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Would love some dating advice for the caregiver? How do you find folks to understand your situation? Anyone tried a dating site to connect with other caregivers?

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Yes - but I gave up on dating a long time ago. Now I don't have that much freedom - I'd just like to be free to go out on a week-end night to see a concert or play with girlfriends! I keep telling myself I enjoyed my freedom in my own apt for many years, but now it's a different phase in my life and I have to try to enjoy whatever free time I do have without mourning too much what I've given up. And of course it will be over someday and I can resume a "normal" life I hope. I don't think anyone really gets through life without some sacrifices of our time and I guess it makes us better people in the long run.
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If I had time for a date...I think I would rather use it sleeping. Sad, but true.
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LOL at all of your posts on here. Yeah, we're a bunch of lonely crazies... some more lonely, and some more crazy than others.

I went on my first date about a week ago since onset of full time caregiving life. I was surprised to find I'm pretty darn emotionally vulnerable in a way I wasn't expecting to be. I never thought of myself as "desperate" before but I felt that way, a little bit... it was like "please! like me! pick me! love me! I need rescuing!" Ugh. Didn't like it one bit.
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Dating?? What is that? When I divorced about 19 years ago my child and earning enough money to keep us afloat was all that consumed my everyday thinking. I have been caregiving for family since about 2003 and raising my daughter who is ready to graduate college. Honestly I have not had time to even look for someone to date, if I am not running a 100 miles an hour to care for the house, the bills, my mother, the dog, then I am passed out on my bed asleep. I would love some companionship and to go to a movie or out to dinner or a weekend away, but I don't know how you do that. This job is so incredibly demanding that I do not know of one person who would willingly walk into it or walk into a relationship with someone doing it. Now if you are able to hire a caregiver to work in shifts with you which gives you time off, that is wonderful, however I am 24/7.

I left 2 days ago to go on a 9 day vacation and left my unemployed sibling in charge, she has called me screaming at me every single day, and swears she is moving and will never do this again. Nine days is all I wanted!

So although I would LOVE to have a good relationship with a man, it looks pretty impossible to me, in my situation.

God Bless You in your search! I hope you find someone, I really do!!!
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Dating and caregiving? I think they are mutually exclusive! ;)

Seriously, it is a challenge - when is there time to develop romance if you are caring for a loved one? Almost a miracle, I'd say.
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I think for women who are caregiving and dating, it is not so much going on the actual date, but getting ready before the date; i.e., shower, wash, dry and set hair, full make-up, pick out clothes. Clean up apartment before he arrives, if he is picking you up at your apt., etc. Even meeting a blind date for coffee at a local mall or something, involves getting somewhat dressed up. When I am doing caregiving, I virtually wear no make-up, mostly baggy clothes, and flats.
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I just joined. After one of those particularly bad days with my Mother who has so many medical issues that is hard to remember them all and with no one to talk to about the myriad of pent up feeling and emotions that I deal with every day. I have read every post from each of you. All 34 pages. I must commend you all for doing what you do. All of your posts have given me some peace and a feeling of not being so isolated. I am on a few of those dating sites. I am actually trying to juggle dating and care giving without much success. At my age men are looking for spontaneity and want to travel. Most times when a possible date becomes aware of what being a full time caregiver is about they move on fast. I have had to take a leave of absence from my career so my financial future and my own retirement scare the heck out me. I have started some online classes hoping it will give me the opportunity to provide for myself and still care for my Mom. Yet still it is a lonely existence and it would be nice to just have someone around once in awhile but I do try to make lemonade from the lemons. Thank you all so much for sharing yourselves.
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im available on an online dating site or two but among my other percieved dysfunctions, im pretty sure that any guy living at his mothers house is considered a bum. its a stereotype ill just have to live with , back in my new house again , eventually..
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to daughteralone...Get a clue dear, if you can't get out at least once a week for R&R you will suffer loneliness and depression and won't be much good for yourself or your Mother. You are not an elder and you must have a life as well! Please find some dear friend to relieve you and stay with your elder for at least 6 to 8 hours twice a month at least! You may have to pay someone, network to find someone you trust with your elder. I have been there done that..never got a break and I got sick and lost the social beat..I am getting better now, and see how crazy "selflessness" is .
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mykabond, I'm single and a 24/7 caregiver for my 95 yr old dad with Alz., so like almost all other 24/7 caregivers there's no time to even think about dating, let alone go out on an actual date. But you may be on to something with an online dating site for single caregivers only who are doing this full time.

BoniChak, I agree, if I had the time, I'd rather be sleeping too.
whitesage and daughteralone - I so relate to what you're both saying.
I get two, 4 hour breaks a week. The paid caregiver gets here at 12:30pm; I've already put in at least 5 hours. Rarely am I ready myself to bolt out the door. I always spend about 10 minutes going over stuff with cg, so already 20 minutes gone. Then I race around like a maniac trying to run all my errands, grocery shop and be home with 15 mins to spare to put said groceries away, touch base with cg and start dinner. I still have another 4-5 hours to go before dad goes to bed........
This Friday, I'm just excited to be meeting 2 girlfriends for lunch!! I've alloted an hour and 1/2 for this. Found something half-way decent to wear (instead of my usual sweats/t-shirt) and am contemplating wearing some make-up - that is, if anything I have left is not totally dried out and I remember how to apply it and if I have the time to apply.

When this journey is over, I do want to date again (hopefully there will be some new product out by then to cover effectively cover the wrinkles, bags and lines).

myka, you're never alone on this board, 'one day at a time' and happy thoughts to you!!
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