy the memory of the holiday and celebrate recovering a little more for the sad loss of your wife.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Tue 18-Dec-12 12:51:01

"Am I completely wasting my time?"

Yes. When you got to this bit... She demurred, saying something to the effect that she did not give out her number anymore... you were being let down gently. You should have left it there really. All the subsequent stuff where you've arranged interviews, contacted the daughters and 'obliquely probed' comes across as far too heavy, needy, rather interfering.

Don't let it put you off but don't expect everyone who is nice to you to want to take it further. Learn to take no for an answer.

janey1234 Tue 18-Dec-12 13:10:38

You sound just lovely, and as such I hate saying this, but I think it's her way of saying no to you. sad Sorry.

janey1234 Tue 18-Dec-12 13:11:51

Oh and I don't think you sound heavy, needy or interfering. I think she's just not in the same place as you.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Tue 18-Dec-12 13:14:33

'Stalking his prey'.... ??? hmm I know it's meant as a joke but if that even hints at the OP's feelings about courtship.. running something down and worrying it until it gives in... then it's not a good approach.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 18-Dec-12 13:23:17

Sorry OP but she's just not interested in you.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 18-Dec-12 13:25:53

Also OP you do sound bit "stalkerish" time to leave well alone now and that means leaving her kids alone too.

SorryMyCandyCaneLollipop Tue 18-Dec-12 13:36:01

She may not be ready, you may have come on too strong, she may not check her email everyday. You need to let it go and wait for her to approach you (or not)

DeanMartinx Tue 18-Dec-12 13:47:08

Thank you for your fast responses.
I had hoped that there would have been more positive interpretations that I had missed.

Cogito - you obviously missed the bit where she said "If you are genuine, you will find me".

And she did call the following day before I found them. And she did spend the next four days with me - laughing and sharing a lot of important stuff.

All the stuff about interviews took place with Daughter and Niece before I had ever asked for her number.

I am the least "heavy" guy I know and I don't know on what you base the concept that I am "needy" and "interfering".

If "needy" means that I would like to make contact with a lady I liked very much, the world has changed a lot since I was last trying to make sense of the courtship game - or is that a word I should go back and censor as well.

As for using the term "stalking my prey" - I put it in inverted commas, for God's sake. If you read the rest of my post with the same attention you paid to that phrase (in inverted commas), you would know that there was no need to draw attention to it - and to make assumptions on the back of it.

Do I have to spell it out for you - I regard and treat ladies with the utmost respect at all times. And it is because of my awareness of the emotional swirl that a bereaved lady can be subject to, that I have acted in a circumspect manner - far from being "heavy" and "interfering".

Am I not allowed to be disappointed at her lack of response and to look for another outside view as what may be the reason.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Tue 18-Dec-12 13:50:10

"Cogito - you obviously missed the bit where she said "If you are genuine, you will find me".

People say all kinds of playful/flirty things in a holiday environment. Especially when they think you'll all be going home soon and never have to see each other again.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 18-Dec-12 13:50:17

Your tone has somewhat changed here OP hasn't it.

Leave the woman and her children alone.

I find you rather insistently creepy now.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Tue 18-Dec-12 13:54:52

You asked for a woman's perspective and you got it. If I'd met someone on holiday and he'd then pursued me via my children and didn't take no for an answer I'd feel completely weirded out by that kind of behaviour. Sorry you don't accept that.

janey1234 Tue 18-Dec-12 13:55:10

Yes you're allowed t be disappointed, of course.

But my honest opinion is that she's just not interested, for whatever the reason. If there's anything I've learnt from my years of singledom and dating it's that you usually don't know why someone's not interested, you just have to accept it and move on.

It's of course particularly hard for you given she's the first person you've been attracted to since your wife, but it just doesn't sound like she's keen.

As such please try to put it behind you. If she's interested she can - and will - find you. If she's not she won't, and probably won't explain why.

I know that's not what you want to hear - sorry sad

DeanMartinx Tue 18-Dec-12 17:18:35

Clipped Phoenix - your remarks "Leave the woman and children alone" are so far off the mark, that I wonder with what frame of mind you read my post.

Her niece wrote to update me on her progress in getting fixed up. I responded in the normal way and she continued to update me, without any prompting from me.

Her daughter emailed me totally unprompted and I responded without any requirement on her part to keep the correspondence going. She also sends me occasional stuff and references which she knows would be of interest to me. She is using me as a sounding board for some moves she is contemplating. She is a wised-up girl and would spot creepy or stalker-type behaviour a mile off.

I have a written a nice, neutral, newsey email to the lady, which follows on from the circulation of the photographs from the holiday. The photographs were the daughter's idea - and the daughter is quietly complicit in my making contact with her Mom. It was she that volunteered the information about her Mom which was designed to "mark my card".

I have no intention of hassling the lady and would never do so.
If she does not respond, I will just have to accept that for whatever reason, she does not want to engage at any level.

Being disappointed at the lack of response, I just wondered if there was a woman's point of view that would not be apparent to me. That's all.

But to be met with accusations of being a stalker, a creep and God knows what else is just outrageous. Have I wandered into some kind of jungle??

ClippedPhoenix Tue 18-Dec-12 17:29:41

So if you went away on a holiday and had no designs whatsoever on this woman would you have given your number to her daughters so readily? Would you have been so willing to help them?

