Dating After You Are Widowed: The Pitfalls and Pluses

The desire to form a new romantic connection after the loss of a spouse is a positive and healthy one. Our ability to bond with other people has an enormous effect on our well-being. Dating after you are widowed can have physical and psychological benefits. Not only will you feel more confident, but you will also combat depression. Entering a new relationship will boost happiness and provide emotional support. Research even suggests the comfort of having a companion can make you live longer.

If you are considering dating again be prepared to deal with some family interference. While you are doing something that is good for you, it may not prevent your family or friends from offering negative opinions. Likely, you have already battled your own feelings of guilt regarding faithfulness to your deceased spouse, but family members close to your spouse may still pass judgment of your decision. Try not to let this dissuade you if you are ready to consider dating again know that you absolutely have the right to do so. In time, your happiness will bring them peace too.

If you are an older widowed person, please beware of romance scams. Online dating and social media sites are one of the easiest ways to meet someone who is also looking to date, but romance scams are just one-way con artists might exploit older adults. A lack of tech-savviness combined with loneliness make older widows and widowers the perfect target for a romance scam. Watch out for anyone who asks you for money after only chatting with you for a short period of time. Be wary of forms of money that are not just sending a check or wiring money, such as phone cards or other gift cards. It’s also good to be cautious of someone asking you to receive money. The financial strain you might feel after losing your spouse could make it seem that an offer of money by someone you’ve started to connect with romantically is a caring gesture, but you should consider this a red flag. If someone is asking you to deposit money for them, they are possibly trying to hook you into a more complicated money scam. Take your time getting to know someone you met online and keep your finances separate.

One of the great advantages of dating after you are widowed is that you have already experienced some of the struggles married couples face as they learn how to compromise and build a life together. Having all of those lessons behind you means you can enter a new romance with a strong sense of self. You know what you want in a partner, what you are willing to put up with and what you are not. You are seasoned in skills like cooperation, forgiveness and the joy of making up.

If you are considering dating after you are widowed, know that you are doing something that is important for your peace, comfort, and enjoyment in life. Some family and friends may easily accept and embrace your decision to date again, others may require more time. Remember that your happiness lies within you, not them. It is always wise to enter the dating world cautiously, but with a love that is wide open.

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  1. Tammethy Whitlock says

    I lost my husband in July 2018, 5 months before our 30th wedding anniversary. I still miss him, think about him everyday and I still love him with all my heart. I still cry a little bit everyday for him. I know he’s in a better place and no longer suffers with all the pain he lived with. But I still can’t believe he’s really gone and will never come back to the boys and me.
    All of that is still very real to me but I have another bigger situation that I’m dealing with and can’t seem to get a handle on. I have a current boyfriend that has been living with me for a little over a year. He treated me bad with his attitude and getting mad over things that really didn’t matter. We fight, argue all the time and I’ve never been in a relationship like this before. I do feel like he’s using me for a place to stay, money, etc. I really thought I loved him though but he started with the wanting to control me, where I went, who I was with and I don’t want that at all. About 3 weeks ago I told him that I wanted him that I wanted to be by myself. I’ve never been totally, completely by myself. From birth to the age of 20 I lived with my mom, then from the age of 20 until I was 50 I lived with my husband and our sons. I’m basically at a time in my life that I’m free to do what I want. I don’t want to answer to anyone anymore. I asked him to pack his stuff and leave. He says he doesn’t have anywhere to go but I’ve given him plenty of time to find somewhere else to live. He asks me all the time why do I want to be by myself, he says that I’m going to hate it. I tell him the reason that I stated above, I’ve NEVER been by myself and I still need some time to mourn. I told him that I may not like it but I wanted to see. He, of course, thinks I want to date other people but that’s not it at all. I know all about an eviction notice and I’m pretty sure that’s the next route I’ll have to take. I’m just asking does anyone know if there is anything else I can do to get him to leave without hurting a friendship that I still want?

    Eager to know,

  2. Phillip Lane Freeman says

    Get out of that situation ASAP. He gave up his right to friendship when he started disrespecting you. You realize your situation and stated the reason. Now it is time to take action and put yourself back in control.

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