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 moun10dew
Joined: 7/9/2013
Msg: 1
Dating a Suicide SurvierPage 1 of 2    (1, 2)
Hi all...I have a profile on here...although after the other the other day I have hidden it for the time being. Ok...now let me say that in this case of the "Suicide Survivor" this isn't someone who attempted suicide....in this case it's someone who was dating a person that committed suicide. In February of this year my girlfriend committed suicide. We had only been dating for a very short time (less than a year)...but in November she officially became the first woman I dated that told me she loved me. I am going to counseling almost every week now and have gone to a support group as well. I also have a ton of support from my friends and family.

The other day I posted a profile...not really expecting any response...I've been on POF with no luck in the past. However I got a one sentence response from someone asking me if I wanted to go skating sometime (that was all they said...no Hi or How are you or anything...just one sentence). I didn't mention that as a first date but I did mention that I do go skating. My girlfriend and I used to go skating and I have a lot of friends that go. With this being the case I really didn't feel comfortable going skating. I asked some friends what they thought and they in turn asked if I was ready. After they explained their view I thought about it..and no I'm not ready. I didn't want to just ignore this person's question so I responded to them and told them that I appreciated the response, but after talking to some friends I decided it is WAY too soon after my girlfriends suicide to even try to date...although I've been asked by people if I was dating someone new now.

It was....now here are my questions. I read in another topic from a guy that did try to commit suicide that everyone thought he should keep that to himself for the time being and maybe someday when it's more comfortable then he might be able to talk about it with the person he's in a relationship with. I don't think that works in my case. I have yet to ever go out with a woman who doesn't ask either in the first communication or the first date "why are you still single?" or "why haven't you ever been married?". I can't truthfully say that I never met the right person. It took me until last year to find her...but I viewed her as the one I saw myself getting married to. How would be the best way to deal with this so it's not hidden but at the same time not awkward discussing it. Also....just wondering how would you react to someone in this situation? Are they datable? Do you view them the same way you would someone who was in a relationship with someone that died in a car accident or of a terminal illness?

My counselor and a lot of my friends tell me it will happen again one day. I guess I'm trying to get a feeling from other singles what I can expect in the way of reaction from the dating pool out there.
 Eric_Summit
Joined: 11/3/2009
Msg: 2
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 8:14:03 AM
Sorry to learn of this unfortunate tragedy in your life. A person close to me was murdered, so I understand pain.
It might be wise for you to continue to keep your POF profile hidden as you continue to heal. Throwing this rather heavy news "over the fence" to the woman who innocently asked you to go skating wasn't the nicest way to treat her. She is just a bystander.

While it is trite to say, time truly does help to heal all wounds. You naturally won't forget, yet the pain WILL decrease. Good luck with your recovery and your romantic search someday in the future.
 LoneScottishBoy
Joined: 2/13/2012
Msg: 3
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Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 8:15:25 AM
Just stick with the truth.
This is part of your life story and there is no reason to hide it.
Some folks, who arent fully aware of their reaction to death, might get a little edgy, but most people will show you compassion and sympathy in reasonable amounts.
Yes, you have been through some tough stuff and I hope you are getting clear of the mud, but this doesnt give you an automatic benching for any specified time.
Date when you feel you are ready

As to my reaction, I would not treat anyone any differently.
Loss is loss.

Be well.
 moun10dew
Joined: 7/9/2013
Msg: 4
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 8:22:27 AM
You are right it wasn't...probably why the response I got back was "Well...just forget about it then." It was probably the response I should have got...it also told me I wasn't ready.

Thanks.
 moun10dew
Joined: 7/9/2013
Msg: 5
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 8:26:29 AM
Thanks...yes....at some point whoever I dates is going to have to deal with and accept the fact that this a part of my life story. If it's something they are going to not want to at least try to understand then they probably aren't the right person. I have a memory chest in my closet containing the stuff she left at my place. I only open it when I find the odd reminder...but I'm not going to toss it out either.
 import_from_UK
Joined: 3/20/2013
Msg: 6
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 8:28:26 AM

Firstly, may I say that I'm sorry for your loss.