It seems to me that you have rather pushed things a few time now and I stand by what i said. Maybe the daughters are also trying to "help" their mother, who knows but what jumps out at me here is this woman is not interested.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 18-Dec-12 17:32:11

If a man that we met on holiday corresponded with my son and sent pictures etc. I'd be telling him that contact should stop.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Tue 18-Dec-12 18:04:15

"Have I wandered into some kind of jungle??"

You've wandered into MN where women are women, Pom Bears are canapes, and opinions are freely aired. It is not for the faint-hearted and apologies if you feel at all 'got at'. However, it was you who used the jokey 'stalk my prey' phrase and, whilst acknowledging it as a joke, there's many a true word spoken in jest. If you've not been in the dating game for a while - and you say you want advice - that's the kind of underlying attitude/witticism that some women are going to pick up on as being inappropriate.

You mentioned a lot of 'ribbing' and 'banter' and you say you and your late wife shared a lot of in-jokes... which is normal. But there's a difference between what you can get away with with a long-term partner and how you might come across to a complete stranger.

Also, I'm sure you subscribe to the view that 'faint heart never won fair lady' but, again, there's a fine line between pressing your suit (to use a quaint old-fashioned phrase) and coming on too strong. The widow's daughters, being in their twenties, no doubt thought it was hilarious that mum was being hit on and they may even be encouraging her to find a new partner. But when she didn't join in with the 'banter' over the photos I would read that as her being a bit embarrassed by their enthusiasm. Not answering your mails kind of supports that.

BertieBotts Tue 18-Dec-12 18:09:09

OP she's just not that into you.

Tamoo Tue 18-Dec-12 18:19:32

I read your story on the dating thread.

I got the impression from there that the widow is not interested. Put it this way: if you had not assisted the daughter with her career progression you would not have any contact with any of these people now. Daughter is being friendly and forthcoming in gratitude for the interviews etc and possibly because she feels a bit sorry for you, a) as a widower, and b) as someone who is clearly interested in her mother. You have probably come across as a bit lonesome, and daughter is repaying you for your help with her career by trying to ameliorate said perceived loneliness by being (overtly) chummy.

The widow has had plenty of time and opportunity to get in touch with you. Obviously the daughter will have mentioned your regular contact and the fact that you ask after her mother. It seems the mother has told the daughter that she's not interested, but neither of them want to express it in such stark terms. They are probably hoping you will realise the fact yourself.

By the way you have given out an awful lot of quite personal circumstantial info about this family on MN - may not be a good idea?

DeanMartinx Tue 18-Dec-12 19:07:13

Tamoo - thanks. reasonable points. Just one thing. I don't come across as being in any way lonesome. I made it a point, even in my worst days, not to make my bereavement a burden on anybody else. I am lucky in that I am quite happy with my own company.
But thanks anyway.

Tamoo Tue 18-Dec-12 19:13:39

Sorry if that sounded harsh, I didn't mean to say that you made a particular point of your bereavement, but perhaps this family (especially the daughter) came to their own conclusion that you were lonely, based on the way you hooked up on holiday/sustained contact afterwards/made enquiries after the mother?

OhLittleTownofWesternWind Tue 18-Dec-12 21:04:15

Sorry to hear you've not had a reply, Dean. Could I offer a different perspective? A lot of us find Christmas to be a very difficult time of year, especially if we have lost people close to us. I would imagine that her thoughts are with her late husband a lot of the time at the moment. Obviously, this frame of mind isn't conducive to starting something new. You may be surprised by a reply in the new year, once things are back to normal. But of course, this might never happen.

Probably the best thing to do is put this behind you, throw yourself into what sounds like a busy life and enjoy your travelling. I sincerely hope things work out well for you, and am sure they will do, although not necessarily with this woman.

minmooch Wed 19-Dec-12 03:15:08

I don't think you come across as 'stalker ish' at all. To have met somebody on holiday is fantastic as you have a common interest in both choosing the same place to go to.

6 days is no time at all, it sometimes takes me longer to reply to my closest friends as my life is very busy. Perhaps she read your email where you implied you would not 'hassle' her and told her how much time you would be away as you saying you we're not that interested? I would have preferred a simple 'it would be lovely to catch up over coffee/lunch' lets her know you are interested, and she could respond to yes or no and you both know where you stand.

It sounds like you all had fun and it would be nice if you came out of this with a new friend if nothing else.

She may of course not be interested and too polite to say it bluntly.

LessMissAbs Wed 19-Dec-12 13:51:10


- she thinks your after her daughter or niece and using her as a way to them;
- she doesn't fancy you and finds you overbearing;
- she is a headfuck and too hard work
- you haven't actually asked her out on a date or declared your interest so you're never going to find out for sure until you do that - what a lot of carrying on, you've quite possibly put her off by not being direct enough, particularly if shes been messed around on online dating

DeanMartinx Wed 19-Dec-12 14:39:21

Cogito - not that it matters now, but I am sorry that I used that phrase in my post, because it only acted as a diversion from the rest of the post. I can only assure you that there isn't a tincture of you are implying in my makeup.

Again, not that it matters -but I did not engage in the "ribbing and banter". And she did join in on the email banter about the photos, in a light way,although she could easily have blocked me out. My contribution was "I'm glad to see you are all as noisy as ever".

