Dear Annie

Ready to date

Dear Annie: It has been two years since my husband of 25 years passed away. He was my best friend. We did everything together.

My children have been amazingly supportive to me. They are always including me with their own families for dinners, with going to church, etc. Neither my son nor my daughter has even hinted at this, but lately I have been feeling like a bit of a burden.

I am in my mid-50s and feel as if I am ready to start dating again. My daughter told me about a singles group at her church. Well, I went to one meeting, and it was all women, with only one man in the group — who was only showing interest in the 35-year-old; go figure. I just feel that men my own age are looking for someone younger. I am ready to just give up and be alone for the rest of my life.

— Lonely Widow in California

Dear Lonely: True, it might be a little more challenging to meet someone now than when you were in your 20s. But it is by no means impossible…anything worth doing is worth a little grit.

First, I suggest you check out online dating sites. Find the sites that seem right for you, and ask your children to help you set up your profile, if you need help.

If you’re really not comfortable with online dating, just telling your friends and family that you are now open to dating could open doors for you.

Dear Annie: Do not always take letters at face value and make assumptions. I am that daughter described in the letter from “Missing Her,” the 82-year-old mother who lamented that her daughter hasn’t spoken to her in 12 years.

For years, I was the family scapegoat. I was called “troublesome.” Every time I did something good, my parents took credit for it. Anything bad and I was going to kill my mother with the grief I caused.

When I asked my parents to stop doing things that were hurtful to me, they would say such things as, “How dare you tell us what to do?” I was dragged to counseling on multiple occasions, but whenever the therapist suggested my parents could change some of their relationship techniques, the therapy sessions were somehow no longer “working” or “convenient” and were stopped.

After decades of this, I finally decided that I had had enough and stopped responding to them. In these circumstances, Annie, you have the gall to say that I seem “quick to burn bridges rather than repair them”?

My opinion, Annie, is that rather than just support what this “poor, victimized” woman wants to hear, you could perhaps present the possibility that there is another side to the story.

— Grieving for the Relationship I Couldn’t Have