Dating in the Senior Years â€” Whatâ€™s It all About ? – Reflections on Dating Widowers
AS Iâ€™ve worked through the dating life of a senior since my divorce seven years ago, my posts have reflected my voyage through different stages. My voyage started with exploring the dating world, and that phase of the journey is reflected in the post Virtually Dating as a Senior – Whatâ€™s It All About Alfie which explored and critiqued dating sites, to adding chapters to my memoir Stormy Transitions – Chapter 7 .
The dating world has included dating over 20 guys, most with one date meets such as coffee or a meal, with several that went beyond the first date. However, Iâ€™ve recently noted a pattern in my own dating preferences – that of dating widowers. I guess as I reflect on this practice, itâ€™s because I felt that widowers would come with less â€œbaggageâ€ as most of them survived long term marriages (as did I), so would know how to keep a relationship going. Since I donâ€™t want to be in the dating world for the next 20 years (if I have that long), Iâ€™ve leaned towards wanting a long term relationship, but not necessarily, and preferably not, marriage due to this late stage of life.
So what has been my experience with dating widowers? I share these thoughts for others facing the dating game, so they can be aware of the pros and cons of my own decisions. Iâ€™ve interacted with four different widowers, three of whom I was the first they dated seriously after the death of their spouses. The fourth had dated somewhat, but still was not ready to open his heart to a different type of love. Hereâ€™s my thoughts on all of them:
Widower #1 and I met online only. We were both at the very beginning stage of dating or looking for companionship. This â€œrelationshipâ€ remained online for two years. We flirted in text messages, would follow each other (not on purpose) from dating site to dating site, and touch base every so often as we met there. This widower lived in a town 20 minutes away from where I lived. I also knew where he worked, and could have dropped in on him. However, I respected his wishes not to want to meet. In addition, I was still leery of dating at all at this stage, so his wishes coincided with mine. And we both worked through our fears and figuring out the dating world together. Eventually, I moved to another state, and we lost contact. I still occasionally check his Facebook page, and it looks like heâ€™s still single.
Widower #2 and I met through a dating site, and agreed to meet up at a park near me for our first date. During that date, he was talking online to another woman, who supposedly was living in the house he was selling, so he had to guide her through getting out. The date went well and he became the main person in my Aging Through the Beats of Our Lives post as well as mentioned in my memoir. We had a total of 4 dates, but he was very instrumental in helping me work through my own doubts about my sexuality. However, with those four dates, I also realized that we lived lives that were not compatible, so we both moved on. He eventually connected with the lady he was talking to on the phone, and via his facebook page is still with her.
Widower #3 and I met through a dating site, as well. We seemed very compatible, and had about a dozen dates, including him meeting my friends, and making plans for future dates. I was also the first he started to get into a relationship with after his wifeâ€™s death. His daughter lived with him, so I met part of his family. However, this all came to a crashing halt when the pandemic hit. We lived about 45 minutes apart, so traveling to see each other during lockdown would have been challenging. And it was too early for us to stay together during this time. He had his daughter and the house to take care of. So we continued to text during the pandemic, however, he also used the time to explore the dating sites again, and meet other women. I had told him I was concerned that he hadnâ€™t dated around much, so wouldnâ€™t really know if our relationship was what he really wanted. He continued to text me as he met these other women, and talked about doing things with them that he and I had planned to do together, like planting a garden, traveling, etc. It got to the point, that it hurt to see him doing activities with others that we had planned, so I asked him to stop. In checking his Facebook page lately, it seems that he must still be with one of the women he was telling me about as they recently traveled together.
Widower #4 and I met face to face at my doorstep. Our story is outlined below in the Golden Reflections links. This â€œrelationshipâ€ started out as friends, then added benefits, and ran itâ€™s course after a year and a half. But the take away is that I also told him that I was concerned that he hadnâ€™t dated around enough, or even lived by himself to find out what he really wanted in his next relationship. So heâ€™s off doing just that, while I figure out what I want next.
In working through all this, and reflecting on my own patterns of dating, Iâ€™ve found some good resources to help one work through relationships with widowers. Iâ€™m sharing these with anyone who reads this, so they can also work through their challenges. My resources are listed below.
Where am I going next? Dating more widowers? Donâ€™t knowâ€¦. Thereâ€™s a tall young man from my home town that has shown up at the senior center that Iâ€™d really like to get to know. However, Iâ€™ve not only fine tuned my questions to ask prospective â€œfriendsâ€ to not only ask if they are GLBTQ? as a result of my first marriage, but now to also be cautious and ask questions about how ready a widower is to open his heart again before I let mine embrace the possibilities of more.
By the wayâ€¦ my new favorite tunes include two Country Music songs that reflect where my heart is currently â€¦ Heart Like a Truck by Lainy Wilson. As well asâ€¦ Itâ€™s What He Didnâ€™t Do by Carly Pearce
â€¦â€¦â€¦.that helped me understand why dating widowers was so hard, and think through what I really need to be asking myself and him before I get involved with one again:
- Abel Keoughâ€™s books and his Wednesdayâ€™s chats were very helpful in helping me understand why dating widowers was hard. Check them out @ Dating a Widower.
- Dating a Widow Feeling Second Best
- 21 Dos and Donâ€™ts when Dating a Widower
- When Your Boyfriend is a Widower
What does dating mean at this stage of life? See the following pages for more input :
- Virtually Dating as a Senior – Whatâ€™s It All About Allie?
- â€œStitching the Ins and Outs of Dating as a Seniorâ€ written March 2017
- â€œMeetupâ€ Magic of Senior Dating written April 2017
- Spotting Scammers on Online dating sites (Coming Soon)
- Reflections on Dating Widowers
- New Dating Hazards You Need To Know About â€“ Fashion Beam does a good job of explaining what terms like kitten fishing, ghosting, and refer to in the dating worldâ€¦