And, to use your term, I did not hit on her. She initiated the original chat which grew into a lovely conversation. But when we arrived at our first stop, I told her I really enjoyed our conversation and went about my business. It was later she sought me out and introduced her family. It was only at the end of the day, when I suddenly realised that we were not all going to be getting off together, that I said "Jeepers, I'm going to lose touch with these people". I wasn't actively planning all day to get her number - I am very comfortable talking to women without any ulterior motive. The attraction from my side only came to fore as the day moved on.

Anyway, I don't think it matters now.

DeanMartinx Wed 19-Dec-12 15:08:16

OhLittleTownWW - you might be right about the Christmas thing. She spoke about a particular Christmas which was very hard for all of them. That is probably very much in her mind at this stage.

Somehow, I managed to stave off thoughts of Christmas until yesterday evening when I suddenly realised it was on top of me. My wife would have invented Christmas if it hadn't existed - and now I am finding triggers everywhere all of a sudden. I got my tree this morning - and it just evoked so many memories. So I am just going to concentrate on immediate stuff.

Tamoo - I meant to say that all identifying details are well and truly changed.

minmooch - thanks for your post. We did have a lovely time and, despite everything, I am glad that I met her and them. Everything was nice about them and I don't feel in any way entitled. Nearly everything in my life has been great and it would have been a bit much to expect, that after being so steeped with the soul mate I had, that as soon as I recovered from my bereavement that I would walk on a coach and sit down next to another potential soul mate.

LessMissAbs - I presume your first point is a joke?

On your second point, she may not have fancied me, but I doubt if she found me overbearing. Her daughter said "I don't think I've heard Mom laugh like that since I was fifteen".

Your third point: I don't really think so - in fact, I would be very clear on that.

Your fourth point: May well be right. I thought I was going to have plenty more days for both of us to get to know each other - when suddenly, our time was cut short.

Anyway, thanks for taking the trouble to respond.

imtheonlyone Wed 19-Dec-12 16:37:11

Op - sorry you feel like you've had a rough time here - personally I think you sound really nice and genuine - MN can be a harsh place sometimes and people take what you write in different ways.
I think perhaps she's decided she's not ready to take the friendship any further. It's true, people can act differently when on holiday ....
I would definitely leave it for now and see what happens. But I don't see the need to stop the contact with daughter and niece if they continue to contact you.
Also, my mum is widowed and has been alone for far too long ..... Where are you cos I could give you her number winkwink

DeanMartinx Thu 20-Dec-12 12:03:04

imtheonlyone - thanks for your kind words.

I was quite taken aback by the interpretation of some people.
What really annoyed me was the insinuation that there was something untoward about helping her niece.

Many years ago, when I had made a complete horlicks of a young business I had started, and had run out of miracles, desperation led me to the door of a very powerful businessman, who I only knew through some mutual acquaintances. He had nothing to gain. Having listened to my plight, he said "You are too good to go down" and immediately gave me sufficient funds to survive for the next few weeks. He sent in one of his people to organise a proper Banking facility for us, using his clout.

He gave me the funds without even a receipt and no mention of interest or any other conditions attaching to it. A year later, I went back to him to repay the sum and asked him how I could reward his generosity. He said his reward was seeing that we survived, he said he had written the money off, he said "that money has done it's job - now pass it on".

It was a fabulous lesson. Many times since, I have been assisted where there was never a question of gain or reward. And when the occasion arises, I try to remember to "pass it on".

And that is exactly what happened in this case. I knew from my first conversation with my Widow friend that life had dealt her niece with a really hard set of cards. As the day progressed, I got to know her as a most impressive young lady. And when I found that I, happily, had the means to help her, it would have been unforgivable not to give the helping hand required. To avoid giving her false hope, I quietly gave the daughter, my number to follow up with me later.

And there is nothing unique about any of this. A lot of business people, when they reach a certain stage, where most of their battles have been fought are very pleased to just give a helping hand, when the occasion arises.

And you are right about people acting differently when on holiday. Just a bit surprised at the friendship level - whatever about anything else. There is certainly nothing else I can do about it now. Thanks again.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Thu 20-Dec-12 12:07:59

Understand what you're saying about giving people a helping hand in business but you do appreciate that some people will try to ingratiate themselves with a potential partner by cultivating popularity with their children? And that, if you happen to be that potential partner, that can set up a sense of obligation that isn't always very comfortable?

DeanMartinx Thu 20-Dec-12 14:37:30

Fair enough - but I think you are still being very heavy on me.

It was a very long day. It was not until we were actually on our way back that I suddenly realised I didn't want to lose contact with my widow friend.

At lunch time, Widow and the other girl decided to go off shopping and Daughter and Niece sat around and had some lunch. The conversation was about careers etc.. Niece had had a series of rejections just before coming on holiday. I knew immediately that my contacts (who are actually really good friends, not just contacts) might be able to help. If I could tell you this girl's particular set of difficulties, you would understand immediately. I told only the daughter and to keep it to herself, in case there was no joy.
I didn't think that there would be any feedback for maybe a week or so.

As far as I was concerned, there was absolutely no link between this and my later growing attraction to the widow.

I would be very disappointed if somebody felt that I would ingratiate myself in such a way. Widow is an intelligent lady, very straight with absolute integrity about herself. She would not have spent the next few days enjoying my company and sharing quite a lot of her inner self with me, if there was the slightest hint of the ingratiate about me. She would spot me a mile off - seriously. Whatever happened, it certainly was not that.

