Dating As A Widowed Senior
By Bill Beckett
I was married my entire life, up until my wife passed away three years ago. During that time, I have dated off and on. What I can tell you from my experience is that dating later in life and as a widow, is quite different than dating at 20 or even 30. Of course, the world has changed a lot during that time as well. Given that, I’d like to share some of my observations from my senior dating experiences as a widower.
A dynamic that often gets overlooked is that of children. Most people who are seniors have fully grown children. In contrast, many people in their 20s/30s have young children. Young children are easier to assimilate with as they often view the world in more of a wide-eyed, naïve fashion. You can bond with them easier in various ways that you can’t as easily with adults. Doing things like playing hide and seek, making goofy faces and do child-like things. You can connect much like you would with a grandchild. Adult children are grown ups, typically already set in their ways. They have established their moral compass, they have their own religious and political views. If these views differ from yours, they could potentially present a challenge. Likewise, your own adult children may pose a potential challenge with a person that you get into a relationship with, or their family.
Today, political views can be a hot button topic. Differing views can often be a potential point of contention. Unfortunately, American society has never been more politically polarized. Therefore, I would recommend that when dating, you try to connect with someone who shares your same values, morals and political posture. Either that, or find someone who is politically moderate or with whom politics does not play a large role in their life. In today’s world, nothing can create cracks in a relationship faster than political discord. This is not to state that two people on the opposite side of the political fence cannot date but rather one should be cognizant of the challenges in choosing that path.
Being a widow can also create some challenges in and of itself. I have found that some men and women simply will not date a widow or widower. Being widowed is different than going through a divorce. In a divorce, it is usually mutual because there were some sort of problems within the marriage. You don’t choose to be widowed. If given the choice, a widowed person would prefer to still be married to their spouse. So the person dating a widowed man or woman often feels like they may be second fiddle, or not be able to fill the shoes of the departed spouse. This can be a real issue.
As I stated, society has changed in 40 years and as seniors, we’ve changed in 40 years. Dating has a different landscape as a senior and there can be added hurdles if widowed. My best advice is to make compatibility and like values a paramount.
Author Bill Beckett, the title of my book, Love, Family, Cancer
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