I have been hesitant to write about this for a very long time, but after speaking to a widow who is in the early stages of her journey, I thought this might be helpful.
I began dating about a year after Howie died. I didn’t know if I was quite ready, but a friend told me about a guy who was “perfect for me” and she was hoping I would go out with him before someone else “scooped him up”.
The first words he said to me when we spoke on the phone were “So, I hear I’m your guinea pig”. It was a great opening line and, when we both laughed, I had hopes that the date would be a good one. It was. We dated casually for a couple of months. All in all, a great first experience.
After that, I went on a few dates that didn’t amount to anything, and a few that turned into minor relationships. One of them was a widower whose story was similar to mine, but it just didn’t work out.
I eventually met a guy on my own (no dating sites, not a set-up) who I assumed would be another short-term thing. Great guy, but for many reasons I did not think he was someone I saw as long-term.
Long story short, we dated on and off for about two years. Eventually, instead of seeing the reasons why he wasn’t good for me, I began to see the reasons why he was. I just wasn’t fully ready earlier. We have been happily in a committed relationship for the past three years. He has brightened my world.
Being a widow/widower in a relationship is a lot different being divorced or never married. Everyone has their baggage, but a widow has a whole different set:
- Timing – is it too early to date? Or have I waited too long? There is no right answer to this. Everyone should date when they are ready, and not listen to anyone who tries to judge.
- Kids – this is a two-parter:
- Worry – we worry that our kids will feel like we are trying to replace their dad, and how they will be affected by our dating.
- Time – we don’t have any. There are no every other weekends and nights during the week that we have to ourselves. Depending on the age of our kids, it can be extremely difficult to begin a relationship like this.
- Spouse’s Family – yes I know – they should understand that we need to move forward. If we are lucky (I am), they do, but we cannot help but feel sad for them to witness this.
- Friends – our new relationship is with a whole new person. This changes things, but that can sometimes leave us feeling, “where do I fit now?”.
- Your Home/Sleepovers – this situation can be weird, especially when kids are involved. It just is.
- Sleeping Out – I refer you back to #2 section 2 – we always have our kids.
- GUILT – this encompasses everything. We feel guilt in all we do. We survive while ours spouses do not. There is A LOT that comes with this – it can affect every aspect of our lives. Kids, family, work, friends – it is just there all the time.
I am lucky that I met a very understanding guy. This is not to say we don’t have issues when it comes to my life – we do, but we are able to work them out.
I am sure that many people judge widows when it comes to our navigation into the world of dating and relationships, no matter what decisions we make. That’s ok. Those who aren’t in our position are lucky but, having never been there, they can never understand it.
Widows are all different and so are our paths. Some choose to date and maybe even marry right away, some choose to not date for years, and there are a lot of scenarios in between.
We all do what feels right for us and our own situations but we all hope for a bright future.
On point perspective, Even from a male perspective.
Have felt all of this and do everyday. Article is right on point. People who haven’t lost a spouse have no idea. Have learned need to live for you and not anyone else, life is short as we know
Thankyou for allowing me to read you’re story. I lost my wife this year, could not cope with staying in our beautiful home, sold up, bought a motorhome and am wandering around europe. Waiting for life to give me new direction.
I am so sorry about your wife. I love what you are doing!
Hi my name is Michael I lost the live of my life..my pumpkin my baby…I don’t think I every called her by name Virginia..lol..me and Virginia Renae Link became Larson and I became a husband Aprail 22,2016…Renae was my first wife…This was new and exciting and I was in love… Never thought I would get married she went after me and was like so when we getting married…she said she saw good and alot of other things I didn’t think I had..but she said she did and that new that wanted to spend the rest of her life with me…I felt the same she became my best friend ,lover,partner in crime…lol…we both cryed when we made love…never have I felt that we truly became one…both were very strong in the Lord…so 4 years in everything is great…but her daguter Mary 24 years old and 7 months along…she had lost control of her car and was killed January 17, 2019….the baby didn’t make it..I was heart broken for Mary and the baby but for my Virginia…I knew what this meant and the work that was ahead of me….so month passed things start to look up…she starts online school getting good grades…March 2 ,2019 my mother passed in her sleep she was 63 years old… IAM the only child and this just got worse… My life is out of control …my life is now becoming a lifetime movie… My wife is not doing good and IAM not either I had become drained from Mary passing and baby…I was there for my wife but she wasn’t there for me I needed her bad…drugs became part of life and I was trying to keep her clean…she became sick and took her to the local er…they couldn’t find the mane issue so they gave her antibiotics…thought it was helping I got her off the drugs…she was looking like my baby might be ok…March 23,2019 chest pains trouble breathing…I get ready to take her to the er..I never forget what she said to me…baby I just want you to know if something happened I love you with all my heart…she fell to the ground started CPR…she had developed 2 blood clots on both her lungs they busted and she passed right before my eyes…so this some of my story…everyday I miss her voice her smell on an empty pillow next to mine…us snuggling I never thought I would become snuggle bug….I miss her laughter…it’s been 6 months it’s almost been worse here lately…we would always say I can not believe I found you and how in love with you IAM…my soul hurts it longs for my soulmate…I sit in a empity house with no wayout…my world has came crashing down…IAM truley lost help me
It’s been 18 months. I still feel like I’ve been hit by an eighteen wheeler and lived. Twenty six years, seven babies, and a mother in law who was never happy for us. We overcame many obstacles. We were building something together. I saw my husband’s wonderful qualities. Now, I just feel beat up and sad.