My reply might sound blunt and it's not intended to hurt but you asked a question and I'll tend to reply honestly rather than telling you what you might be hoping to hear.

As you have already decided you aren't ready to date, you seem to be putting a lot of energy into dealing with might be's. Perhaps when the time comes, and you are ready to date, you might have fewer questions.

With any question that asks how an individual will react to a given situation, the answer is going to be personal to that individual. We all have life experiences which teach us situations we would avoid in the future and/or situations we think we'd avoid but don't if they arise. No two people have the same life experiences and no two people will give the same answer based on the same reasoning.


It was....now here are my questions. I read in another topic from a guy that did try to commit suicide that everyone thought he should keep that to himself for the time being and maybe someday when it's more comfortable then he might be able to talk about it with the person he's in a relationship with. I don't think that works in my case. I have yet to ever go out with a woman who doesn't ask either in the first communication or the first date "why are you still single?" or "why haven't you ever been married?". I can't truthfully say that I never met the right person. It took me until last year to find her...but I viewed her as the one I saw myself getting married to. How would be the best way to deal with this so it's not hidden but at the same time not awkward discussing it.


This is referred to as polite conversation, much like "How are you?" No one wants a stranger to dump their crap on a first getting-to-know-you date. The 'why are you still single' comments are a bit of compliment which is politer than saying your're a good looking man who appears sane. It's also a way of validating (presuming you are going to be honest in your answer) that you really are single. Some think that's as much validation as they are responsible for and so can check the little box and plead ignorance if you later turn out to be married. There's a third reason some ask this question too. It can be translated as 'Tell me now if you are a jerk/married/facing serious criminal charges/any other unacceptable situation, so I can run before investing any time in you". Those who are using this question for anything other than a gentle water-testing compliment, aren't normally a good judge of characters but are at least aware of it, and so are offering you a way to eliminate yourself.

What NO-ONE is really asking is for you to dump your crap about the girlfriend who committed suicide, who was the love of your life, who you planned to marry and who you aren't over. No one wants that it a date. No one imagines for a second that the answer will be as horrible and although most will empathize, they won't want a second date and will be hoping to feck the current date ends as quickly as possible because they were hoping to have fun not be pulled into someone else's misery.


although I've been asked by people if I was dating someone new now.


I'm betting these are people who know your situation, have some investment in you as a person (friend/colleagues/family). This is a safe way of someone inquiring if you are managing to move forward and looking for signs that you are because they are concerned about you.


Also....just wondering how would you react to someone in this situation? Are they datable? Do you view them the same way you would someone who was in a relationship with someone that died in a car accident or of a terminal illness?


I would react with empathy and kindness but I wouldn't date them. There is a healing process which needs to happen and without being disrespectful, I don't want to be someone's therapist and think that's a terrible idea in any relationship. I would view anyone who has had a tragic life event and is still getting over it, the same way. Losing someone you love sucks. It doesn't matter if it's a child, a partner, a close friend, it's a crap situation and it hurts and it hurts for a long time. Things never return to the way they were but it takes time to understand and accept that. There's a whole range of emotions which comes with the death (regardless of the cause) of someone you love and someone you always expected to be there. And there's the anger too at why they left you dealing with this - which is going to sound odd to anyone who wasn't been through it. For me, it's not a situation I would step into for a new relationship. It's very different to support an existing partner through a traumatic event but to set into a relationship with someone who is dealing with one, no thanks. Their emotions aren't were they normally would be, their judgement is affected and I wouldn't want to add to their pain a few weeks in, if it was determined we aren't a match. It's far cleaner to avoid that situation entirely.
 Whisky_River
Joined: 9/12/2010
Msg: 7
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 8:38:38 AM
First...I would like to say...sorry for your loss!
As Scottish said...loss is loss....
By you making up a profile on a dating site...you are near the edge of readiness(imo) or you wouldn't be thinking about it.
There is no specified time...that you have to remain "single" and alone...It's hard to get over that first hurdle.

