Friday, February 8, 2013

A widow dating, with a good book

Dating a Widower , by Abel Keogh.

On the face of it, this book appeals to a very small niche.  But think about this.  Substitute the word 'widow' for 'widower'.  Then turn it around.  "What is it like dating me, a widow?"   The five points in its first chapter inspire me to ask  "Am I really and truly opening my heart, my space, my life, my future to this man I'm now loving?" 

After I, as a widow, started dating again, I discovered Abel Keogh's blog, specifically his "Widower Wednesday" posts.   I read about widowers and girlfriends or new wives.  I read about these women's joys, their heartbreak, frustration, and confusion loving men who had lost their wives.  Were they really now in the center of the widower's heart?  Were there red flags they should consider?  Red flags signalling that the widower isn't ready and willing to make her number one?   Red flags like his keeping photos of his late wife around?

As I dated, I had to ask myself if I prevented myself from enjoying new love.  Was I making unrealistic comparisons from cherry picked memories?  Was I not releasing myself from a commitment that death had already terminated?  And my fear - if I flung myself away from my past, would future love even catch me?  I looked at the photos of my late husband around my house. There I was, dating, and I still displayed his photos.    Red flag.   Nowadays, I have new photos of my boyfriend and me around the house.  Yet, as much as I care, stepping into the future with him sometimes feels 'don't tempt the fates' scary.  When I trust my soul, and realize that merging two lives is a process, my fear is calmed.  I believe I am meeting the criteria for putting my boyfriend first.  But this matters more: Is he feeling this?  Is the ghost of my late husband interfering?

Now, regarding dating in general for widows... I realize many legitimate reasons for dating exist, and a serious relationship isn't necessarily one of them.   But, if loving 'til death do us part' again is the point of our dating, Abel Keogh's thoughts in both his "Widower Wednesday" column and in Dating a Widower 's first chapter may be useful.   Have a look! 

One can link to Dating a Widower's first chapter here:  

Abel Keogh expands upon the five points I quote below in his book.   I insert brackets where I have reversed genders and added a minor variation.
"When it comes to [women] , there are five things about them that affects their behavior after they've lost a spouse.   

 1) [Widows] have an internal need for relationships. 

 2) [Widows] will stay in relationships with [men] they don't love.

 3) [Widows welcome men] they're interested in.  (Here I changed Abel Keogh's words: "Widowers pursue women they're interested in.")

 4) [Women] can only actively love one [man] at a time.

 5) A [widow's] actions speak louder than words."

What do you think?   Are these five things true for widows who hope to love again?


  1. I really think it's easier for guys to find love again simply because the dating pool is larger. They can date in a larger age bracket for one. I don't think #1 is true for all women either...more women than men can live on their own and be relatively happy, I believe.

  2. I see what you mean about #1. Happiness may be having the time to do what we love, which isn't necessarily being in a relationship.