Dating as a widow is tough.
I had to relearn how to date after the death of my husband. Online dating sites were the norm. No more calls were the norm. Lying was the norm. Ghosting was the norm.
You go to meet one guy and he looks nothing like the picture or you have great conversations leading up to the date and boom…there was no connection.
I’ve had around 15-20 dates within the span of six years since the death of my husband and each one told a story. Many I have blocked (yep) and a few I still remain friends with but it took me a LONG time to even get to that point.
My husband taught me everything I knew, we met at 19, married at 22, and I lost him 25 years later. I’m no dating expert, but damn, I’ve been on several dates and man, what I’ve gone through has taught me so much like:
1. Not all men are dogs, you have to keep the faith. Men are like shoes; consider the shoe process when you go to try on shoes at the shoe store. Not all of them will fit because each shoe has its own characteristic and you must try them on first to determine if it fits your style.
2. It’s OK to fall in love again even if it doesn’t work. The thing is, you opened up to try. So don’t beat yourself up if one relationship didn’t work. No one will EVER fit the shoes your late husband wore so you must be open to a different ‘shoe.’
3. You’re still special even if he doesn’t think you are. Believe in yourself. Tell yourself that you’re hot! Many women also find it helpful to leave inspirational post-it notes on the bathroom mirror for daily self-assurance.
4. Online dating can be helpful to many; just be careful and learn the game. “What’s the game?” you ask? a) Learn how to be patient when selecting the match of your choice. b) Don’t feel the need to respond to every message; many of them are pre-written and sent to many other women c) Don’t feel the need to text them your pic (he has plenty to select from on your profile). d) If he ghosts you, he obviously wasn’t the one. It’s OK to get angry but don’t fester on it. Release your anger by treating yourself to something materialistic, such as sun glasses, a necklace or a nice top for your next date.
5. Allow yourself to have fun. Enjoy yourself while you’re waiting. Go to comedy clubs, join meetups (Meetups.com is the site for meeting new people) or read inspirational or self-discovery books during your break.
6. More than likely, you won’t get Mr. Perfect, and you have to be OK with that. So, remove a few things from your checklist, especially the parts about him needing to resemble, sound or even make love like your late husband.
7. Never settle. Stick with your main standards but also realize that he will not encompass everything that you have on your all-inclusive checklist.
8. Come out of your comfort zone and allow yourself to look beautiful. Put on a different color lipstick, try another perfume, or show a little skin. You can still be classy and yet feminine.
9. It’s your choice to be happy.
10. Date smart. Background check, background check, background check!
Good luck, ladies. I’m rooting for your chapter two!