Ask Amy: Widowed man smothered by new love
Dear Amy: I am a 73-year-old man who was widowed four years ago.
I've been dating “Maria” for over a year. She is 71 and was raised in Spain.
Maria is a genuinely good person, and she is madly in love with me, to the point of smothering. (Her late husband was not very kind to her.)
Maria has been professing her love for me since we began texting before our first date. (She is a neighbor of some friends of mine and apparently had her eye on me for a while.)
She says I am the man of her dreams and that she wants to spend the rest of her life with me. And she says this with total earnestness and wide-eyed schoolgirl innocence.
I do feel love for her, though not as intensely as she does for me. I've just never felt that special "click" with her.
My dilemma is this: I want to date other women. I want to find one that I really click with and without having to always explain basic Americana (like baseball, “The Wizard of Oz”, the Emmy Awards, etc.). Maria never really immersed herself in our culture.
But I know that breaking up with Maria will tear her apart. After my wife died, I had one relationship before this one; after nine months the woman broke up with me and I felt shattered. I don’t want her to feel that way and I know how badly she would take it.
I've already made two attempts at breaking up and each time she's basically talked me out of it.
She says it's fine if I see other women, but she needs to see me once a week because she can't live without me in her life.