How to Date After the Death of a Spouse

October 2, 2012
How to Date After the Death of a Spouse

The Dalai Lama once said, “It is worth remembering that the time of greatest gain in terms of wisdom and inner strength is often that of greatest difficulty.”

I have never lost a spouse and will never pretend to know what it feels like, but I am an optimistic person. I’d like to think that if my husband passed, I’d spend the time I needed to mourn, and then I would realize that life and love are beautiful things. I’d never “move on,” but I’d certainly be open to love again.

For senior women — who very well could have been with their husband for decades — how long should you mourn? And if you meet a man after the death of your spouse, when should you bring up your widow status and open up about the experience?

How long should the mourning period be?

There is no right or wrong answer to this. People will tell you that you should either get out there and start dating or that you’re moving too fast. I know it’s hard, but try to not listen to any of them.

You are the only person who knows how long you will mourn. One day you will wake up and no longer feel like the weight of the world is on your chest.

The conversation depends on a lot of factors.

When it comes to bringing up your widow status, that conversation depends on a lot of factors.

If you meet a man who is a widower, then you’re going to get a whole lot more empathy and understanding. If you start dating a man who has never lost a spouse, then it will take longer to ease him into comprehending the pain you’ve experienced by losing a partner.

Like I said, I’ve never lost a spouse. I have no idea what it feels like. But I am a lover of life and a lover of love. I’d like to think it’s possible to have more than one true love in your life. I’d like to think it’s possible to always behold the memory of your husband and realize that you deserve the chance to be happy again.

Kara Pound is an award-winning journalist based in St. Augustine, Fla. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Flagler College. Her work has been published in INKED, Natural Awakenings, Design Aglow, Memphis Flyer, Jacksonville Magazine, E/Environmental Magazine and dozens more. Check out some of Kara's work at karapound.com. Connect with her on Google+.

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4 Responses

    My grandmother lost her husband 4 years ago and she had to move into my mom’s house while mourning. It was hard for a lot of us because she cried a lot but it has been a couple years where she doesn’t show her emotions as much. Now that she’s in an older home/apartment I can tell she’s made more male friends and they’re a nice companion to her lifestyle :)

    It’s also difficult when there’s kids involved. If they’re older and are capable of letting you see someone “replace” dad, then it might be easy. If there’s younger kids I imagine a widowed woman would want to think of their kids first sometimes.

      This goes for divorced women, too. My kids definitely needed some time before they were okay with the idea of me seeing men other than their dad. Give them at least a year, then ask them how they’re feeling about the whole thing.

    Don’t trust on line dating so I’m just looking to meet new friends in the Etters Pa camp Hill Pa area. My husband passed away over a year ago & I sit home most of the time alone. I more or less shut myself in & I hate it. I’d need to make friends so I can get out & forget some much that’s going on in my life that’s making me a nerves reck. I feel so much better when I’m with people I tend to come out of my shell. I’d like to make new friends to sit around at dinner or movie shopping taking short trips even thou I’m not good with maps or GPS. I’d even enjoy having another female spend a few days with me just so we can hang out. Not sure if I’m ready to hang out with a guy yet unless I know he’s a real true gentlemen & likes the same things I do. I tend to hang around people younger then myself I guess because I don’t really look my age. I’m 70 but still act like a kid at times. I’m a outside worker as well as inside. I’ll climb a ladder to jumping over a wall to take a short cut. I’m on my quiet side around people at first & not real good around a gang of people. So if anyone knows how to meet people like myself let me know.

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