Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Getting Started With Dating After Losing Your Spouse

When widowed men and women call me to pick my brain about dating, many of them tell me it's taken them a lot of time to be ready to make the phone call...and are often not sure they're actually ready to date.

That's understandable.

In many cases, they are people in their 60s or 70s who had marriages that lasted over 40 years. They spent most of their lives being married--often very happily to someone they  considered to be their best friend and soul mate--and it's hard for them to imagine being with anyone else. 

Also understandable.

But a son or daughter or a good friend or sibling urged them to think about moving forward in life and told them their deceased spouse would want them to be happy again. Or they reach a point where they're tired of not having a partner...and want to explore a bit to see how the dating world has changed since they last dated. So they call me to figure out what steps to take to get started. 

They initially ask me:
- Should they try online dating? 
- Are there groups or activities where they could meet nice people for dating? 
- Is there any chance of meeting someone even half as wonderful and compatible as their spouse was?

The answer to all 3 questions is YES. Let me address each one:

Yes, they should try online dating because that's a good place to find people their age. The over-50 demographic has been the fastest-growing group joining dating sites for several years now. And, for women especially, that's where the men are. Men prefer using their computers instead of going to singles groups or other activities. That's been true for a very long time. They can use the key word "widowed" on any of the large sites to locate other widowed people (who, in my opinion, would be their best match). And there's even a dating site specifically for those who've lost a spouse: https://widowsorwidowers.com/

Yes, there are many groups and activities where they could meet nice people for dating. I can recommend some in their local area, and I also urge them to try Meetup.com (https://www.meetup.com) to search for groups of folks who share their hobbies and interests. I also recommend that they stay in touch with people from any bereavement/support groups they attended or join any social groups that grow out of the bereavement group since they'll feel most comfortable with other widowed people. I know several widowers who dated women they'd met in such groups. 

Yes, there is definitely a chance of meeting someone as wonderful as their spouse was. I know a couple, each of whom was around age 45 with 3 teenage children when they lost their spouse. They met at a book discussion group and hit it off right away. They were married 2 years later. They are very compatible and very much in love. And these happy-ending stories are more common than you might think.

If you or someone you know lost a spouse, grieved the loss and is relatively healed, and now feels ready to start over, let me know. It warms my heart to help widows and widowers have hope again...and possibly even to find love again!



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