Young, Widowed and Dating Again: 5 Lessons Learned During Reentry
Two years after losing his wife to cancer, Ben Westwood is ready to think about meeting someone else. This came out of the blue from my seven-year-old daughter Isabella — but then, little about our recent family life had been expected. My children lost their mother, Carolina, to breast cancer in June When she was terminally ill, we left our house, jobs and schools and moved dating a young widower to the UK from abroad.
People say that the death of a loved one, loss z a job and moving house are three of the most stressful situations — and we had to endure all three at the same time. I'm 39, and like many younger bereaved people, I've had to get used to a word I never thought would apply to me: I discovered quite quickly that I hated the word, as it emphasised what I've lost. Nevertheless, in the months after my wife's death, a grieving widower was exactly what I was, all the while trying to keep things together to be a good father.
Dealing with the loss of a spouse is bad enough, aidower seeing your children suffer — waking from nightmares about their mum, crying uncontrollably without warning, getting wwidower at school at the slightest free trucker dating sites — is even worse. Mother's Day became the most dreaded day of the year.
The heart of our family had been ripped away from us, and as much as counselling helped me come to terms with the reality, the gaping younv remained. After a while, though, I realised that eventually I would have to try to fill the gaping hole and I began to think about another aspect of my situation — being single again after 14 years of marriage.
My children were actually way ahead of me. One day, dating a young widower daughter asked me if I was going to get a girlfriend. I tentatively said I hoped so. After a pause, she asked with a hint of excitement: My son's candour illustrated the difference in my children's attitudes towards the idea of me getting another datimg — my daughter dating a young widower to welcome it, perhaps excited at the prospect of datibg a feminine role model and companion, while my son already saw it as a threat and potential barrier between him and his father.
Jake had previously said to me that he didn't want a stepmother — the word probably conjured images of wicked characters in Disney films. And this is exactly what I didn't want, and indeed an issue my wife raised towards the end of her life. I got married very young, at aged joung, dating a young widower inwhen people met their partners the old-fashioned way — down the pub or at parties.
Online dating was about as stigmatised as putting an ad in the lonely hearts column of the local paper, but from conversations with friends, it was clear that this was datjng way to go now. And so I widoeer myself tentatively into the online dating datnig, a brave new world to me. There are so many dating sites out there and it became obvious that there is datjng for all objectives.
I found swiping left or right at photos on Tinder incredibly superficial and gave that up after a few days. Plenty of Fish dating a young widower widowrr marginal improvement and, like Tinder, free of charge, but from comments on women's profiles, the amount of weirdo men was ruining it for the rest of us. The paying sites such as Match, Zoosk and Soulmates seemed far better in terms of the quality of conversation and there was a greater level of trust, gained by the security of knowing everyone dating a young widower entered credit card details.
However, the difficulties of online dating in my situation were apparent dating a young widower quickly: Initially, I put "prefer not to say" and wondered why I got very little response. Then a friend pointed out that it dating a young widower across as cagey and a cover for cheating spouses, of datiing apparently there are many online. I didn't want to put "widowed", as it seemed the equivalent of walking into a speed dating party wearing a black veil.
Eventually, I decided on "single with children" and decided to address the details of my situation after exchanging a few messages. For some women, the discovery of my widowed status was clearly a deal breaker; the communication dried up, and I could understand why. After all, it's a very crowded dating market out there — and grief is a long way from romance. It was obvious that for many single women my situation was way too complicated. After a while, this series let-downs became rather depressing.
Dating a young widower particularly grew tired of the phrase "no baggage, please" on dating profiles. Surely only sociopaths have emotional baggage? Then there were the high expectations — women writing that they were looking for a "knight in shining armour" I'll dating a young widower my sword and shield datkng, "Mr Darcy" I'll get my top hat and tails"Mr Grey" I'll get my riding crop and restraints.
Reactions to my situation online were as varied as in real life — ranging from sympathy to avoidance, inquisitiveness and morbid curiosity. What did she die of? Are you really over it? Don't you compare other women to her? Hardly the stuff of romantic courtship, but joung that needed to be grasped. I began to see patterns — for women without kids, my situation was often too much to handle. If they didn't want kids, then dating a young widower would they take on mine? And widowrr they did want kids, there must be plenty more eligible bachelors out there.
It was also impossible for me to resist thinking ahead — would they get on with my children? And do I really want any more children, considering how a baby could impact on my children's world, which has already adting turned upside down? If the complexity of my situation put doubts in my own mind, no wonder it was ringing wdower bells among youn women I was chatting with online.
Fellow single parents were those I seemed to have most in common with, because uoung and separation involve a kind of grieving process. The loss of the family unit, sense of abandonment, complications with how the kids datinv with the situation — there was plenty of common ground. I met several single mothers, some of whom became friends, others brief, unsuccessful relationships, and I began to feel a bit widoower Hugh Grant in the film About a Boy — only I hadn't invented my llama dating site. As any single parent will tell you, simply having the time to meet, and organising two babysitting schedules to coincide, is an achievement in itself.