Most people will be compassionate and I wouldn't think too much of it....of course, my age group...I am dealing with a lot of widowers.
If they ask....be honest but don't keep mentioning her name.
Maybe...message that girl back and suggest something else...that is not so public.
Like a movie and a bite to eat....
Good Luck! It gets better...
 Definition_Of_Insanity
Joined: 6/12/2013
Msg: 8
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 8:46:30 AM
I will also join the people who offer sympathy. Am very sorry for your loss as it must have been (and still is most likely) devastating.

I can also offer empathy as decades ago I lost a close family member to suicide. Over the years, when I've mentioned that to people (after getting to know them a bit) whether they were co-workers or friends or prospective dates, I've been surprised at how many others have also been touched by this (but had not mentioned it).

As to your question:


Do you view them the same way you would someone who was in a relationship with someone that died in a car accident or of a terminal illness?


My take (based on what I experienced and others have shared with me) is there is still somewhat of a 'stigma' towards suicide in that people tend to view it as a preventable death vs death from an illness/accident. There is often survivor guilt, even when one knows better. Some people won't know what to say, some may react inappropriately, some will surprise you by being wonderful.

Be kind to yourself. I'm glad you have a counselor and friends.
 moun10dew
Joined: 7/9/2013
Msg: 9
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 8:47:09 AM
Agree...thanks for your honesty. Think I'll just see where life takes me. I'll know when I'm ready and I'll know when they are ready to know. If it happens it happens...if not..well at least I can be happy that I did feel the love of someone...even for a short time. :) Some people never even have that.
 Eric_Summit
Joined: 11/3/2009
Msg: 10
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 9:09:07 AM
Posted by StephenLikesTo:
"...These are things that guys say when asked why are they are still single, 'It just never worked out.' or 'I never met the right woman.' or 'It's not from lack of trying.' or 'I guess I have just been unlucky in love.' And then change the subject back to them. People love talking about themselves..."


The comprehensive answer about your partner's suicide can come much further down the road.
Inquiries during early-dating times are just meant to be conversational and topical...much as StephenLikesTo and Import_from_UK helpfully shared. You are really only at the "five month mark" so things will hopefully continue to get brighter and brighter. Good luck.
 moun10dew
Joined: 7/9/2013
Msg: 11
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 9:09:20 AM

Stop even thinking about the prospects of dating a woman until spring 2015.
Hide or delete your profile and stop looking at things like 'My matches' because you are not ready.
Take up new some activities that you did not do with your girlfriend - put your skates away.
Take up some new hobbies where you will get to meet new people in a non-dating context - you need to get your social skills back.


Yeah...I haven't even looked at that part of the site since I responded to that one woman. The putting the skates away part is going to be easier said than done. I'm a pretty big follower of roller derby and go skating with a lot of the derby family (this is friends on the team or friends in the stands). A lot of people are shocked I get out as much as I do. I go out to movies and I go to concerts and I go to the gym to work out and I go for bike rides. Sometimes I'll go sit at one of the local coffee houses and just sit outside and watch people and enjoy the weather. I'm trying to keep busy with work and with other events. Some I did with her...but most of the exercise stuff I did on my own or took up after her death.

Thanks everyone for the advice. Much appreciated.
 peaceful_garden
Joined: 4/10/2013
Msg: 12
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 12:05:40 PM
Thanks...yes....at some point whoever I dates is going to have to deal with and accept the fact that this a part of my life story. If it's something they are going to not want to at least try to understand then they probably aren't the right person. I have a memory chest in my closet containing the stuff she left at my place. I only open it when I find the odd reminder...but I'm not going to toss it out either.