The concept of "pass it on" is based on there being no gain or advantage accruing to the passer. What you are suggesting is not only the opposite - but something quite slimy.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Thu 20-Dec-12 14:50:44

So you're not even going to entertain the idea that the widow may have felt even slightly obliged to keep seeing you after you'd done something nice for the niece? I'm sure there was no link in your mind but can't you even accept that she may have been thinking that she couldn't just drop you like a hot potato in case you changed your mind about the job thing?

DeanMartinx Thu 20-Dec-12 16:29:47

Ah now!!!!!

Now you are impugning the lady's integrity - and that's not allowed, at all.

I do know the point you are making - but, seriously, I don't think it applies here.

We would have spoken lightly about it in a philosophical kind of way - the good karma kind of thing that threw the niece a lifeline. I was merely an agent - and there was never a sense of what a great guy are you.

People with strong integrity and good personal esteem are able to accept the good stuff as well as the bad - and would never debase themselves by acting in a two faced way.

In fact, she would have been more than two-faced (triple-faced??) if she operated like that - not only debasing herself, but would have to have considered me a jerk who would (might) change my mind about helping the niece. Because, it would have taken a jerk to do that.

And, if that was the case, I should be thanking my stars to have had such a lucky escape.

I know I messed up in some way (or, maybe it is something other than me), but I haven't lost my marbles completely. I'm not trying to win an argument here, but I seriously don't think this was the reason.

Thanks anyway.

dontyouwantmebaby Thu 20-Dec-12 16:46:12

No matter how sincere you are in your intentions towards this woman (including helping her niece with career contacts and so on), I think you should forget about her and her family for that matter, and move on.

Of course, its easier said than done - especially when you think you have met the first person you 'click' with after a previous marriage/relationship.

If a woman wanted you to be romantically interested in her, you'd know about it without a shadow of a doubt. It doesn't sound like she wants this with you otherwise it would have happened by now and she would have reciprocated early on by giving your her number/email address and so on.

dontyouwantmebaby Thu 20-Dec-12 16:48:22

oh dear, last para doesn't read well I meant if a woman appreciates your romantic interest in her - she'd let you know. There'd be no doubt.

Not being drawn into subsequent correspondence/emails/photos discussion and not providing a number means a polite no thank you.

mammadiggingdeep Thu 20-Dec-12 17:40:53

For what it's worth, I think the op has had a bit of a harsh response from some of you. He may have been overly keen on a woman who didn't feel the same way but being described as 'creepy' etc is really unhelpful. Crikey- surely we've all been smitten with somebody who isn't interested before....and maybe it's taken us a while to realise/accept it.

Op- I think it's prob the case that she enjoyed her time with you bit isn't interested in a relationship with you. It could be that she doesn't like you in a romantic way or perhaps she doesn't want/need a relationship at this moment in time.

Good luck in the future

LessMissAbs Thu 20-Dec-12 18:41:34

No, my first point was not meant as a joke (that the woman in question could have thought you were interested in her daughter and niece). While it may be abhorent to you, is is not unknown in general, and it is one possibility that she may think this. I think though it is telling that because you do not consider it a possibility, you do not consider it a possiblity that she might be thinking it.

At any rate, something has put her off you. She does not sound keen. You seem equally reluctant to accept that she could not possibly be interested in you, but there are many reasons why someone may not be interested in another. There may be one or more things putting her off you, which you are unaware of. You appear to think that because your character is so outstanding, she is in some way acting inexpliably in not encouraging your interest. It is really rather arrogant.

I would say that you appear to overly analytical and over-thinking, and it might come across as a rather annoying trait to her. The involvement with the niece, which, though you have reminded us several times, is extremely laudable on your part, may make her feel you have invited yourself into her life via this contact.

In general, I think you expect everyone to feel, think and behave in the same or similar manner as yourself, and lack empathy with individual's preferences and right to choose.

TheSecondComing Thu 20-Dec-12 18:45:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 20-Dec-12 18:46:39


imtheonlyone Thu 20-Dec-12 23:33:31

Omg - give the guy a break here - was he not merely asking for a woman's perspective? I do think some of you are being a tad harsh - men have feelings too you know!!
OP run away from MN - these women are too harsh and cynical for you - wish you all the best for your future.

janey1234 Fri 21-Dec-12 00:13:48

Agreed with you imtheonlyone in that OP is having a ridiculously hard time. Can he not do anything nice without people being overly cynical? Hate it if that's the world we live in.

minmooch Fri 21-Dec-12 07:09:50

I too think the OP has been given a very harsh time.

He was asking for advice, not a character assassination!

Op you sound very nice to me. I love the idea of 'paying it forward' and wish there were more people like that about. I wish you luck in meeting good friends who appreciate you for who you are.

DeanMartinx Fri 21-Dec-12 12:24:29

LessMissAbs - I'm sorry if you thought I was being dismissive of your first point. I genuinely thought you just threw it in as a joke. As for the lady thinking that way, I just can't see it. She is a strong, intelligent woman who has come through the life-defining experience of her husband's long illness. I don't think she wouldn't tolerate any such behaviour from me for a minute (and rightly so).

I must have explained myself very badly. Not for a moment would I expect anybody to be attracted to me, nor for a moment would I feel in any the ways you have suggested.

And I don't know from where you get the concept of I trying to present myself as some kind of "perfect character" - far from that, I have had to spell out things like having natural respect for women, refute insinuations about my relationship with the niece etc., and having to spell out now that I utterly respect the decision of any woman to make up her mind in whatever way she chooses. Bloody Hell!!!!!! - far from having to spell these things out, I would regard them as a given.

