While there are some broad tips for dating that apply to all women, very young widows have unique issues that may arise simply because of grief and the anxiety of having lost a spouse. Dating isn’t easy for anyone, so the first thing you need to do is not try to create the perfect ideal of what should happen and on what timeline. No matter how many misfires or lack thereof, you’re doing your best.
Many people who are dating have experienced some repeating behaviors that are less than favorable in their relationships. For example, partners that put down women or are too controlling. This all has to do with many factors including genetics, upbringing, cultural teachings, social exposures, and prior relationship successes or failures (Psychology Today). While these toxic behaviors apply to all relationships (as ones to avoid), here are some tips that may apply specifically to widows:
Try Not to Compare (or use a previous relationship as a frame of reference)
While this may seem like second nature it can have negative effects on any budding relationship. While direct comparisons are a no-no for obvious reasons, the subtle art of using a past relationship as a frame of reference for the next one can be just as harmful. Look at the next relationship with completely fresh eyes and the opportunity for a new beginning.
Write down 10 negative things about your previous spouse
Yes negative things – if you can find ten! This is extremely hard but we have a tendency to create a “halo effect” around our deceased loves ones. The way we remember them is often glowing, and this should absolutely be the case. We all want to be remembered lovingly without flaw and with virtue. However, we all have faults. If you can think of 5 or 10 flaws of your previous spouse – write them down! It will help you remember that everyone has them so when you embark on your next relationship you have a more practical view of things you are willing to put up with and things you are not.
It’s going to take time and energy
As you approach your next relationship, don’t lose hope if things don’t work out right off the bat. Unfortunately, your only human so you’re going to make mistakes. When you find yourself losing hope, remember that these things take energy and time. Do your best.
Learn to be happy alone
Before getting into a new relationship, you’re going to have to learn to be happy alone. You have to be entirely sure of yourself, and your wants. Figuring out your wants and needs means you’re going to have to know yourself well. The best way to do this? Hang out alone. In a way, you have to be the lover you wish to be for yourself!
Would you add any tips to this list? I’m sure there are many more. Tell us in the comments section.