Many widowers and widows come to the dating table with a sizeable list of qualities they’re looking for.
However, it’s not a good idea to be looking for Mr. Perfect, as you’re likely to be disappointed, Schwartz says.
It’s ok for you to share something about your late spouse as long as you can change the subject and show an interest in the person you’re dating now.
However, dating should not be a therapy session, according to Keogh.
According to Doreen Horan, LCPC, at the Counseling Center at Stella Maris, a provider of longterm care in Maryland, on average a man starts socializing within one to two years of a wife’s death. What all grief counselors agree on is that at some point, every widow and widower needs to get out there if life is to be meaningful once again.
Planning your re-entry to a new social life is not done overnight, says Erlene Rokowsky, Psy.
“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. Should one date exclusively or date several people at the same time, and should it be casual or serious?Abel Keogh, author of several books on dating after the death of a spouse, wrote in “Dating a Widower” that the right timeframe for one person might be several weeks, while for another it could be several months or years.