Five Things to Consider for the Widowed and Dating
Have you experienced the loss of the love of your life? After the mourning of such a tragic loss, you may finally feel ready to date again or just to put yourself out there. To be widowed and dating takes strength and asking yourself tough questions. If you are in this situation, ask yourself these important questions before you put yourself out in the dating pool.
#1: Are you ready to make room for someone new?
Whether you were married for a year or just celebrated a golden anniversary, the death of a spouse is a trying time. After a period of mourning, you might find the desire for companionship again, but are you ready to make room for someone new? Do you have room in your life for a new companion who will bring their own life experiences? Making room for someone should be both a physical and mental consideration . You must remember that you are not replacing your late spouse but you are creating space in your life for new experiences. You will always have the memories you shared with that person, but you need to make the room emotionally in your heart before you welcome a new person into your life.
#2: Are you still comparing others to your late spouse?
With new relationships, do you find yourself saying something similar to, “Oh my husband or wife was so much better at…”? Before entering a new relationship, remember that you are only part of this new relationship. No one wants to enter a relationship with you, only to be compared to someone you loved and lost. Maybe in your eyes, your late spouse was the perfect partner, but you need to find quality traits in your new relationship without making the new partner sit in a shadow of your previous love.
#3: Are you looking for an exact replica of your spouse?
If you feel like you have lost the love of a lifetime, it might seem like the best scenario is to find the perfect replacement of your late spouse. However, that’s not really fair to a new relationship. Be open to potential mates, even if they do not fit the profile of your late spouse or have different qualities than the person you loved. You have to consider how you would feel in the same situation, since everyone wants to be their own person, rather than being loved because they resemble another person physically or mentally.
#4: Are you able to be vulnerable about your feelings related to being widowed?
Being widowed brings up feelings that you may not be readily able to share. However, once you make a new connection, you will need to be open and vulnerable rather than putting up a wall. Showing your true feelings will help future partners understand where you have been. Doing so will help you work through your emotions and help potential partners gain more insight into you and your experiences.
#5: Are you ready to introduce someone new to your family?
Every situation is different when it comes to introducing a new partner to your family. Do you have young children that will be impacted by a new person in their lives? Are your children older and carrying on with their own lives, less likely to be impacted with a new introduction? Maybe you don’t have children, but everyone loved your late spouse and can’t imagine you with anyone else. It’s important to not prejudge the situation without all of the facts. Bring up your new partner to your family to gain perspective on how they would react to a new person in your life. Every situation is unique and needs to be processed differently. If you aren’t ready to introduce a new person to your family, let your potential partner know that in advance. If you need to be more serious before introducing them to the family, speak freely about your situation. You don’t want them to feel like a secret because you haven’t been open about your past.
Whether you were recently widowed or you are recovering from years of mourning your late spouse, you are most likely handling emotions and situations that are new to you in the realm of dating. Remember to be honest and open with new partners and dates. Honesty will put everyone on the same page. Be open with your feelings about your late spouse and where you fit in the world of dating.