I can understand you saying that I may be overly analytical and over-thinking. That is just here on paper. I think I have made a mistake by trying to respond to every contributor - it appears as if I am like a dog with a bone. I am only trying to be courteous to people who have gone to the trouble to respond.

Some very nice people back along have made suggestions - mostly about moving on, and I have agreed with them. I think it is in responding to everybody that I have increased the impression of the dog with a bone.

Anyway, thanks for responding.

DeanMartinx Fri 21-Dec-12 12:44:02


Thank you all for your responses.
Collectively, your message is to move on - which is what I am doing.
I have absolutely no difficulty in accepting my Widow friend not wishing to continue the friendship - there was just something very odd in the way it happened.
And the oddness was compounded by the younger lot continuing to correspond.

I'm going to be scared the next time I find myself sitting next to a lady on a coach or a plane. (That's a joke - feel I need to explain everything around here).

Anyway, many thanks for taking time to respond.

janey1234 Fri 21-Dec-12 12:53:37

No worries smile

FWIW I hope I'm wrong and that she replies in the new year and you both live happily ever after... I just think move on as I think it's relatively unlikely, and I'm sure there's another wonderful person waiting to meet you somewhere around the corner....

dontyouwantmebaby Fri 21-Dec-12 13:10:15

agree with janey, there's another wonderful person waiting to meet you around the corner...very best of luck for the future OP, you sound like a very decent person.

(also think that comments look harsher online rather than if they'd been said IRL, am sure that the mumsnetters who took time to reply did with the kindest of intentions to help the OP make the best choice)

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Fri 21-Dec-12 15:51:14

If you're really not sure, why not be bold and send her one last very direct email about your good intentions. If she doesn't respond you will DEFINITELY have your answer and you can then walk away.

(FWIW - It just beggars belief how some people on here can be so rude and insensitive - seems they just can't resist kicking a dog when it's down).

I hope all goes well for you and that you find some very lucky lady very soon :-)) x

antonym Fri 21-Dec-12 16:37:08

Mmmm it's rare in this depressingly cynical age to come across such a shining example of self-certified, unselfish selflessness.

I liked the box room gag though.

DeanMartinx Sun 30-Dec-12 12:27:55

Out of the blue, on Friday, I got a response to my email from my widow friend. It caught me completely off guard and it took me a while to process my thoughts.

Basically, it said that she had only just found my email, really sorry etc. that she hadn't found it earlier. It is like a holding memo and I think she is saying that she will be writing later.

Christmas had been a bit more of a roller coaster than we had expected. My daughter and myself decided to have Christmas in our house for the first time since her Mom had passed away. We wanted to return Christmas hospitality of the last few years and we invited four of my in-laws to stay and two more for Christmas Dinner. Our plan was to fill the space with people and talk. But what we did not bargain for was for my daughter's boyfriend of over two years standing to do a runner on the Friday before Christmas. She never saw it coming and was devastated. It was not so much the split itself, or the awful timing but the sheer crudity with which he did it. I was never a fan, but even I was astounded by the cold blooded manner in which he acted.

She wanted privacy on the matter and she did not share it with her pals or with our guests over Christmas. Only for my other daughter, who is on the other side of the world, I may not have heard it either. In any event, it was a huge relief when our guests departed on Thursday morning, because both my daughter and myself were exhausted.

By now, my daughter had reached the stage of berating herself for her lack of judgement in investing so much of herself in her ex-boyfriend. In a vague hope of ameliorating her hurt I gave her an abridged version of how I met my widow friend. I presented it in bitter enough terms that just basic good manners would have sufficed. I just wanted her to feel that she was not the only person to make faulty judgement calls.

So when the email plopped into my Inbox the next day, I nearly regarded it as an intrusion. Because of the way my daughter was hurting over the Christmas, my wife's absence was more palpable than ever - and a sense of maintaining solidarity with my daughter prevented any feeling of elation in hearing from my friend. As my daughter's friends began to hear her news, they began to congregate and "rescue" her - and I faded into the background. As things began to return to normal, I began to feel very good about the email.

It is short and breezy. It is not immediately clear why she only found my email now - she refers to "this address", which maybe suggests that it is some kind of secondary address. Says she was looking for a recipe which her sister was supposed to have sent to her - says I "could have been there until next Easter". Goes on to say why she is rushing about and finishes "When I get rid of all that stuff, I must sit down and read all your news properly. I have some bits and pieces going on as well but they wont be as entertaining as yours. You still have the gift of the gab. Really have to fly. W".

Now that my head is cleared, I am really delighted to have heard from her. I am assuming from her last bit, that she plans to write later and I will just wait to see if she will follow through.

MsArsebiscuit Sun 30-Dec-12 12:44:12

I first read your posts on the dating thread, Dean, I just want to say that I'm pleased that the Widow has replied to you, you sound like a courteous, old-school gentleman and I wish you a new year full of happiness and even more pleasant surprises.

OhLittleTownofWesternWind Sun 30-Dec-12 12:58:48

I'm very happy for you, Dean, and it sounds like she is pleased to hear from you. What a lovely thing to happen after all the upset with your daughter.

Please feel free to come back to the dating thread any time you want to talk things over or get some gentler opinions! You've had an undeserved hard time on this thread.

blueshoes Sun 30-Dec-12 13:17:06

Dean, this is indeed progress, it is great that she is replying because this is the first time since the holiday (I think) that she has contacted you. I think you are taking the right approach in still being on guard.

