Epic thoughts on making widowhood dating easier, or bearable, and just darn possible probably come about like many things in life: all experience. Find out in this 3-minutes 30-second read.
It must be my husband Marty honestly spoiled me in the 47 years we were blessed in our marriage. Inside the life of our marriage, I felt it was typical with high points, low points, and sometimes the mundaneness during all those years. Dating at 72 is changing my perspective about a long-term relationship.
Thought #1. Decide if you want to date and know your objectives.
My objectives are different from when I was 19 years old, yet some expectations don’t change. If you read about one of my first dating experiences, you’d know, if my guy has health habits that disgust me, the relationship is done. Finished. Complete.
I knew I wanted to date and have male companionship again about 2 years after my husband died. One couple who stayed in my life invited me over for a casual Memorial Day grill out, and there happened to be a recently divorced man they also invited. Cozy foursome.
We talked, ate, drank, and laughed for hours. We were even making plans for another get-together as the four of us.
My friends swear there were no matchmaking intentions, and thankfully, there was no match. However, I was feeling more alive. I knew what I had to do.
Thought #2. Explore different ways to meet men. For you, it might be women.
My husband was an extrovert and introduced me to life experiences I might not otherwise have experienced, like our interest in cars, boating, star gazing.
So I listed ways and places to meet men, including telling friends dating is in my new plans, small groups, bars, car shows, and new – online dating for me.
Online dating seems to attract me because of my internet experience, and I feel more secure keeping some distance between men and me.
For me finding first dates has been relatively easy online and it can be for anyone. It’s just that finding that someone you want to see again that’s my challenge.
Thought #3. Have an exit plan if the vibes are off or it’s just not working, particularly for that first date.
It was the third man I was dating for a second time. Let’s call him Dick. He was pretty amorous, bringing a dozen yellow roses with him for a breakfast date the first time we met.
We talked on the way to the table for the lunch date and a little more chit-chat as we looked through the menus. Then a curveball I wasn’t expecting. With a serious tone, he asked, “Would you mind if we split the bill?”
I’m not sure if he had the same menu as I did; however, there were lunch specials at $10, and it didn’t seem to me like a lot. It was confusing for me. However, I reluctantly said yes.
When the waitress returned to take the order, she looked at Dick and stated, “I presume this is one check?” He shook his head no. As she appeared to make that note, she looked at me and rolled her eyes in disbelief.
That’s when I knew an exit plan is something needed for particular situations. I’ve got family and friends who know if they get just one word in a text from me, “Help!” They will call me, and we improvise me having to say to that particular date, “I’m so sorry, but I have got to get to my friend who needs help.”
I’ve never looked back. It’s the things you can find out so quickly that might be a flag waving you on.
Thought #4. Have your list in mind of what you want in your companion and what would be non-negotiable deal-breakers.
Having no idea this was necessary, I created this list after meeting someone online with a topsy turvy 10 month-long narcissistic relationship with a Jack.
There were flags everywhere I ignored. And when you have no less than 10 family members and friends call out each warning, it’s best to pay attention.
But this first encounter made it easier for me to make a list. I mean, I could just list everything I loved about my husband. But now, this is a different list. This is the man on the way to me.
So, I took everything offensive, manipulative, or abusive with Jack and turned it around. Unfortunately, the list is more refined with 2 years of dating and meeting about 12 or 13 men. But my dates are getting closer to what I believe in my heart would be an excellent relationship.
Thought #5. Dating means extra extraordinary self-care.
Maybe you’re reading and wondering, what’s wrong with her? How many men does she need to meet? I often think dating is like selling experiences, “You’ve got to kiss a lot of toads before you meet the handsome prince.” And I guess I’m just as particular as many widows dating who know what they want.
When a relationship ends for me, it’s awful. Possibly because I put my whole self into it. I take the good and the bad as it unfolds and keep moving forward.
I’ve taken an online course to heal after being with the narcissist, and that taught me, sometimes the self-care actions are similar to when my husband first died: immersed in self-care of my choosing. Massage, manicure pedicure, magnesium salt bath, purposeful daily intention, plenty of journaling, and the list goes on.