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Dating as a widow(er): How to take the next step to find love again

by Eharmony Editorial Team November 3, 2021

Of the many challenges that come with being a widow or widower, dating can feel like one of the most insurmountable, for various reasons. Grief for the partner you’ve lost, lingering guilt at the idea of moving on and being happy, the worry your friends and family will judge them, the feeling of being out of touch with the dating scene… all those things and more can make widow or widower singles hesitant about dating again.

But that’s not to say finding love again is impossible, especially if you’re a widow or widower on a dating site.

Why looking for love after a loss can be hard

Dating as a widower or widow brings some unique challenges with it, including:

Memories of the person you’ve lost

Unlike someone who is divorced, widows and widowers often still have fond memories of the person they’ve lost. This can lead to their deceased spouse casting an unintentional shadow over the relationship – the dating widower might, for instance, wind up comparing any potential partners to the spouse they’ve lost, even without meaning to. Or the person dating a widower might feel like they’re in competition with a memory.

TIP: Do your best to stop comparing your deceased spouse with the person you’re dating, even in your mind. The more you practise doing this, the easier it will become.

Unfamiliarity with the dating scene

Depending on how long you and your spouse were together, you might have no idea how to go about dating as a widower – things have certainly changed drastically when it comes to finding a partner. One option as a widower is a dating site – it takes some of the pressure off, and you can spare yourself the awkward conversations about former partners. You can also choose the pace of your relationship, something else that might be challenging now you’re dating as a widower.

TIP: Do your research; there are plenty of articles. You can even ask friends who are currently on the dating scene.

Emotional highs and lows

Dating as a widower also means dealing with a range of emotions – grief for your spouse and the happily-ever-after you thought you would have, especially on special days like birthdays and anniversaries. Then there may be guilt for moving on. You might even feel like you’re cheating on your spouse, even if intellectually you know that they would have wanted you to move on and be happy. These emotions are completely normal and natural, but finding someone who understands and accepts this aspect of you can be challenging, especially if you were widowed young.

TIP: Therapy is a great idea for dealing with any lingering issues.

How to start widower dating with eharmony

Many people who have lost a spouse choose to use a dedicated widower dating site. However, eharmony is also a great choice if you’re a widower considering dating again.

Unique Compatibility Matching System

At eharmony, we believe that compatibility is the foundation of long-term success in a relationship. This is why all members are required to take a quiz, which the site’s Compatibility Matching System then uses to find you potential partners who share not only your likes and dislikes, but your values and desires in a relationship.

Excellent communication features

Once you’ve been matched, you can use eharmony’s suite of communication tools to get things started. Send a Smile or ask a Quick Question. Or go directly to sending a Message if you’re feeling bold! Later on, as your relationship deepens, you can also chat on audio or video with your partner directly within eharmony – a great way to connect without leaving the privacy of your own home.

Detailed profile information

At eharmony, we ask members to take their time and really make their profile in-depth. In addition to an ‘about me’ section where you can detail your interests and hobbies, you can also use your profile to talk about your values and what kind of relationship you’re looking for. There are even questions you can answer, the better to let any potential dates get to know you.

Search criteria/filter

Narrow down your list of potential partners with our detailed, easy-to-use search and filter tools. You can filter by distance or interest, and you can search for partners based on a variety of criteria, from age to religion.

High security standards

At eharmony, we take our members’ privacy and security seriously. That’s why a membership is required to see anything but profile photos. You will only meet singles, who are serious about relationships – even more important while dating as a widower or a widow!

Moving on is hard, but find love again as a widower is possible

Dating as a widower brings with it unique issues and challenges. That said, you shouldn’t close yourself off to the possibility of a second chance at happiness, or let yourself believe that dating a widower is not something people would want to do. Remember, love comes when you least expect it… but you can increase the chances of it showing up by signing up for eharmony, so join today and take your first steps on the path to your romantic future. 

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