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Widowed neighbour

(24 Posts)
NanKate Fri 17-Aug-18 15:25:54

I was having coffee with a new neighbour recently and was talking about the many eating places in our town and I asked her if she had visited a new small restaurant in the town. She said now she was on her own she never went out in the evening to eat. DH and I go out once or twice a month to eat but I just hadn't thought that people on their own were denied this pleasure.

I suggested she and I went to the small Vietnamese restaurant for supper. We went last night and had a lovely evening and we will do it again before X***. I am lucky my DH is happy to be left to his own devices and even kindly collected us afterwards so we could have a drink.

I suppose many people on their own change their lifestyles when they lose their partner. What do GN members do ?

FlexibleFriend Fri 17-Aug-18 15:38:58

I do more now than when with my Ex. I eat out with friends and my kids. I see no reason to be a recluse.

ginny Fri 17-Aug-18 15:47:19

No reason a person cannot eat out alone or go to the theatre, the cinema and most other places. I suppose she is not used to doing so.

sodapop Fri 17-Aug-18 16:03:22

No there is no reason Ginny but its hard to sit alone when you are used to being with a partner. Some people just feel uncomfortable sitting on their own.
That was a kind thought NanKate and proved enjoyable for both of you, heres to the next time wine

Nannarose Fri 17-Aug-18 16:14:34

Yes, it was kind. I do go out alone sometimes, DH hates the theatre - I often go with a friend, but sometimes, if it doesn't work, I go on my own, and always treat myself to a pleasant meal. I do sometimes think it's 'practice' should I be left alone!

Jane10 Fri 17-Aug-18 16:18:03

Surely there's no need to eat out on one's own. Partners are not the only possible dining companions. We eat out together sometimes and also separately with friends and groups of friends.

ginny Fri 17-Aug-18 16:20:27

I hope my previous post did not come across as being harsh. I realise it can be difficult for some people. I suppose I was referring to the OPs comment that people on their own were denied the pleasure of dining out.

GrannyGravy13 Fri 17-Aug-18 16:27:18

My late Mum and her next door neighbours were both widows in their 80's, they went out for lunch or an early dinner several times a week, and always had a takeaway on a Saturday. We have kept in contact with her and gone to lunch and had her round for BBQ and Sunday lunch. Unfortunately she has not got the confidence to go out anywhere on her own, not even to the local shops.

MawBroon Fri 17-Aug-18 16:30:29

I go to the theatre either with friends/family or if nobody is interested I am happy to go alone. Cinema likewise. I go out a lot for lunch but admit to not going out much for dinner largely because I am such a “lightweight” when it comes to drinking in the evening, I am nodding off by 9.30
But yes, you do have to rethink things and often make a definite effort to organise something. It is too easy to hunker down in front of a box set (nice as that is)
I have also taken the decision to accept al invitations even if it is not necessarily something I might have chosen to do and am usually pleasantly surprised!

tessagee Fri 17-Aug-18 16:33:46

It is very hard to sit alone when everyone else is in pairs or groups. It's also quite scary to have to find your way home alone whether going into poorly lit car parks or waiting alone in bus shelters or train stations. In the end it spoils the enjoyment of any activity to the extent that you end up staying at home. For this reason I tend to only go out alone during daylight hours but even this can be a problem as I found out last evening.

I had gone to my local library and was waiting for the bus home about 7.30 pm. Initially there was no one else waiting but shortly a group of teenaged girls came along and sat down; no problem as they were chatting and laughing amongst themselves. However they couldn't all fit onto the bench in the bus shelter so eventually one of those standing pushed in beside me where there was only a few inches space and elbowed me off the bench with no word of apology. I managed to save myself from falling by grabbing the wall at the edge of the shelter, then stood up to wait for the bus and surprise, surprise, they all rushed to get on ahead of me. I must admit that I feel really disheartened by this episode and feel that it's one more nail in the coffin of lone socialising in the evenings.

To cap it all, this is considered to be a 'nice' area in which to live.

May I also say NanKate that it was very nice indeed of you to consider inviting your friend out for an evening meal. None of the married women that I know would ever think of doing that.

Jane10 Fri 17-Aug-18 17:03:27

I just don't like being out at night at all and am now a complete lightweight when it comes to alcohol too. I really like a nice chatty lunch. The food isn't really that important. It's the company I (usually!) enjoy.
tessagee what a horrible experience.

Anniebach Fri 17-Aug-18 17:12:31

How kind NanKate .

All have a giggle at me, when widowed so young , long time ago, I did begin to think all my friends had marriage problems, ‘ come out for a meal my husband is working/ busy /playing golf. Then came the ‘you must come to the golf club dinner and dance ‘. bought a posh frock. Had hair done, great evening but very tiring, danced every dance, then came the last waltz (shows how long ago) , only one solitary person sitting at a table surrounded by many empty tables , guess who? 😀, I enjoyed the evening

Mapleleaf Fri 17-Aug-18 17:13:05

Oh, tessagee, that must have been upsetting and frightening for you. It's so sad that a small minority of teenagers give the rest a bad name - most are not like that at all, but when you are on the receiving end of rude and bad behaviour, it can seem that way. 💐
Your actions were very thoughtful and kind, Nankate, and I hope it's the beginning of a long and happy friendship. I imagine it must be so hard to begin with to make the step to do something alone that you have always done with your partner - not everyone has the confidence to take that first step, plus the rawness of being alone could still be very real.

