There is a stigma on widows dating. People pass their judgments: It’s been so long since you lost your spouse…when are you going to get back out there? Your spouse has not been dead long enough, how can you be dating already? It seems there is no right time.
As widows, we can believe that we are not even “dating material”. Relationships can be hard enough without carrying all that “baggage” with you. It’s not like we expected our spouses to die so soon. In the beginning it can be difficult to imagine, and we might feel completely awkward being single again. It is far from something we planned.
Not to mention the comfort of being married. That it is okay to wear the granny panties that week of the month. The sexy lingerie that is stuffed in the back of the drawer for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. All the work that goes into being sexy enough is not always necessary when you have had a long night with your child sleeping between you and your spouse. When you wake up and you look like a lioness, makeup smudged all over your face and your husband still thinks you’re sexy. This comfort is gone, and you have to bring the “sexy back” as Justin Timberlake sang about.
Your life is now a big roller coaster that is nearly falling off the tracks. A grieving widow, with or without children, angry that you were shorted the time with your spouse. Probably borderline dysfunctional at times. Now that sounds like someone everyone is lining up to get a date with!
Then we start wondering if we are honoring our late spouse. Would this be acceptable to them? This can be a feeling of betrayal, so work hard on getting passed that feeling. I believe if it is acceptable to you, then it would be acceptable to your late spouse. Who knew your spouse better than you did?
You have a love for your spouse that will never leave your heart. It can be hard for others to understand and accept. They might even feel like they have to compete with it, but it’s nothing to compete with. We are capable of loving our late spouses and another person. It was not our choice that our spouses died. We still deserve to have love in our life.
We might be waiting to get through our grief before starting a new relationship, but frankly I do not know anyone that does not continue to experience grief for the rest of their life after they lose their spouse.
Love happens in your life. Our spouse died; that does not mean we turn the love button off in our lives. In the beginning you might say I will never even imagine dating another. Then one day you might be sitting across the booth from a friend, look up from your fish, turn red-faced and realize that you are starting to fall for him. Then get frightened the minute he asks you what’s wrong and decide to wait for a better opportunity to tell him how you feel. Don’t wait too long, because there might not be a “perfect” opportunity.
P.S. I told my friend.