Widowed or Divorced? Open Your Heart to Online Dating

Online Dating options for widows, widowers and div

By Ken Solin

Big Difference

The level of anxiety varies for seniors who date after long-term marriages depending on the circumstances. Widowed seniors view dating from a different, and typically more painful vantage point than divorced seniors, although I don’t mean to minimize the heartache of divorce. While widowed seniors didn’t choose to be single, divorced seniors did, which is a significant difference. There are other disparities, but the good news for both is there are a myriad of online dating sites for widows, widowers, and divorcees that work.

Never a Replacement

A large percentage of widowed seniors believe dating would be a waste of time because no one could replace their beloved, deceased spouse. While their attitude is understandable, it misses a salient point. No one should think in terms of taking another person’s place in what was an intimate relationship. And widowed seniors shouldn’t date with the intention of replacing a deceased spouse either.

Alternatively, widowed seniors might consider the potential for a new, friend/lover/partner. And a new relationship needn’t compete with a previous one or resemble it either. It may take a while before a widowed senior feels comfortable about going onto a dating site for widows and widowers, but that’s all right because being emotionally ready to date isn’t a process that can be rushed, and dating with a broken heart is totally pointless.

New Beginnings

Divorced seniors’ grief is somewhat different, albeit painful nonetheless. But most are glad to be out of dead end marriages and nearly all look forward to creating a relationship with a new partner more attuned with the person they’ve become. Like widowed seniors there’s a critical grieving period after a divorce that has to be honored before dating. A positive aspect of dating for divorced seniors is their generally strong resolve to learn from past mistakes and get it right. Like widowed seniors, divorced seniors should never date with a broken heart either.

Senior online dating

A Time Out

The common thread that weaves through widowed and divorced seniors is that both need to take time to heal before dating. There’s no universal playbook for grieving and the extent of the healing period varies. Whether widowed or divorced seniors should take whatever amount of time is necessary to work through their pain before dating. Newly single seniors who date while still feeling the sting from death or divorce aren’t remotely prepared to find love again and most dates will quickly recognize this. If you’re still waking up feeling sad or depressed about your divorce or a deceased spouse, you’re not ready to date. Take all the time you need to feel enthusiastic about meeting someone special.

An Appeal To Men

Senior men struggle with the healing process whether divorced or widowed and they rarely take sufficient time to feel their pain before jumping into dating. The result is a skyrocketing divorce rate for second and third marriages for senior men. I highly recommend widowed and divorced men join groups whose sole purpose is to help men move beyond death or divorce. Another benefit is the potential to make new friends, something few senior men have in sufficient numbers. A woman’s role in your next relationship isn’t to heal you from your last one. Senior women will respect you for taking time to work through your pain since nearly all respect the healing process.

Red Flag

I encourage senior daters to ask potential dates how long it’s been since they were widowed or divorced, and to consider a brief period a huge red flag. Are there senior men and women who date recently widowed or divorced seniors? Sure, but a senior dater who doesn’t honor the healing process in terms of choosing dates still in pain is also a red flag.

Feeling emotionally ready to date again isn’t about needing sex or feeling lonely. Senior men and women must be able to view each other as potential partners, not sex surrogates or therapists.

Online Dating

The great thing about joining senior online dating sites is that you decide on the pace with each and every person you chat with online. You get to reveal more or less of yourself depending on your level of trustworthiness, readiness to share or intimacy with a certain person. -

Based on the eight million single seniors currently dating online, there’s surely someone who’s as excited about meeting you, as you are to meet them. All it takes to make your worlds collide is for both of you to take a proactive approach to online dating. Put your fears about dating online aside. There are factors that can make you feel safe, and you can read all about them.

Be Proactive

I encourage widowed or divorced seniors to join online dating sites because the odds of bumping into the love of your life at the supermarket are about a million to one when you factor in all your requirements. Divorced and widowed senior daters should use laser-like focus when searching for partners. Dating sites like match.com have great features that help recommend potential matches based on the many interests you provided in your profile. Since the most successful relationships are also best friendships this is a perfect opportunity to ensure that your next relationship is a best friend/lover partnership.

Never Too Late

I was sixty-seven before I met my senior partner online a few years ago, and we’ve since become best friends and lovers. The best friend aspect has had a profound affect on our relationship, including our sexual connection. I recommend seniors consider the notion of best friend/lover when dating. Find a man or woman who can easily fit that description. There’s no expiration date for seniors to find love. Take your time.

Are you a senior who hasn’t dated in a long while? Would you like to join  an online dating site and create your profile today? Then check out these great tips on how to create a successful online dating profile to find the right match for you. 

About Ken Solin

Author and columnist Ken Solin is a boomer Dating Expert for The Huffington Post, AARP, and About.com. Solin also writes about boomer sex and relationships. Ken’s new book, The Boomer Guide To Finding True Love Online offers real-life boomer dating solutions based on Ken’s online dating experiences. Learn more about Ken and his dating philosophy.

 

 

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