ONE MARCH AFTERNOON IN 2010, I logged on to Facebook and glanced at my relationship status.
My audiences are people who are motivated enough to show up at such an event — but scared silly about diving into a dating world they hadn't even thought about for decades!
One day, however — trust me on this — the will to live fully again, and even experience companionship, will arise. It’s hard to throw yourself back in the dating game after 30, 40 years or more. I tell those I counsel to look at it this way: Cherish your old relationship, but don’t let it sabotage your prospects of forging a new one. More than merely a widow or widower, you are a person with opinions, hobbies, preferences, accomplishments, social values, political views and a unique way of looking at the world.
But the pointers I offer below can help ease your pre-game jitters. And if your feelings of guilt persist, see a counselor; you’ll want to resolve these thoughts before attempting to date again. As you think about how to present your authentic self, be selective about which of those attributes you share right away and which are best kept private until you get to know a new person better. Take some time to think about the type of new bond you’d like to establish.
“Neither of us wants to live together or get married, but it’s great having male companionship again.” Lots of people who lose their husband or wife feel like it's easier to be alone and not deal with the anxiety and other pressures associated with being social. Our well-being is based largely on interactions with others.
(The amount and kind of interaction varies, but the need is inherent.) To avoid connections is to invite depression.