Tips for widow seeking companionship: dance, volunteer, join Parents Without Partners, to overcome companionship aloneness
By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50
Last week, Linda, a 50-year-old widow of two years, wanted to know what she should do to start getting out of the house. She said, "As much as I will always love my late husband, my children, friends and family will never fill that void and the need for some companionship. Trouble is finding that someone."
A bunch of you responded. Many said you are or have been in situations similar to Linda.
Judith, a former vice president of Parents Without Partners, feels PWP would be a great place for Linda to start: "Once you join your local chapter, you may attend events at any other chapter. Ask, ask, ask. Attend the workshops, the family activities, the adult nights out, the dances, etc.
"What's important is attitude. If the chapter offers them, wear your name badge! Another suggestion: take dance lessons, join a dance class. Good exercise, good evening out, new friends."
Carmen asked, "Have you ever written about aerobics/exercise classes as a place to meet people? Not that I'd join just for that reason, but there are self-worth advantages, too.
Trish wrote, "For the widow seeking companionship, Linda has taken an excellent first step in letting the children know she is ready to 'spread her wings.' It is important for the children to know rather than being hit with: 'I'd like to introduce you to someone.'
"Since my 2 ½ year relationship has ended, I am looking forward to dating again. I am in the process of moving and sending the kids off to college - come September I will be home alone."
Ann, author of Travels With Annie (also offered at Amazon.com), a courageous story about how a widow challenged life, said, "I'd advise her to take up rock climbing at her local climbing gym. Take women technique classes; at the gym look for climbing partners. She will be invited to join others for outdoor weekend climbs.
"I did that when I was 56 and although I never became romantically involved with any of my climbing buddies, several of them became good friends and available for ‘dates’ when I needed one.
"Besides the thrill of climbing in beautiful places all over California (like Yosemite) with expert climbers, I had a blast and got really strong. Pursuing any activity you like is worth a zillion internet dates."
Bobbie said, "For the widow seeking companionship, it doesn't make any difference if you are widowed or divorced, you have the same companionship aloneness. I'd advise Linda to focus on her kids and maybe do volunteer work in the community that includes her children, or alone if she so chooses. There are many volunteer opportunities out there, check your local paper or do so through your church or Habitat For Humanity."
Donna, "The letter from Linda with children still at home could have been written by me; however, I'm not a widow. But, the situation is still much the same. I still have children at home. My advice to Linda is to make her children her main priority.
"At the same time that the widow is giving her children more I would encourage her to take adult enrichment classes to meet other adults. There are many amazing guys out there."
And from another woman. "I too, was widowed at the age of 46 and left with 2 girls ages 11 and 15. I am now 51 with a 16 and 20 year old. I have a new male friend who I socialize with, but keep it simple. I believe it is wise to keep my new relationship separate and not involve my children with dealing with it. My advice is to walk softly and move slowly."
And as often happens, not everyone liked last week's column. ML said, "I am not interested in reading about younger women with children at home, and how they can or can't find companionship. I realize the lady is 50 and technically qualifies, but you have her talking about something an 80 year old told her and then the 50 year old and her sister laughed together, like the 80 year old was comic relief or something.
"I wish to respectfully tell you that I did not like the tone of last week's column. The 80 year old gave good advice, and "shacking up" is her answer to the marriage dilemma. How is that funny? The 50 year old doesn't have any answers, and frankly, I think she should focus on her kids as you suggest."
A variety of people, a variety of opinions. That's good.