Dating after loss of spouse
About a year after Mort’s death, Mary felt ready to start taking baby steps to move on and meet new people.
“Mort had been a hunter and had promised to teach me how to shoot,“ she says, “but we never got around to it.” When a shooting range opened near her home, Mary decided to learn what she had missed with husband.
For the first year after her husband Mort died of cancer, Mary Childs, now 68, looked mainly to her two sisters and her quilting friends for comfort and a social connection.”I couldn’t do much more than that," says the Lakewood, CO, retired nurse.
”On the one occasion that I attended a couples’ function with friends from our past, I was totally uncomfortable.” Indeed, many people who lose a spouse often feel like when it comes to socializing, it's a couples' world.
“Neither of us wants to live together or get married, but it’s great having male companionship again.” Lots of people who lose their husband or wife feel like it's easier to be alone and not deal with the anxiety and other pressures associated with being social. Our well-being is based largely on interactions with others.
In other words, no matter the age, people need people.It can also bring out feelings of confusion and concern from friends, family, and those who were close to the deceased spouse.For those who have lost a spouse and are looking to date again, here are ten tips to help you successfully navigate the dating waters.Four years ago, Barbra Cook, now 62, lost her husband of 36 years after his 10-year-battle with early onset Alzheimer's.“Several of our couples’ friends drifted away during Morris’ illness,” she says, “but I was determined to both sustain and build a life for myself after he died.” During his illness, she continued dancing, a lifelong passion she and Morris never shared. For others, the journey may start a year or more after the loss.