Ready to Date After Death of a Spouse?

Longevity can be both a blessing and curse for many older adults who may be single once again after losing their spouse.   The thought of dating after a lifetime spent with someone who knew you when you were young and all your history can be intimidating to say the least.  How do you know if you are ready to dive into the dating pool again and what does that look like after 50 or 60 or even 70?

Ready to Meet Someone?  How Do You Know?

  • Are you still grieving?  If so, you are not ready to start a new relationship.  There is no set number of months or years to reach before moving on past grief but giving yourself enough time is important.
  • Do you carry bitterness about a past relationship?  This will eventually reveal itself and interfere with a new friendship.
  • Do you feel good about yourself?  If you aren’t happy in your own skin, physically and emotionally, you probably aren’t ready to start dating yet.
  • Are your expectations too high?  Start with meeting someone for coffee and don’t assume the first date will result in a relationship.  Keep things light and try have fun rather than rushing into anything.
  • Try not to be too critical.  Keeping along list of deal-breakers can make it hard to meet someone new.

There are many dating sites geared to singles over the age of 50;  these can be a great place to start looking for someone to share your life.  Try to find an activity you enjoy where you might meet a potential partner or ask friends if they know someone you might enjoy meeting.

Friends and family may not always support your decision to start dating again after the death of a spouse.  Children, at any age, can be very sensitive to the idea of their parent being “replaced”.  By honestly and openly discussing why you feel you are ready to look for a new relationship, the transition can be smoother.  It takes courage, but overcoming guilt and fear may open the door for happiness.

The read more about dating after the loss of a loved one, visit the AARP’s Relationship page at: .