She implied it was not her main email address and so gave herself a readymade excuse if she decided not to respond to any future emails. She did not offer to give you her main email address. This is in line with her not giving you her phone number.

If she is OD (and hence putting herself out there) and she is interested in you, I don't see why she would not have already taken the bait by now. Either way she sounds complex and, if I may say, a head fuck. If I were her (one woman's perspective here), I don't see why she should not give you a clearer indication by now that she is or is not interested.

You think her courteous and well mannered but to me, if she does not follow up her email within a reasonable time as she promised, I would be ashamed of her gameplaying. The only reason I see her as doing that is if she thought she would jeopardise her dd/niece's career by turning you down. If so, she is using you. It should cost her nothing to lay her cards down. She never has to see you again. She should not keep you on a string.

Maybe she thinks it is kinder to not hurt a 'lonely' widower with a direct refusal. But she is wrong. It is far kinder to you to be clear if she is not interested. Surely, her experience at OD would have taught her that.

I hope for you that she just had too much going on over this period to get back to you or that she is interested but waiting for something to clear up at her end. Otherwise, you sound like a true gentlemen and you deserve to sweep someone else off her feet.

DeanMartinx Mon 31-Dec-12 14:04:09

MsArsebiscuit - thanks for your good wishes. Less of the "old school" bit though - should be using a smiley here, just don't know how they work (too old school!!!).

OhLittleTownWW - Thanks again. I remember when you had your nail-biting experience and it is great that everything is moving along for you. Really delighted.
I came here because I thought I might get responses from ladies who had lost their partner. As it is, I did get some very thoughtful advice from a few people by way of private message and some good stuff from posters here as well.
Hope everything keeps moving on it's current curve for you.

DeanMartinx Mon 31-Dec-12 14:30:52

Sorry for not acknowledging your thoughtful post earlier - but I got kidnapped.

I understand the points you are making - but I am happy enough with the situation. To be honest, the only thing I felt she owed me was the courtesy to not just disappear into radio silence, with not a word, good or bad.

Given my daughter's hurt over the Christmas period, I was in the mood to be a bit bitter and it was in that frame of mind that I told her of my experience with the widow. Now that she has answered, and things have returned to normal, all that bitterness (which was only an overnight self pity thing) has been swept away.

I do belief that she is a very straight person and I am pretty confident that she will come back to me as she indicated. In fairness, I have to point out that there has been nothing of a romantic nature between us - except that, for my money, we were very close and there was a definite bond between us. The next step might be tricky - she does have a certain reserve about her, a kind of shield of some sort. And I don't think it is specifically a shield against me.

Ironically, the brief conversation about OD came about when she was talking about the lack of normal courtesy in so many situations. I thought she was exaggerating about her experiences, which I gather were very much of the dip your toe in the water variety.

I think while she may be open to dipping the toe in a casual way in the OD world, she may not be ready to for any real involvement. At the risk of flattering myself, I think that from a romantic point of view, she might see such an involvement with me as getting into the water further down the pool - we did share a lot of very personal feeling stuff. ~But that is purely guess work on my part.

I'll just wait and hope to be able to read her mindset when (if) she comes back to me.

In the meantime, many thanks again.

DeanMartinx Tue 01-Jan-13 11:26:31

Well I got my New Year present, yesterday afternoon, in the form of a really long chatty email from my friend.

It sounded just like I remembered her and covered a load of stuff.
She is very excited about a new "project" she is trying to pull together. The field she worked in before she left to care for her husband has moved on at speed, and she doesn't feel she can get back in at this stage. Certainly not in a conventional way - so she has come up with a way of reinventing herself.

Her memories of our time during the holiday certainly all seem to be all very sunlit. I could not discern any hint as to how or why she disappeared off the radar - but, it is only of minor interest now.

I have a very good friend and former colleague who did a load of research in the area into which my widow friend is delving. Conscious of the admonishments earlier of being "interfering", I emailed her later telling her about my colleague and the work that she had done. Just asked her to expand on her "project" and would she like me to approach my colleague for any pointers etc.

She emailed later last night saying she would be thrilled to get anything that would be relevant. Wished me a Happy New Year saying that "I never thought on Christmas Eve that I would be wishing you a Happy New Year".

Overall, I am really thrilled with the tone and warmth of her email(s).

freeandhappy Tue 01-Jan-13 11:58:07

I wonder if she has been shagging the flash Harry guy so was keeping you on the back burner? How did you find out about him independently by the way? Anyway looks like your turn has come. Enjoy!

blueshoes Tue 01-Jan-13 14:59:14

That is very encouraging indeed smile. I wish you all your hopes and dreams for 2013.

DeanMartinx Wed 02-Jan-13 09:23:35

freeandhappy - to answer your query: it was purely by happenstance. A guy who used to work with us and who dabbled in boats, took early retirement and went to live in this guy's neck of the woods. He actually knows the boat and it's ownership structure very well.

When I hear somebody described as a Flash Harry, my antenna goes up immediately. It's just a hobby horse of mine - I just feel that they always bring trouble in the end.

As to your other comment - I don't have any claim on this lady's affections and will just have to see how it evolves. I'm just glad to be back in contact.

duffybeatmetoit Wed 02-Jan-13 11:14:05

OP - a gentle word of advice. Perhaps you could lay off using the word "lady" quite so much. You are still relatively young and in men of your age this can have the effect of making you come across as a Terry Thomas clone which won't improve your chances of finding someone new. Good luck.