I question if your therapy is serving you or enabling you at this point. This above quote tells me you are "identifying" too much with being a "survivor". People die, people cheat with your best friend, such is life we all have been hurt and will continue to get hurt. It's how you manage it that is important and it seems like you are creating the proverbial "baggage".

My 3 ltr's over the last 25 yrs were with men that were independently wealthy. The first one I knew about it and the 2nd two hid it from me until we were attached. So following your logic and that being part of my life story I am supposed to tell this to guys I date? Heck no, that's overwhelming and is no ones business but my own.

I also dating a guy short term who stalked me when I said it was over. Got a restraining order, and he was arrested 14 times. Thankfully he moved far away and is seriously injured so he's not bothering anybody. According to your logic I should disclose this info to new potential boyfriends? Heck no, no body wants to hear about that. And no body wants to hear about your late gf's disturbing death either.

If you need to tell stories of your life at least choose the ones that are pleasant and not disturbing. When you learn to live in the present you are not controlled or attached to the past. For example when my friends ask me how I'm doing I do my very best to accentuate the positive. That's your choice.
 Luthion
Joined: 12/1/2008
Msg: 13
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Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 12:52:33 PM
If I met someone who had been through the same circumstances as yours, I would do my best to listen and understand.

Every human being has their share of hardships and traumas, and we all have our own unique baggage, whether we'd like to admit it or not. I see no reason someone should be adverse to dating someone whose been through what you've experienced, as long as their heart is good and they are kind - for what its worth, you seem to have that vibe.

If someone asks about it, don't elaborate too much about it unless they specifically want to know. It's okay to explain it, but going into too much detail too easily would probably freak most people out. If someone decides to judge you for it, don't waste a second more of your life on them.

Personally, I believe you should take time for yourself. Grieve more if you have to. It feels to me like you're still having trouble letting people in. Don't feel like you have to rush it. You will be ready when you are ready.
 moun10dew
Joined: 7/9/2013
Msg: 14
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 3:08:37 PM
Thanks everyone.... I've decided its probably in my best interest to remove my profile and just let the dating and relationship thing go for now. I've had my one time at love...maybe someday it will happen again.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 15
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Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 3:23:34 PM
A lot of good posts here, covering a lot of territory.

Basically, my assessment is, as you seem to suspect, that your real problem is due to your own need to work completely through what you think about yourself in all this.

I do have one simple suggestion. An honest and accurate answer if people do ask you why you aren't already attached is NOT "because my last GF killed herself."

You are indeed not attached, for the same reason anyone is not. You are not attached, because you are not attached. No one you have been with so far, who is still available to you, is someone who you desired to be with, who also desired to be with you. Nothing more, or less than that.

I suggest in general, the the more simply and straight forward you are in how you think about each aspect of your life. Trying to solve it all, and put everything back together again all at once, is a good way to prevent yourself from solving anything.
 DoubleParked
Joined: 10/22/2008
Msg: 16
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/12/2013 3:40:45 PM
Sorry to see the OP is gone already.

Suicide causes a lot of collateral damage. Family, friends, lovers, all wonder if there was something they could have done to prevent the person from offing themselves. Lots of guilt, however misplaced.

Folks who off themselves are confused and are unable to see the bigger picture, a kind of tunnel vision takes over. The only way out of the pain is the even bigger pain that makes it stop. Forever.

RIP all those souls who saw no other way left to cope. Those left behind remain to find hope, despite.
 moonbeamlover
Joined: 1/22/2013
Msg: 17
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/13/2013 12:08:18 AM

Sorry to see the OP is gone already.


And there I was thinking that for once somebody had actually taken notice of what were pretty supportive posts with some positive suggestions and reflections on his position.

If he wants to read further posts he always has that option of course.


actually, I think the OP did take notice of the supportive posts, and did listen to the advise; which was to ditch the dating and find and make peace within himself.

