Ask Grandma Anything: Is Love Worth Looking For?


Dear Cutie,

I am 44, have been married twice, and I have a dilemma.

My first marriage was to my high school sweetheart, from age 21 to 28. I divorced him because he had an affair. I re-married at 30, and divorced at 36. Husband number two had a horrible temper and was physically abusive to the kids (my daughter and our son together). He suffered from depression. After my second divorce, I had a three-year relationship with a man who I broke up with over his alcoholism. My daughter is now 20, in college. My son, 13, lives with me.

I have tried dating websites to meet a man. I don’t like this, because I feel super uncomfortable when it is time to meet for the first time, it is very time-consuming, and I am quite skeptical and distrustful of what men tell me online. So I decided to just give up “looking” and trust that God will send me someone when the time is right.

Here is my dilemma: I actually LIKE being alone. I am not unhappy at all. Most of my married friends are extremely unhappy, and the thought of going back into a marriage or relationship where the guy will end up being a jerk just turns me off from even wanting to try to find someone new. But, on the other hand, I do miss cuddling, hugging, kissing and sex. And although I like being alone, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life that way.

What should I do? If I am not actively “looking” (on a dating website) I just do not meet any men. I am a a pre-school teacher with no male friends, and homebody who does not like to go out much, nor do I have the money to do so.

Thank you for any advice you can give me. You and your hubby are adorable!

Third Time Around

Dear Third Time Around,

Thank you for writing to me. Considering your relationship history, I can understand your frustration and hesitation surrounding men. I want to commend you for making the difficult choice to protect your children by getting yourself and them out of the abusive situation.

In my opinion, it is possible for you to have healthy, positive romantic relationships. The thing that you may not want to hear is that it will require work on your part. You need to work on the part of yourself that was willing to accept abusive treatment from your partners, or that saw such people as acceptable partners in the first place.

I encourage you to seek out support, because you don’t have to do this alone. Even though you are not currently in a relationship, I think it might be helpful for you to consider joining a support group for battered women, or even a group like Al-Anon, which exists to support loved ones of addicts or alcoholics.

Then, I would advise you to find some hobbies where men and women socialize. There are ways to meet nice people without spending a lot of money, but they require effort and creativity to find.

If you make an effort to support and heal yourself, I promise you that good things will follow. There are strong, caring men out there who are ready to be part of a healthy relationship, one in which both partners are free to enjoy their time alone as well as their time together. The best thing you can do to be ready for that kind of a relationship is take care of yourself and see where the new you takes you.

Wishing you all the best.

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