Brunch for Two

A “first date” after 30 years

Tracey Columns

Dear Tracey,

My husband died five years ago and I have spent a considerable amount of time just getting through the days. (The nights were even worse.) My kids and grandkids have been wonderful, so have my friends and co-workers. What a battle loss is.

But I finally think I am on my way to a different life. Part of why I suspect this is because  a man asked me on a date and I actually said yes.

We have known each other a little through a service club we belong to. I always found myself laughing whenever we shared a table at the monthly lunch meetings. I was kind of surprised when he stayed after last week and asked me if I’d like to have brunch with him some weekend morning. But I found myself agreeing without hesitation.

Then I got home and really started to freak out, as my granddaughter would say!  I haven’t had a date in over 30 years. I’m relieved I don’t seem to be feeling guilty about the prospects of being with another man after all of these years but when I think of sitting across the table from him, I  can’t imagine what I’ll say or do.


Too Old for This

Dear Reader,

Sorry, I have to disagree, you are not too old for this! A bit out of practice? Perhaps, but it seems like you have plenty of years left to live. It also appears as though you’d like to include male companionship in your life. Good for you!

I can’t imagine what the last five years have been like for you. What a struggle to dig out from the loss of a beloved husband. I wonder if at times you felt like you’d never make it? I am so glad to hear you have such a wonderful support system and that you had the wisdom to rely on them when you needed to.

So, now it’s time for the next chapter. No wonder you’re nervous – who wouldn’t be? The dating world has changed a bit in the last 30 years but in truth, some of the basics remain just as you once knew them to be. Here are a few things to keep in mind on your first date:

Be yourself! While this is good advice for anyone at any age, I think it’s even more crucial in midlife. You don’t have to prove anything or impress anyone. The more you are able to be the woman this man has come to know and appreciate during your monthly service club lunches, the better the date will go.

Don’t over think this brunch! Sometimes, a case of the jitters will have us mentally writing a book about all of the possible things that could happen at one little old brunch. Suddenly, you find yourself daydreaming about everything that could possibly go wrong or alternatively, while doing something as mindless as the dishes, you discover yourself mentally walking down the aisle in a few years in total conflict over where you will live. Remember, it’s only brunch!

Please, please, please don’t interrogate the poor guy! Often, when some women get nervous, they have a tendency to ask every single question that pops into their minds. While a few thoughtful questions are natural part of social discourse, bombarding him because of your own nervousness won’t serve either of you.

Conversely, monitor just how much information you want to disclose about yourself. Remember, most women are relationship junkies – we bond through sharing information about ourselves and our experiences. Typically, men like to move a little slower, take their time. At a simple brunch, it’s perfectly acceptable, and perhaps even preferable, to keep things light and easy.

If you can focus on being the person you’ve been during the many lunches you’ve already shared, you’ll do just fine. Take your time and concentrate on simply enjoying yourself. Good luck!

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