I hope he finds peace in the interim, and joy in the longrun.
 Luthion
Joined: 12/1/2008
Msg: 18
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Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/13/2013 7:02:21 AM

And there I was thinking that for once somebody had actually taken notice of what were pretty supportive posts with some positive suggestions and reflections on his position.

What? Surely taking the decision to step out of the dating game until he feels more comfortable and ready for it *is* exactly "taking notice of what were pretty supportive posts with some positive suggestions and reflections on his position"?
 horses44
Joined: 9/10/2006
Msg: 19
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Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/13/2013 12:03:37 PM
OP if you are still peeking here every once in a while wishing you the best on your journey. Some very sound advice, you sound like a good soul

Several years ago I entered a very dark time of life and......well let's just say I am very grateful to still be around - thank God

THAT as well as other aspects of my life are extremely private and are kept under wraps until there is a comfort level that has been established between me and "Mr. Let's See if this goes anywhere" :) More often than not it doesn't as establishing rapport with someone is difficult, especially for us seasoned elders.

As others have voiced, when you are ready to date bring the topic up when you are most comfortable - but I certainly wouldn't bring it up on a first date - again agree with the others if at the end of the coffee date I know EVERYTHING about the guy sitting across from me it is usually exhausting.

Finally, I am not sure you would even need to disclose this to someone, this is a private event that happened in your life with another person
 peaceful_garden
Joined: 4/10/2013
Msg: 20
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/13/2013 5:50:24 PM
IF I ever did online again, the minute they start whining about an ex, even if it is tragic, I would get up that second & leave. I am sorry 4 anyone who has suffered, BUT people who want to date, well they want to date, not be bereavement counselors. So if a person needs to "dump" they shouldn't be dating!


My favorite dump date happened years ago, we were young and this guys mother talked me into going out to dinner with her son, he was very cute so I said what the heck, I liked to date when single and loved to eat out. So what was his "ex whine" over dinner on our first and only short date? This is what he said: "My ex literally worshiped my pecker and how will I ever find another who can follow in her footsteps? Will I be lonely forever? Woe is me, how can I possibly settle for a regular woman?"

Poor guy with his golden unworshiped dik dilemma, heart wrenching no? Seriously though, I've lost one relative and another next door neighbor friend to suicide. These are moot subjects, it's a cold day in hell that I'd burden a romantic partner with any details or relive it myself, once was enough thank you. When asked about my relative, I reply "he passed over". Period. And my body language says "don't go there".
 peaceful_garden
Joined: 4/10/2013
Msg: 21
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/14/2013 1:51:21 AM
The only way to move forward is to take baby steps towards it and to continue with counseling. The fact that he is in counseling should help him to keep the dumping on the new girl at bay...


Well it didn't work did it? His POF date got quite the earful and instead of learning from that mistake he goes on to say that whomever he dates in the future needs to accept this whole melodrama and he is keeping her "stuff" in a box and the new girl needs to deal with that too.

His therapy in my opinion is faulty, due to his ego being inflated instead of processing the whole debacle with grace and humility.

I understand your grief at losing your "first" to suicide however life goes on, your life, and your children will become very compassionate caring people if once again this is handled properly and without self-centeredness being the goal. It's not about "poor me". Grieve all you need and in the end develop compassion for others not an inflated ego like the opening poster expecting everyone to bend and be co-dependent to him. These experiences are gifts meant to deflate the ego not increase it.
 BorderCollieMix
Joined: 7/4/2013
Msg: 22
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 7/14/2013 7:43:50 AM
I suspect the OP just was not yet in a place where he could date or even take the feedback on a forum. We each grieve at a different pace, and this may take him years to process--where it might take others several months or a year, not much longer.

I was 19 when my cousin killed himself 2 weeks after his wedding. His new wife had moved out the day before. All I could think beyond my grief for him was, "I hope she knows this has nothing to do with her." I felt so bad that she might be burdened by his death when she really should not be. Clearly, someone who commits suicide has issues and challenges the rest of us would have trouble imagining, and to feel in anyway responsible as a partner who was blindsided by this type of action is--while perhaps normal--totally unnecessary.

