7 Signs a Widow is Ready To Date | Widower Friend With Benefits
1) Cleansing What Remains From Their Marriage
Although divorcees may have gone through a lengthy separation, they can still hold onto some of their spouse’s leftover stuff—particularly items that are not even sight, such as photos and videos on computers or cell phones and items in email boxes.
Dumping these mental reminders can be one of the most complicated steps for dating again after divorce and moving forward into a new relationship (or relationships). Cleansing what remains from their marriage is usually best done after talking about them (with someone like friends or therapists), but it’s essential for widows; if you’re no longer re-living those moments with your spouse, it’s time to let go of them too.
2) Becoming Comfortable With Being Single Again
We’ve seen too many widows or widowers rush into new relationships without giving themselves time to heal emotionally from their loss. This leads many down unhealthy paths and can put them in situations they wouldn’t otherwise consider. Before you meet someone new, you need time to deal with your grief, learn how to be alone again, and regain your independence.
Remind yourself that it’s OK to do things by yourself and go out with friends instead of asking someone on a first date. Most importantly, remember it may take time before you feel confident in dating again; if at any point you feel like things are moving too fast, step back and take some time for self-reflection. You might be surprised by what comes up!
3) Getting Used To The Changes in Their Bodies
One of those changes that are sure to come up? Their body will never be quite what it was before their loved one passed away, and that’s OK. It’s not uncommon for widows and widowers in their 60s, 70s, and beyond to find new partners as they get older because life still offers so much.
However, it can take some time for them to get used to some of these changes in their bodies – again, whether physical or emotional – but there are ways to ease into dating and even be intimate again when they’re ready.
4) Clearing Out Clutter From Their Lives and Minds
It’s one thing for someone to be grieving, but add in all of life’s day-to-day obligations, and you can start feeling overwhelmed by grief. It’s normal for widows/widowers to feel a little lost as they reenter society after having such an intense focus on someone else for so long.
Changing scenery or turning off their smartphones at night can help give their lives back some balance and free up some mental energy by providing care 24/7 while their spouse is sick. Remember, it may not happen overnight, but people do get better with time—and there are many things we can do ourselves (like getting organized!) to help speed that process along.
5) Letting Go Of Holding On To Memories
For most of us, breaking out of our day-to-day routine and meeting new people can be intimidating, but it’s also one of life’s great pleasures. If you have lost a spouse—or even just had a significant change in your life, such as graduating from college or changing jobs—then take it upon yourself to reach out and meet some new people.
Your world has changed, so why not seek out opportunities that allow you to make new friends? And remember: There’s no better way to honor your lost loved one than by building your happiness in their absence!
6) Building A New Circle of Friendships
You’ll be going through some changes post-widowhood, and one of those changes may include a need for new friends. When thinking about your new circle of friends, try not to focus on how you will replace your spouse, but rather think about what qualities that person had and see if you can find them in others. Did they love reading? Look for someone who often reads, too!
Did they like sports? Look for someone who shares your interest! It’s OK to have preferences for friendship because it’s essential to have people in your life who understand you and your situation. Even though there will always be a special place in your heart for your late spouse, don’t feel guilty about moving forward with friendships. The more social support you have, the better off you’ll be coping with grief.
There is no timetable for making new friends; however, research has shown that widows tend to start dating or remarrying after approximately two years (or less) following their spouse’s death. The idea of being a widow or widower doesn’t necessarily mean being alone forever.
Many widows form successful relationships and even marry again after their loss. A 2014 study Research found that nearly half (49 percent) of widowed individuals over 50 years old are interested in dating again, while 14 percent say they’re already dating again—the same percentage that says they’d want another marriage down the road.
7) Returning To Dating If Necessary
When you’re grieving after losing your spouse, it’s normal to feel like you never want to be intimate again. While that can certainly be true, it’s also possible that you might eventually find yourself ready for dating again—in which case, there are a few things worth knowing about how (, and when) it’s OK for widows and widowers to get back into the game.
After all, once love and sex have become part of your life in one way or another, there are few experiences more life-affirming than finding them anew.
We’ve already discussed how dating after losing your spouse will vastly differ from dating when you were single and unattached. Still, there are other things you should consider, including age, living situation, and finances. While it can be tough to think about starting over and even more challenging to get out there, it may be just what you need at that point in your life. You can feel empowered by being open-minded