By Tom Blake
In my previous column, Ben, 63, a widower of two years, described his relationship with Abby, one of his deceased wife’s best friends, who lives 3,000 miles from him.
After Ben and Abby spent five days together, Abby was going to move in with Ben but changed her mind. She said she might move next summer.
Ben loves Abby; he asked for clarity on why his feelings for her are so strong. I asked readers for their thoughts. Twenty of their email responses are featured.
16 WOMEN RESPOND
Mary Lou: “Ben needs to move on. I see only trouble ahead. Perhaps not enough time has passed since his wife’s death. Before Abby moves, each should seek one-on-one counseling.”
Belinda: “Ben and Abby are entitled to their happiness. He’s way past living for his children’s needs. It’s time for his own life and pleasure. He should move them out and Abby in.
“Love at 63 is tough to find; we need to cherish it when we are lucky enough to have it.”
Stel: “Ben’s only been widowed two years. He’s not through grieving. Abby was handy and convenient too soon. To preserve their friendship, he should back away.”
Carolyn: “Too many red flags. Abby’s daughter threw a monkey wrench into the plans. Daughters don’t want their moms to move away from them. Time for Ben to move on.”
Patty: “I lost my husband of 47 years in July. Every woman misses the intimacy, tenderness, and true friendship of a partner, but the process of breaking in someone new is daunting. Abby isn’t his true match.”
Kim: “It was too much too soon. Love is ‘heady’ at first, and maybe we perceive things differently at that time. They should step back for a minute.”
Colleen: “Maybe Abby feels bad about her private communicating with Ben prior to Ruth’s passing and now doesn’t feel right moving into her best friend’s home.”
Alicia: “Abby concluded that they needed to proceed at a slower pace. If it’s meant to be, it will be.
“The intensity of his love for Abby? I believe our hearts can hold love for someone else on different levels, and that is OK. It does not diminish his love for his wife, nor for Abby.”
Althea: “Abby got caught up in the heat of the five days together, thinking Ben was her soulmate. When she got back home, she saw what she would have to give up by moving to live with Ben.”
Margaret: “Too many red flags. Often, bad choices are made when a person is grieving.”
Thyrza: “Both should cool off and let clearer heads prevail. Both have red flags.”
Robbie: “Ben doesn’t want to be single. Amy came along at the right time, even though they’ve known each other for years. I wish them the best.”
Jeanne: “Way too complicated of a relationship. Adios.”
Francine: “Ben has not explored any relationship other than Abby. I think he should date again, and if in six months he still has feelings for Abby, then he should pursue her.”
Kathy: “They should both stay where they are. Abby living with Ben’s mom and son won’t work.
Deanne: “I am a widow; I understand what Ben is going through. He should take his foot off the gas pedal.”
FOUR MEN RESPOND
Carmelo: “Jump in; take a chance. What’s to lose?”
Wayne: “Way too many red flags with this situation.”
Larry: “Vaya Con Dios, my darling.”
Dave: “No one knows the questions Ben should be asking. Only Ben knows what is within himself.”
Tom’s comment: The consensus seems to be, Abby and Ben need to slow it down and see what six months brings.
Tom Blake is a retired Dana Point business owner and resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at findingloveafter50.com. To comment: firstname.lastname@example.org.