DeanMartinx Wed 02-Jan-13 17:30:21

Ok, thanks - appreciate the gentle bit.

Just feel a bit restricted by obviously not being able to use her name. Maybe it would have been better to have given her a "stage name". Hate referring to her as Widow, as well. It doesn't describe her very well - just as I would not like being referred to as a widower, although that is what we are. Thanks anyway.

DeanMartinx Wed 02-Jan-13 19:28:58

Just when I felt everything was motoring along ok, I appear to have come up against a set of traffic lights - and I can't decide whether they are green, amber or red.

We have been emailing each other over the past few days. Everything absolutely fine. She mentioned that she had an appointment on Friday morning in (city) and was very specific about time and place. It is convenient to me (and I do know what the appointment is about) - so I asked if she would have time to meet up for lunch. She responded immediately to the effect that would be lovely and that she would have "loads of time". I suggested a time and place to meet - no problem.

I've just now got an email from her saying that she had already promised to bring her neighbour/friend with her to bring her to shop for a Wedding Present. She says that she cannot really disappoint her and would I really mind. Sorry etc.. Also if I wouldn't mind putting the meeting time back about 30 minutes, because her friend doesn't move as fast anymore.

I do know that this friend and her husband were her bulwark and rock all through her husband's illness (and after).

Just don't know if this friend/neighbour is being used as some form of human shield. I was really looking forward to having a good conversation and maybe getting some some clarity about how we might go forward (if at all).

I've just re-looked at the various email messages - for the life of me, I cannot see anything that would cause her to need a shield. And all her messages are bang on in terms of being her authentic voice - humorous and chatty.

It is entirely possible that all this is completely straightforward and that she doesn't feel it possible to let the friend down. I do know that the lady in question is older - but not sure if that means some way infirm, where she would not come to town without a "helper".

I just don't know anymore.

freeandhappy Thu 03-Jan-13 01:14:33

Well no you don't know. The way you describe this woman is as if you know her intimately. You don't. You know very little about her and it seems to me you are projecting what you've decided you like her to be. It's creepy IMHO. Plus you are setting yourself up for being angry and disappointed. How on earth do you know she is a woman of the highest integrity and that her tone I back to her normal chatty self in her emails. You DON'T know her! She probably thinks you are madly full on and if she has any sense she doesn't believe in soulmates. Why don't you try to get to know her and if she has a friend there it's no harm. I can't put my finger on it but I bet you are a dominator dressed up as I'll do anything for you. Maybe I'm wrong.

likeatonneofbricks Thu 03-Jan-13 01:36:45

OP, just let her take the lead now, if this is not inpossible for you! she sounds like someone who wants things on her terns for now while she is still finding her feet after her husband's death, and you neeed to let her be and not press your agebda, i.e. clarifying already 'how you may move forward if at all' - she obviously is astute and has geussed that her emails are making you very happy and hopeful BUT she is only considering it all and is NOT ready for any talks and clarifications that she rightly sensed you are about to launch into on the first meeting after the long break! so she is bringong someone - why not relax and accept the fact that all you are doing is getting to know her still (and her friends) , not dating or even discussing dating.

likeatonneofbricks Thu 03-Jan-13 01:37:41

sorry for typos, 'tis late grin

OhLittleTownofWesternWind Thu 03-Jan-13 09:50:16

Dean Things seem to be going well, you're meeting for lunch albeit with someone else there, and it's moving in the right direction. Over Christmas I bet you'd never have thought that you'd be having lunch this week.

Take things very slowly, keep it light and who knows what could happen? It's so easy to get caught up with analysing each conversation and email, and over-thinking things, and I think you're in danger of doing that here. At the risk if sounding like an old hippy, just go with the flow, enjoy your lunch and the time spent in her company and see what transpires.

Thanks for your good wishes - things are continuing to be wonderful in my love life at the moment. smile

DeanMartinx Thu 03-Jan-13 16:40:38

I really shouldn't have written that last post at all.
If there was a way to delete, I would have done it immediately.

Having been so delighted to be meeting her again, it was a disappointment to then find that she was bringing somebody else - because that obviously changes the dynamic of the day.

likeatonneofbricks - I take all your points. I am taking it very cool and the interchange of emails is mostly about her "project" etc. I am extremely sensitive about how the loss of her husband is such a big factor for her in anything she does. The question of getting clarification about how we might go forward was very clumsy wording on my part. What I meant was that if it was just the two of us, it would be far easier to discern where she might be in her thinking. Anyway, I agree with the thrust of your points and appreciate your advice.

And you are so right, OWW about not expecting, at Christmas time, to be having lunch with her tomorrow. Don't worry - I intend to enjoy myself and to keep everything light. On the ground, I am very easy going and don't push things - but I am one of those people who consults widely about solving issues and that is not possible in this case. Hence the reason why I'm using this board as my feedback wall. In the meantime, I'll go the old hippy route and go with the flow. Thanks again.

DeanMartinx Sat 05-Jan-13 16:21:05

Yesterday went so well - and, incredibly, the missing jigsaw pieces all fitted together.

I had arranged to meet them close to where they were shopping. Apart from the warm greeting, my friend was quite quiet. The main reason being that her neighbour/friend decided to run the show. Formidable and doughty, I could see how she would have been a rock for my friend - but, she obviously believed that age gave her licence to speak her mind very forthrightly. She made it very clear that Widow was her honorary daughter. Also there was no doubt but that she was putting me through my paces, e.g. "So, what is it exactly that you do" to questions about my family etc., etc.. I think I passed!!!!!

