Once upon a time, if you were widowed it was assumed you would stay widowed. Your black dresses – or widows weeds, as they were known, were your distinguishing feature and dressing up to encourage allure and admiration from the opposite sex was an unimagined practice.
Good news then, that today widow dating is as commonplace as any other dating experience and along with divorcees and other singles, it is OK to make the first move when you happen to meet another single who takes your fancy.
The interest in widows and widowers preferring to date each other, specifically, has brought about a sharp increase in the use of niche, online dating sites to meet this demand. Time and again we hear that widows and widowers feel more comfortable with those who have also lost a partner. Sharing a common background precludes the need to offer any specific reason as to why you are single and is also a ‘red flag’ that you might still be feeling sensitive about your loss and not wanting to discuss your recent past in any great detail at this moment.
Widow dating can also bring about a welcome relief. Getting to know someone else who has also experienced the loss of a partner and can relate to what you are going through will make those first few dates a lot easier. Sharing stories is an important part of forming new friendships and in the early stages opening up about the need to find fulfilment because you’re missing the closeness of a partner will surely resonate sympathetically with your date.
Making new friends and knowing when to move on will vary significantly from person to person. Moving on too soon can cause more emotional upset if someone you meet, and whom you are attracted to, chooses not to take things further. It is important to understand that everyone has their own criteria about who and what they are looking for in their next relationship, and if as a widow or widower you have decided to start dating again, you do not want to be hurt in the process for the wrong reasons.
That being said, having a reassuring arm on your back when crossing the road or a hand to hold in the cinema is a small action that brings huge comfort. Being part of a couple again can ignite wonderful feelings of ‘belonging’ for men and women and even if not long lived, for whatever reason, will make you more determined to find that special person to share your life with.
Not all relationships will bring romance and lasting friendship, but establishing contact with other widows and widowers will help you to recognize that you’re not alone. Young or old, it is always good to have friends of the opposite sex, even if it’s just for platonic friendship. Widow dating may sound like a scary prospect for some, but if you have patience and determination you will find who you are looking for and the romance will follow.
With summer ending and the prospect of winter edging into the frame, it’s easy to hit a low spot. However, in between summer and winter comes The Fall.
As the autumn can bring with it feelings of nostalgia, and the foreboding of winter, it is also a time to enjoy the bounty of the most fruitful time of the year. With a veritable feast of good things to eat, and a dazzling display of nature at its’ very best, there is much to enjoy before the winter sets in.
October can still bring sunny and warm days and it’s hard to imagine the chilly evenings and long cold nights, which could soon be upon us. Use this time to prepare for any harsh winter elements and look forward to enjoying the next few weeks while there is still much to offer.
If you’re feeling lonely and missing your late partner this could be a good time to ask yourself if you’re ready to think about dating again.
Should you feel dating again would be preferable to winter nights home alone, consider your options and think about what you can do to find a certain someone you might want to connect with.
If there is someone you know who is also widowed and with whom you have only ever shared a platonic friendship, perhaps they would be pleased if you invited them to go on a walk, or invited them to share a meal. You could keep it fairly loose and see what happens.
If all goes well you could plan a thanksgiving dinner together. It doesn’t have to be exactly on Thanksgiving Day, but around that time. Planning supper could be part of the event with each of you choosing your favourite foods. There is nothing like pumpkin pie, and at this time of year it should be enjoyed with family and friends – new or otherwise.
Going for walks and enjoying the transient changes to the foliage, catching the scent of pine nuts and vine fruits, and kicking up the fallen leaves, are all elements that contribute to the joys of this wonderful season. The autumnal sound of a forest is nature’s own orchestra, and the best place to spend an afternoon, especially if you are with someone you care about.
If making new friends seems an illusive concept, especially if you have enjoyed many happy years with your partner, don’t give up. Holding the idea in your mind that you would like to meet someone new, the greater the chance that it will happen. Self-belief and keeping an open mind are very important!
If you’re comfortable being single at this time, that is also fine. Lasting memories of a happy relationship with your partner are a valuable commodity and for some, all that is needed to keep you content.
However you’re feeling, make the most of the fall and treasure all that this rich and colourful season has to offer.
Your profile is your selling point and must deliver in a brief, but dynamic way, your best attributes and most compelling interests. Whether these interests are gardening, walking, cooking or a round of golf, don’t be reluctant to talk about them, as they are an important part of who you are and what makes you unique.
Crucial, of course, is adding a photograph. Without an image you are not likely to attract much attention. People are always suspicious of profiles without images as they naturally suggest someone who is not fully committed to the process or is unhappy with the way they look. The real reason is much more likely to be that you are shy, of course, but potential connections will not have time to make this consideration, they will have moved on to the next profile with a photo.
Once you are happy with your profile, you will feel more comfortable about contacting other members, as you will know that you have sold yourself in a way that is true to you and therefore more likely to attract a compatible person.
Here are five recommended steps to creating your perfect profile:
1. Be True
Don’t over-sell yourself and always keep a little something back in case you want to make an impression further down the line. Something like….’I play the piano’ or ‘I’m in the process of writing a book’, will very likely add interest on a first date.
If possible, get a friend to take a photograph. Pictures that you take yourself are unlikely to be the most flattering. A headshot, preferably whilst you are smiling, would be perfect and if you can, a picture in an informal environment where you look comfortable.
If you find writing about yourself difficult, write about what your passions are: i.e. your children, your hobbies, or your work. This will help to convey something of who you are. Keep it positive and try to display confidence within your text. As the saying goes ‘confidence is everything’! If being funny is part of what makes you who you are, then say something amusing. If you’re a serious kind of guy or girl then try to express this in some way.
Avoid saying too much about your assets – or lack of them. This is the Internet after all and you don’t want to attract anyone for the wrong reasons.
It’s not always a good idea to state in too much depth what you hope your next stage in life will be. Describe future plans only loosely, suggesting that you are open-minded about what lies ahead. For example, ‘a desire to travel’, or ‘learn a new language’. Keep things in the moment and focus mainly on describing where you are at in your life right now.
5. Say Hello!
Don’t wait to be found. Once you are happy with your own profile, visit the profile sections regularly and if there is someone who looks and sounds promising, give them a wink, or send a brief message showing your interest. If initial contact does not prove fruitful then try again. Someone, somewhere will be waiting for someone just like you.
From my own experience, being honest and genuine when creating a dating profile makes a big difference to the outcome of any potential friendship. The more people I interacted with online, the more I gained confidence and the more enthusiastic I felt about the possibility of dating again.