Moving Forward After Widowhood

dating a widower

The loss of a spouse is one of the most stressful events one can experience. It closes a door on the hopes, dreams, and ambitions we shared with our loved one, and time stops as we face our grief one day at a time. But while our life pauses, the world remains in motion and slowly, at our own pace, as the healing process permits, we may consider seeking a new partner. But when is the right time? How soon should we start? Aren't we betraying our loved ones, our family, maybe even ourselves? If you're asking these kinds of questions, you're ready for some answers.

Grief is a complex process.

The truth is none of us process grief in the same way or at the same speed. A broken leg will heal faster for some and slower for others; a broken heart will behave similarly. After some time has passed, whether months or years, a desire to open our hearts again will emerge. Dating a widower/widow is not that difficult as you thought it would be. Just take it slowly and start from friends. If you've wondered when the right time might be, just follow your heart.

Nothing says you have to do anything you aren't ready to do.

It's possible to re-enter the dating scene only to discover you aren't ready to be there. Sometimes a widow realizes the death of a spouse offers up previously-unavailable freedoms. If you lived in a particular area because of your spouse's job, you're now free to move somewhere new. If you held off cooking a certain type of food because your spouse was allergic or didn't care for the smell, you can reclaim that aspect of yourself. For some there is strength in this autonomy, and you may feel unwilling to give up this newly found independence. Live for you until you're ready to start doing otherwise.

Moving forward doesn't mean forgetting.

Dating someone new is starting a new chapter in your life's story. You're continuing the Book of You, not abandoning the previous chapters. Remember how happy you were with your spouse, and realize the best way to honor their memory is to smile. We treasure the time we spent with our loved ones, but they wanted what was best for us. If that's to find a new companion, then it's not wrong to pursue that direction.

Others may not understand...and that's OK.

Our friends and family may expect things to go differently. They may hold personal, religious, or social beliefs that do not align with yours when it comes to a new relationship. Remember when they express their doubts or concerns they aren't doing so to undermine your feelings, and that's doubly true of your own children. They're trying to grieve in their own way, and your pace may not sync with theirs. Communication is key: let them know you value their friendship and understand their concerns are heart-felt, but never forget your life is your own. You are still entitled to live the rest of it, even after a devastating loss.

There's never been a better time to seek knowledge. Information is available at the click of a button, and there are countless resources from personal counselors and books through discussion forums and local groups available no matter where you live. Don't be afraid to explore, to read, and to question. Widowhood closes one chapter of life, but it does not end the story. There are more pages yet to fill, and you are entitled write every one of them in your own unique style. There is site called ourtime for singles over 50. If you are a member already, go to outime login page to start your new chapter.