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Is widow waiting too long to date?

Widow puzzled by friend’s warning--don't wait too long to date Robyn, 62, a widow of five and a half years, contacted me regarding a comment a friend made to her about the potential problem of waiting too long to start dating again. Robyn emailed, “I am curious about something, after being told recently by a friend that 'If you wait too long, you will get used to being alone, and attempts at re-partnering will become futile.' “I was married 32 years. After the first year of widowhood, I entered a very short-term relationship, and then six months later, began a relationship that lasted just over two years. I ended the latter relationship (it was going off the rails anyway), as I felt I needed more time to sort things out and set a new course in life. “I do wish to re-partner at some point, but feel I am not quite ready to make any overt move in that direction. I have signaled to a couple of trusted contacts that I am open to meeting their single male friends, but am in no great rush to do so. “However, is there a point of no return, as my friend has suggested? I have read stories of people getting to a place in their lives where they thought they would be alone forever, only to find a most wonderful person to spend their later years with. “Is it crucial that I get to a place in life where I don't want a companion, so that I inadvertently attract a potential mate?” My response to Robyn, “You say you wish to re-partner but aren’t ready to make any ‘overt’ move in that direction. I assume what that means is you aren’t ready to actively or aggressively look for a potential mate. However, I think you may be more willing than you realize since you wisely have signaled to a couple of contacts that you are open to meeting single males. “For people 60-plus, networking through acquaintances and friends is one of the most important steps they can take to meet potential mates. Continue to do that. “Your friend suggested if you wait too long, you will get used to being alone, and attempts at re-partnering will become futile. You ask, is there a point of no return? Absolutely not. “That’s ridiculous. Nothing is further from the truth. Becoming comfortable living alone can be an important and attractive characteristic to have. In that way, you are building self-confidence. You are comfortably dealing with loneliness. And you are privately thinking, I don’t need a mate to make me a complete person. But I’d like to have a person with whom to share my life. “Often, older singles are so lonely, they look too hard and come off as desperate and needy. But in your case, you invested the time to discover who you truly are, and you are comfortable in your own skin, which is a trait that men admire. “But, sitting back and doing nothing isn’t a great idea either. You need to live life with or without a mate. Get more involved in activities that interest you. Meet new people. Develop friendships with women, which can make going places easier since you’ll have friends to tag along with. “Yes, we often hear that singles meet a new mate when they aren’t looking, when they least expect it. But, that doesn’t happen by just staying home, being reclusive and thinking they’d be alone forever. It happens because they have a positive attitude and are out in the world, enjoying life and socializing. “Singles need to smile and be willing to chat it up with strangers. They must leave their baggage aside and not complain about members of the opposite sex, or being a victim of bad luck. “So, no, you aren’t past the point of no return. Just crank it up a bit. “Plus, that you were involved in two relationships since you were widowed is a good thing. That means you are open to sharing your life, but, of course, with the right person, and not just anybody who comes along.” Abraham Lincoln is credited with this aphorism: "And in the end,

Those words are so very true as we grow older. So Robyn, follow your heart.

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