Senior Dating

How to Date After the Death of a Spouse

Kara Pound Kara Pound • 10/02/12

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.