Dating as a Widow
Losing a close one can be painful. For a wife, it’s even more when her husband passes away. Old or young, the grief is the same. And, even if, with time things get better, the heart is never fully healed. In such a scenario, not many contemplate dating. Some that do are torn between guilt and the need for companionship. To top it off, there are always freely-available advisors and cynical critics around. They can make life and dating decisions pretty challenging.
Yes, if you are a widow and have chosen to date, kudos! Because it takes a lot of courage and empathy to arrive at this decision. People may view you as self-centered, but this is a decision that’s more about your happiness than anyone else’s.
How to Date as a Widow?
Losing a spouse can hurt bad for a long time. The underlying feeling of loneliness, along with the grief, can make things worse. There are over-riding thoughts of guilt and being selfish in seeking happiness when you decide to date amidst all this.
Overcoming doubts and inhibitions: One of the first things that come to mind is whether ‘i am ready to date or not. That’s natural. You will always have people who would drop in hints to say that it’s time to start dating. And, there would always be another set of people who would give you scornful looks and pass on spiteful remarks about how you should have waited for a couple of years.
What makes it all worse is your own self-doubt about the issue. If you have dependent kids, there are even more apprehensions and inhibitions. Dating as a single mom is not easy. To voyage through all these negative feelings and thoughts is challenging, to say the least.
The bottom line is that there will always be good days and bad days. Some days you’ll feel that it is the right step, and on the other days, you’ll probably loathe yourself for this decision. Let’s face it – it is not a simple domain where you press a button and get an answer. You are not going to wake up one fine day with all the negative thoughts out and you are back to your pre-wedded era.
What is important is to retrospect and value your happiness. What is that you want?
Be patient, it will take some time: This is a piece of advice you need to always keep in mind. Finding the right date for a widow can be a slow process. There are no fixed rules for this. Even when a single unmarried person seeks a date, things take their own sweet time. Being a widow can be more complicated, and you may not find a like-minded person soon. So, you need to hold on to the last shreds of patience that you have. Being impatient can end in a faulty decision, and you may regret it later.
So, be cautious; give it time, and be prepared to undergo the emotional ups and downs of the dating scene. Things can get overwhelming way too often.
Online dating: Finding a date in the real world, meeting up with people one-to-one, etc., can be emotionally and physically taxing. If you still going through your self-doubt period, things might get quite murky.
A safe and cautious way to approach dating as a widow is to date online. You can choose credible dating sites after reading online dating reviews. If you are not too sure, you can start with the best free dating sites and then sign-up for a premium membership once you are sure that you find it all satisfying and exciting.
The plus points are multiple.
- There are dedicated online dating sites for widows. So, when you sign-up, you can be sure to meet people who are seeking to date a widow. This can make things a bit less stressful.
- Paid online dating sites are safe. There is money involved – hence, you can be sure that you will not come across spam or fake individuals.
- There are dating sites that cater to different relationship goals. So, if you want a serious, dedicated relationship, there are specific dating sites to choose from. If you are interested in simply mingling and a causal relationship, there are dedicated sites for that too.
- When you are all ready to meet the date in person, ensure that you take all necessary precautions when meeting an online date for the first time.
When should a widow start dating?
Some widows take to the dating scene very quickly, while some take years. And some never date again. But, within all these three classes of widows, it is essential that they are happy with what they choose to do.
There is no thumb rule about the right timeframe for dating as a widow. What is essentially important is to assess how you feel about the dating scene and whether or not you are ready for a relationship. You need to be emotionally, physically, and mentally ready to give your hundred percent to the new relationship.
Sometimes, you may feel that you are fine and it’s time and yet when you meet or talk to someone, you may want to back off. That’s fine. Sometimes, you may approach the entire scene with caution, and that could make your date weary, but that’s completely normal. Take your time but do what gives you happiness.
The right time is different for each one. You will automatically get to know when it is right for you, and you are ready to start a new journey. Keep a lookout for that sign when the little voice in your heart gives you the go-ahead indication.
Signs that you are ready to date again
- You are back to normal life and have been comfortably going about doing your everyday functioning. You may still feel sad about losing him, but overall, your grief is in control.
- You are mostly happy about the current state of affairs and are confident about yourself.
- When you find that you are no more comparing everyone to your late husband.
How to deal with the first relationship after being widowed?
When you walk into a new relationship which is also the first one after being widowed, lock up all the skeletons from the past in an attic and throw the key into the sea (not literally though).
Take care of these things in your new relationship:
- Stop the urge to compare your new partner with your husband.
- Give this relationship an equal chance to grow and thrive.
- Commit only when you are fully ready.
- Take small steps. Don’t rush.
- Don’t look back with guilt as if you are betraying your husband. It’s normal to seek companionship and love when you are all alone.
- Listen to others but do what your heart tells you to do.
- Take things in stride and conquer the need to pay the victim card with this new person.
Dating as a widow problems
Some of the problems that you might face as a widow while entering the dating scene again are:
- Meeting people who are insensitive to your emotional setup and feelings for your husband.
- If you have kids, they could have issues with you dating a new person.
- You are prone to emotional outbursts that arise from a feeling of guilt. You may feel torn between your feelings for your husband and the new person.
- You are still talking only about your husband and the good times you had with him.
- You are comparing the new person with your husband in every small aspect.
- You are dating on a rebound.
Precautions while dating as a widow
Now that you are ready to date, it is pertinent that you do not just rush into anything. Take your time, evaluate the conditions, assess your thoughts and feelings, and do all of this time and again. You need to be cautious because you cannot let someone come along and take advantage of your gullible state.
- Trust your instincts.
- Make connections but start first within your social network.
- Online dating is a good option as you first get to know the person online and then meet.
- Be honest but only when you are confident in the other person.
- Convey your relationship goals at the beginning itself so that the other person has no reason to doubt or assume.
- Keep your kids in the loop.
- Keep your family members and friends informed of where you are going, who you are meeting, etc.
- When meeting the person, do so in a public place.
- Share his contact details with your family and friends.
- Say no and leave if you feel unsafe at any time.
Dating as a widow could be a continued tussle with emotional upheavals and outbursts. You may be bothered by questions. There could be doubts about how you feel, should you go ahead, etc. The best way is to give yourself time, grieve to your heart’s content and start only when you feel confident about sharing your private space with another person.