Very early on, she announced that she was only staying for starter and coffee as she wanted to catch an early train. My friend was staying overnight with her sister - so I knew from early on, that we had loads of time to play with.

With neighbour gone, my friend relaxed into the day. Swapping blue Mediterranean skies for grey winter skies did not change her ability to tell a story, embellished with her low key mimickry skills. Conversation with her is just easy.

Then the jigsaw pieces started to fit into place. I joked that I had been 45 minutes early at the restaurant because I could not take the risk of being late - given that I had no number for her. She said "But you have my number on your phone". I said I had her daughter's number but never had her's. She said "But you have it since I texted you after the holiday". It transpired that she got my number from her daughter and she sent me "a long text" at the end of her holiday. My first guess was that she had the wrong number - but she showed me my number on her phone. She could not believe that I never got her text and got quite upset about it. She got a new iphone at Christmas and is only yet using as a basic phone. The answer as to what happened to the text probably lies in her old phone - she is going to get her nephew to look at it.

Even though I was so relieved, as I could see immediately what had happened, she was really upset - kept saying "What must you have thought of me". I tried to downplay the whole thing. In a piecemeal fashion, I figured out how she had seen things unfold (or not unfold).

She thought that when I took off on the three day trek, I did so very abruptly (it was at short notice ok) and later rationalised it as my way of moving on, having spent enough time with them. Her daughter and the others wanted to take off on the boat and she did not want to spoil the party - even though it is not her thing. When she did not get a response from me to her text, she assumed that I had moved on to meet some other people further up the coast (which I had mentioned). As time elapsed, she assumed that I gotten busy on my return.

Then when I responded to her niece and not to her, she assumed that I had moved on (although she must have thought I was pretty mean to not at least respond).

She planned to text me at Christmas time to jolt my memory. Then the holiday photographs emerged and I did not refer to her or acknowledge her at all. My contribution to the email banter was "I'm glad to see you are all as noisy as ever". She interpreted that as a distant wave from someone who sees people he has met on holiday - but cannot remember when or where. After that, she figured it would not be appropriate to text me for Christmas.
So when she found my email she could scarcely believe it.

The story emerged in a much more incoherent form than that. I really did not want her to dwell any further on it - and as we were rather overstaying our stay at the table, I suggested that we take a ten minute walk across to a hotel bar where I was going to meet my nephew at 7pm.

The walk across diverted her and we settled back down into a new conversation. In similar fashion to myself, this had been the first Christmas for her in her own house since husband had passed away. So we swapped experiences which were quite similar in many ways. Then she started to speak about the last Christmas before her husband passed away - when they both knew it would be his last and how she tried to keep the facade up for her daughters. There is no doubt but that she doing a download or an offload (don't know which is the correct term) - and possibly may not have spoken about it before at that length. I felt comfortable that she trusted me enough to expose all the conflicting emotions she was faced with that Christmas. Very quickly it was time for her to head to her sister's. The doorman called a cab and we had a good warm hug. I put her bags in the cab and then she hugged me tightly around the neck. I could feel she was gripped with emotion and she just headed straight into the cab and took off without even a glance. Most likely it was a mix of the day and the churning up of memories of that last Christmas and some other stuff that she had dredged up just before she headed off.

She texted me an hour later, obviously back to her usual self, wondering if this particular text would arrive. She had arrived at her sister's and followed up with a sentence that was most warm and complimentary and I won't make any more of it than that.

She texted again early this morning and said that having slept on it, she is now even more "horrified" that I must have thought that she just sailed off into the sunset without a word. She said she had remembered something else that only makes sense now - and could she call me this evening when she gets home. I think she is now running her own mental video of the holiday and it's aftermath.

Overall, I am just so relieved that everything was ok all the time. Even though I did not accept some of the more lurid suggestions made, I still had residual doubts that somebody else's perception of my manner may be different to mine. It had begun to affect my self-confidence. I could not believe that I could get things so wrong. Either there was something so wrong in my manner, that she "disappeared" as soon as she got the chance, or, she simply was not the person I took her to be. I am just so relieved.

Apart from the relief, yesterday was lovely. We connect very easily and we have a lot in common. I hope that we can continue on to get to know each other over time. Now that I've found her and the missing jigsaw pieces are in place, I can relax and go with the flow - which, in this case, will be to go at her speed.

OhWesternWind Sat 05-Jan-13 20:51:47

Dean what wonderful news. I am so glad that things have got straightened out and that the connection is genuine. I wish you smooth sailing from now on. Do let us know how things go.

Horsemad Sun 06-Jan-13 10:13:38

I've just read this thread and am thrilled!

Good Luck with your new friendship Dean.

MsArsebiscuit Sun 06-Jan-13 10:17:37

That's so lovely, Dean, I'm really pleased for you. Have fun.

DeanMartinx Sun 06-Jan-13 19:27:48

Thanks very much for your good wishes.

MsArsebiscuit and OWW, you have been very kind.

I'll keep taking your advice OWW - you can invoice me for your consultancy fee!!.

blueshoes Sun 06-Jan-13 20:26:35

Ah a comedy of errors. It totally makes sense now. You are back in the game. Hopefully one day you will look back on this together and laugh. Wishing you and your lady friend all the best!

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