“I met so many wonderful people at target practice,“ she says, “and I even started entering competitions around the country with many of the people I met locally.” Now, four years after losing her husband, Mary’s confidence and sense of empowerment has grown, as has her social life.“I met a man on Seniors Meet and we have been together for a while now,“ she says.If you find yourself needing to have lengthy conversations about your late spouse and your grief, invest in professional help rather than unloading an emotional burden on to your date.I was thirty-nine years old when my husband died unexpectedly in his sleep. He was my love, my rock, a crucial part of my life and our children’s future, and in an instant, he was gone.Not surprisingly, a study at Michigan State University discovered that people 65 and older who used the Internet to stay in touch with friends had a more than 30 percent reduction rate of depression symptoms.In other words, no matter the age, people need people.
Keogh also writes that it’s natural for your date to want to know about your late spouse if he didn't know him while he was alive.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.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.To my surprise, I found myself feeling attracted to him. This innocent exchange of glances made me uncomfortable, but only in a sense that I realized I was no longer a married woman but an available single one. First, I needed to be willing to discuss dating with people who I was close to. He said genuinely that he wanted me to be happy and that he knew Mark would want me to be happy too. I wasn’t sure what she would say and was shocked when she didn’t say anything. Second, I needed to know that I wouldn’t be dating to just fill a void. However I had met Mark online and thought it was a good place to start. It felt a little uncomfortable to be searching for a ‘new’ man after being with one man for ten years.He didn’t hesitate to give me his blessing to date whoever and whenever I wanted. I knew that the void that Mark’s death left in my life would never be filled the same way that Mark filled it. As I scanned through the results not many of the profiles interested me.The Dalai Lama once said, “It is worth remembering that the time of greatest gain in terms of wisdom and inner strength is often that of greatest difficulty.” I have never lost a spouse and will never pretend to know what it feels like, but I am an optimistic person.I’d like to think that if my husband passed, I’d spend the time I needed to mourn, and then I would realize that life and love are beautiful things.You are the only person who knows how long you will mourn.One day you will wake up and no longer feel like the weight of the world is on your chest.