NanKate Fri 17-Aug-18 19:47:31

Thank you for your kind words folks. I have to admit I have wanted to visit that restaurant for a while. One day I could be in my neighbour's position and I must learn from her to accept invitations. She is 10 years younger than me (I'm 71). Another friend from WI is in her early 90s and she invited me out to coffee recently and found we had lots to chat about. I think it is important to have friends from all generations.

GrandmaMoira Fri 17-Aug-18 19:56:54

I'm a widow and eat out on my own, also go to the theatre, cinema, museums and galleries but all in the daytime. I don't go out in the evening on my own. I don't drive and don't want to do public transport in the evening. I do occasionally go out to eat or theatre with family or friends in the evening.

Lazigirl Fri 17-Aug-18 19:57:20

What a kind person you are NanKate to think about your neighbour, and what a thoughtful DH. I love going out with girlfriends but think it must be really difficult to go to places alone when you are used to being part of a couple.

MawBroon Fri 17-Aug-18 20:02:37

Just one of many many changes in ones life Lazigirl.
You can usually find someone to do something with, but sadly there is more often nobody to do nothing with.

Grandma70s Fri 17-Aug-18 20:16:08

I’ve never had problems about going to the theatre or concerts alone, either before or after I was widowed. Eating alone I found easy during the day, but more difficult in the evening. I’ve never much liked eating out in the evening anyway, but if I was going to the theatre in London by myself it was difficult to avoid. Sometimes I would have room service in the hotel, sometimes I would buy Marks and Spencer’s sandwiches and eat them in my hotel room. Better than going to a restaurant.

I don't think I changed my lifestyle much when my husband died, but going home at night on public transport felt a bit daunting at first. I never stopped going out, though. I had a good example in my mother who always went out on her own, if she was interested in something and my father wasn’t, which happened quite a lot.

Because I was widowed young I didn’t know any other widows, but I had friends who were perfectly happy to go out with me rather than their husbands. Eventually I found some single friends, too.

grannyticktock Fri 17-Aug-18 20:33:55

Nankate, I'm sure your new friend was hugely appreciative of your thoughtfulness. Since becoming widowed, I am always grateful if friends invite me to join them for a drink or a meal out. Most of my friends are still in couples and I don't feel I can suggest going out in a threesome, but am glad if they make the suggestion. I occasionally have lunch out on my own but I wouldn't want to book a table for one and go out for an evening meal on my own. The sociability and the pleasure of sharing food and drink would all be missing, and I would just feel lonely.

So all you married Gransnetters, spare a thought for any widowed friends and consider asking them to join you for an evening out some time.

MawBroon Fri 17-Aug-18 21:05:05

I must be very lucky, in the 8 months since I lost my DH I have had invitations to several lunch parties with couples (usually 7 of us ) a few to dinners, and loads to theatre and cinemas for live opera and ballet streaming. If there is something I want to see I usually put an email out to my book club friends plus some others who share my interests and if nobody is free or interested, I just go on my own.
I have also invited couples and single friends to lunch on the basis that you can’t always wait to be asked!
Yes it is an effort sometimes but it is easier in the summer and there is a long winter ahead.

NanKate Sat 18-Aug-18 07:50:32

My U3A has a section for people living on their own. I think they sometimes go out for Sunday lunch together and organise other social events.

My WI holds quite a few events involving eat out together. A number of us are going for a Cream Tea at a nice venue on Tuesday. It gives people who want to an excuse to wear their special going out clothes, but it doesn’t matter a jot if they don’t want to dress up. It’s the company that counts. I usually slip a spare scone or piece of cake into a bag for DH 😉

kittylester Sat 18-Aug-18 08:25:53

I was just going to say what a kind gesture that was Kate but then you own up to stealing cake! shock

glammanana Sat 18-Aug-18 09:12:55

How kind of you NanKate you are a good friend to this lady.
I go out twice a month with a lady who I worked with she lives on her own with her two dogs as her only company.
We are fortunate to have a vast amount of good restaurants/eateries over in Liverpool who all offer early evening menu's with good discounts so very affordable for us both we try all the different types of food on offer and get the bus home usually indoors by 8pm.

NanKate Sat 18-Aug-18 21:10:36

You've caught me fair and square Kitty but I have paid for the Tea, well that's my excuse.

Glamma yes I go for the early evening meals too and I usually have a handful of vouchers. I hear Livepool is very vibrant. Ours is a bit of a tourist town as we are on the Thames so that is why we have more cafes and restaurants than you can shake a stick at.