It's also normal to feel a sense of loss when you lose someone special, no matter how they go (breakups included). But hanging on to someone's stuff and expecting others to accept it, esp. when it was not a long-term marriage (like a widow or widower who raised a family with the deceased) is a sign that the OP just hasn't healed much. And if he finds a woman who accepts that in him, chances are that he will get stuck in his healing or, when he finally moves on, she won't be the right person for him. But he will have to figure that out on his own.
 Confident-Realist
Joined: 2/8/2004
Msg: 23
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 9/17/2013 8:33:00 PM

"Suicide Survivor" this isn't someone who attempted suicide....in this case it's someone who was dating a person that committed suicide

Not trying to be mean or anything, but that's a bad term. People can be hurt by their partner dying of cancer -- but you wouldn't call them a Cancer Survivor. A Survivor means that your life was on the line, but you survived (like having cancer, not being close to someone who had it). Anyway...

I am going to counseling almost every week now and have gone to a support group as well. I also have a ton of support from my friends and family.

That's good!

My girlfriend and I used to go skating and I have a lot of friends that go. With this being the case I really didn't feel comfortable going skating.

Yeah, you're not close to ready. You're going to find similarities to a lot of things -- not necessarily before an outing with something that specific, but during it that will throw you off. Not ready at all.

Also....just wondering how would you react to someone in this situation? Are they datable?

No. And you know you're not datable right now. You're not over it. From your post, it was just 5 months later, and you can't skate with a girl because you did with your ex.

I can't truthfully say that I never met the right person.

When they ask "why are you single?" or "why aren't you married?" -- they're not asking what happened in your last relationship that caused it to go bad. They're complimenting you, and also possibly wondering if you have commitment issues. Your ex dying, dumping you, cheating on you, or whatever other possibilities -- isn't the point. If she dumped you, you wouldn't say "Because my last girlfriend dumped me." You answer those questions with "I'm pretty picky, and for those that went well, they just didn't work out."

And at the same time, no, your ex wasn't the right one for you. Or for herself. You know that. So it isn't a lie to say you never were with someone who was ready to be married when you were with them.

My counselor and a lot of my friends tell me it will happen again one day.

Work getting over her enough where hanging out with other girls, in a non-traditional but fun who-cares way, will be tolerable. Steps. Be patient with yourself. Being single by itself isn't bad. Being with someone for the sake of being with someone is bad. But that doesn't mean AT ALL that you should hold on to your ex who was in fact, not right for you or herself.
 jlynn1955
Joined: 8/24/2012
Msg: 24
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Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 9/17/2013 9:58:37 PM
it was obvious, to me at least, that OP left because he DID take what had been said to heart. He did agree it was too soon to even be on this site. Once he realized that, there was no need for him to stay.

I think once he gets further down the road of healing, some of the questions he asked will be answered. Others he may see don't need to be asked at all. The people around him will probably think he's ready to date long before he, himself, does. It's a tough road, I'm sure.

For some people, time does not heal all wounds. In some cases, time only makes it easier to bear those wounds and everyone handles these kinds of things differently.
 CynthiaSM
Joined: 2/24/2012
Msg: 25
Dating a Suicide Survier
Posted: 9/18/2013 7:04:30 PM
Assuming that OP is still reading -

I agree with everyone above who said to work through the emotional issues before even trying to date. One clue will be you stop using the term "suicide survivor" as if 1) you were the suicide who survived and 2) your gf's (of a self-proclaimed short time) death defines your life.

As far as dating worthiness after a previous date kills themselves - it shouldn't impact your datability if you don't make it a big deal. I know, 2 of my past boyfriends killed themselves; one jumped out the 8th floor window, one gassed himself in the garage. This is not information I hide from men I date. I just don't make it front and center. It is not first, second, or even third date information.
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