Is this new widower ready to date?
He is up in the air about what to do about dating
A recent widower contacted me this week, asking if I think he might be ready to venture out. He is located in a small city in New York state, near the Pennsylvania border.
Steve emailed, “I just ‘stumbled’ onto your www.FindingLoveafter50.com website in an effort to educate myself to prepare for dating and my next phase in life. I became a widower in January of this year after a terrific 40-year marriage (together 44, married 40).
“I am 66 and still working. My wife suffered an accidental death. She was an only child and I am now responsible for her parents, aged 94 & 93.
“To get myself moving, I have gone on a couple of dates, one of whom I met via Craigslist. The dates went ok but I have no plans to continue calling them because I see no willingness on their part to continue dating, let alone, have a relationship.
“My guy friends say I am wrong to give up. I say let the women ‘get motivated.’ I would like opinion from others--both genders.”
Tom’s answer to Steve: “You have a lot on your plate. My condolences regarding your wife’s accidental death. I have been with my partner Greta for 19 years and I cannot imagine losing her.
“I am glad you found the Finding Love After 50 website, as I think it can help you along the road you now face. Assuming responsibility for your wife’s parents is a huge task, and a commendable one as well. Do they live in their home or a senior facility?
“Getting yourself moving is a great idea, but don’t try to force a dating relationship. You need time to grieve and heal, and it is very soon after your wife’s death. This will be a big adjustment; you met her when you were 22. To have casual women friends is fine, but widowers often try to bring another woman into their life too soon.
“The two women you have dated may have sensed that you are not ready for a committed relationship and that may be why they are not willing to continue dating. It isn’t up to the women you meet now to ‘get motivated’ to date you; it is whether you have properly healed.
“Also, be careful of meeting someone on Craig’s List or any website. There are scammers out there who try to take advantage of vulnerable people—especially widows and widowers.
“Your guy friends are right and they are wrong. Right that you need to get out and mingle with people, not to date, rather to be around people and not isolate yourself. And, to try to feel like a human being.
“But they are wrong in pushing you to date so soon. Women are going to be very leery of a recent widower dating too soon and they are probably right. Are you grieving? Can you join a widowers and widows club? Is there something like that near where you live? A group like that could be helpful to you.
“To post to my Finding Love After 50 Facebook page, go to the site and apply to be a member. I must approve any person who applies and when I see your name crop up, I will approve you. There is no cost for this FB page. There are approximately 475 members on that page.
“Also, I have written an Ebook that you could benefit by reading. It costs $4.93 to download to your computer. It’s called, “Widower Dating. Gold Mine or Minefield?”
“Also, because you signed up to receive our weekly “On Life and Love After 50” newsletter, you have become a Champ, the name I call each of our members. Currently, there are more than 2,000 people who receive the newsletter. With your permission, I will share your story with other Champs this Friday. I am sure many will be willing to comment about your situation. And some may want to contact you. If so, I will share your email address with them.
“Steve, try to view this information as a first step in “Coming Out of the Dark,” the song Gloria Estefan sang after she suffered a tragedy. This is a lot of information to toss your way, but I am confident it will help you. It’s going to take some time, which you know. But, the fact that you are reaching out, indicates a need and willingness to get back into the human race.
“Just understand you must heal first before entering a committed relationship. At 66, you are still young, and once your head is clear, and your heart is ready, you will meet some very fine women. But, give it time.”
Steve responded, “One of your female members quoted on your website made mention of not wanting a guy dating his cars, motorcycle, etc. I own a 1964 Pontiac GTO convertible and have owned many 60s vintage muscle cars since I was 17. Back in the 60s it was wild on the streets!”
Tom: “I remember when the woman made that comment. She was looking for a man who wasn’t married—that is, married to his cars or motorcycles. Owning old cars as a hobby is great, but having other interests as well was important to her, and to our women Champs.
“When you feel ready to date again, there are two things you shouldn’t talk too much about to your dates: your deceased wife and your muscle cars.
“The thing I worry the most about when new widowers start to date: at some point, they may realize they aren’t ready and then they pull the rug out from under sweet women who have fallen in love with them. And you, being a conscientious guy, don’t want to hurt anybody.
“Keep in touch. My main message to you: as Bob Seger sang, "You'll be fine--in your time." And regarding your ‘64 Pontiac GTO, how cool is that! If a woman can't deal with that, well, then, she's in the rearview mirror, as long as you aren’t talking too much about the car.
“Link to Bob Seger’s song In Your Time.