Dating after the death of a spouse
Perhaps you’re ready to see the world and want to find someone who shares your wanderlust. The simplest is to ask friends if they know someone you’d enjoy meeting. Most people probably won’t think of suggesting this on their own (and if they do, they may hold back for fear of offending you).Or maybe a partner’s allergies compelled you to live without pets and now you’re ready to romp with a fellow dog lover. Factors that loomed large in the past—good looks, financial success, whatever—may pale in the present as you acknowledge the importance of a partner who is kind and supportive, or one who is funny and entertaining. If you’ve become a bit, er, casual in the weight, wardrobe or grooming departments, now’s the time to ratchet up your game. So actively encourage them to think of you as a single, eligible person.In short, grant yourself the freedom to gravitate to a whole new kind of person. Visit a salon or barbershop and ask how you could best update your hairstyle. Everyone’s circle of close friends is necessarily limited, however, so mention your quest even to those you don’t know well.Seek out a clothing consultant or personal shopper — someone who can advise you on a flattering look and help you pick out items to achieve it. Research shows that many opportunities come through our “weak ties,” or people we know largely in passing: hairdresser, chiropractor, a neighbor’s visiting sister—even your seatmate on a flight! Most well-known dating sites have a large contingent of “seekers” in their 50s, 60s and 70s (and some in their 80s and even 90s), and several reputable sites are now completely free.Just make sure that you can honor your spouse and still be emotionally prepared for this new chapter of your life.Keogh says that overwhelming feelings of guilt can be an indication that you’re not quite ready to get back out there.Keogh also writes that it’s natural for your date to want to know about your late spouse if he didn't know him while he was alive.
You are really vulnerable right after losing your mate and your decisions are naturally a little shaky to say the least.
However, dating should not be a therapy session, according to Keogh.
If you find yourself needing to have lengthy conversations about your late spouse and your grief, invest in professional help rather than unloading an emotional burden on to your date.
In particular, avoid over-reminiscing about your old life; it may make your new acquaintance feel excluded. You may long to clone your lost love, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever meet an exact replica of the one you were with. After all, the person you met at age 25 changed over a lifetime, and so did you.
Now you’re in a different stage, with a redrawn horizon.