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Dating after being widowed young

When you've lost the person you loved, the idea of dating again can seem almost unthinkable.


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How easy is it to start a relationship after being bereaved? Three couples tell their stories. C arole Henderson was only 40 when she lost her husband Kevin to skin cancer in Eighteen months on, she was ready to start dating again.

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We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targetedanalyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. I was at the cemetery when I decided to set up my first online dating profile. I was widowed at 38 and had plenty of dating years ahead of me. My friends assured me that the way to meet people was via the internet.

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But what did I know about the world of online dating, from writing a catchy bio to appearing attractive in digital form? My research into the best online dating sites for widows and widowers was not encouraging.

My friends laughed along with me when the first photo we pulled up on one widow dating website was of a man who was clearly older than my father. Where were all the other young widows and widowers? I looked into more mainstream dating sites. Yes, I could list that I was a widow on my profile. But would that scare men away? Worse, might it draw creepy men, like the ones who pretended to be widowers and stalked my Facebook ? I spent hours trying to figure out what to put in the forms online.

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But as I thought about whether to actually make my profile live, the bigger question remained unanswered. Even if I manage to communicate that I am a widow before the first date, a load of baggage remains. Is he supposed to ask about my late husband?

Am I supposed to avoid my loss entirely? Recently, I met a handsome stranger and we got to talking about religion and spirituality. Not surprisingly, it had the effect of stopping all conversation.

A romance with someone who has lost a spouse may progress at a different pace

Of course it did. This type of behavior — speaking before I could really think about my response — is something I found is common for many widows.

What you see is what you get. In my case, that means you get a year-old widow with three young. How do you put that on a profile?

Another found love in a grief group, only to find out that the man was horribly demeaning and all they really shared was the incredible bad luck that brought them to the group. But when I look at my digital options, I feel overwhelmed by even the seemingly small issues that arise all the time. Most of the formerly married people I see online are divorced.

While I am of course okay with dating a divorced man, I have found that widows and divorcees have different points of view about the past. Divorce — even one that was amicable — severs a relationship with some degree of clarity and purpose. The death of a spouse is more complicated.

The issue remains that my past relationship is not gone because either of us chose it. I guess that encapsulates why it is so difficult to date a widow, especially a young one like me whose loss is so new. Shawn lingers over my life like a fog. Though I see his continuing presence in my life as a beautiful morning mist that surrounds me with love, I worry that my potential dates will see it as a murky haze that makes real communication impossible.

Maybe the real problem is that any affection I might feel for another man would always be shared, at least in some way. A widower would understand this. But most of the men in my potential dating pool are not widowed, and thus, it can feel impossible to explain how I might be able to move forward with someone new while also keeping a piece of my heart with my late husband.

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So the dilemma remains. A few days after setting up my online profiles, I decided to take them down. As I dried my tears, I thought about Shawn. It was true.

Before we started dating, Shawn was my friend, and he used to offer me dating advice. Marjorie Brimley is a high school teacher and mother of three. She spends her nights replaying the weird encounters that go along with being a recent widow and blogging about them at DCwidow.

You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Do you have a story to share? Read our submission guidelinesand pitch us at firstperson vox. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower through understanding.

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Financial contributions from our readers are a critical part of supporting our resource-intensive work and help us keep our journalism free for all. Cookie banner We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targetedanalyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from.

By choosing I Acceptyou consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. I knew dating as a widow would be difficult. But the hardest part surprised me. Reddit Pocket Flipboard. Did I really want to do this?

My husband died. What was I supposed to tell my date? My late husband is still part of my life I guess that encapsulates why it is so difficult to date a widow, especially a young one like me whose loss is so new. First Person How American parents became obsessed with gender. First Person Critical race theory hysteria overshadows the importance of teaching kids about racism.

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