How To Start Living (and Dating) Again After The Death Of Your Partner

As a widow of almost five years I know how hard it is to pick yourself up after the loss of a spouse. In the early days it’s sometimes difficult just getting out of bed.

You wonder if that numbness will ever recede or will your life remain a monotonous series of nothing-ness. Eventually, a new normal will creep into your life, and a healing can take place, if you allow it.

Dating Can Be Fun!

Dating again can be a wonderful experience, if you decide that is the right course for you. Whether you’re looking for another partner or still undecided, there are some exciting ways you can create a life that is rewarding for YOU.

Try something a little different each week. Start out easy and don’t set yourself up for defeat.

How to Create a New Life

Go to lunch by yourself for the first time. I recall the first time I did this after my husband’s death. I live in a small town and was sure everyone who knew me was staring at me since I felt so self-conscious. Bring something to read while you wait for your food order, even if it’s just your mail.

Have you been invited out but declined social events or dinners because you’re solo and know everyone else will be paired up? Go anyway. If you think you’ll feel awkward, ask if you can bring a girlfriend.

Don’t wait for someone else to jumpstart your life. Take charge, even if you’re only moving ahead at a snail’s place.

Take Charge!

Call up a girl or guy friend and meet for a movie. Many times I’ve gone by myself. Either way is fine, just know you don’t need someone else to have a great time. Get yourself out of that rut and invest in you.

Do you like to dance? Check out places around town or in the neighboring towns that offer dance lessons, no partner needed.

How about that pottery or water color class you always thought would be interesting? Look into instruction at your local colleges, art stores or artist colony.

Be Active

If you’re an outdoors person maybe you’d like to research some hiking trails. There’s plenty of clubs that cater to various levels of hiking endurance and ability. Again, check your local sporting goods store bulletin or ask around.

Cross country skiing, snow shoeing, horseback riding. There are all kinds of fun things to do.  If you prefer a slower pace, how about meeting with friends for a walk a few times a week?

Find Out What’s Available Near You

Have you ever asked yourself if it would be fun to go canoeing or kayaking? I live near a state owned park and they rent kayak and canoes on the weekend. Kayaking is a glorious, freeing experience, out on the water in the middle of a lake or paddling down a creek.

Go to a local sporting goods store and find out where there are classes or groups that meet for kayaking. You won’t be sorry.

How about traveling? Is it too scary a prospect going alone? There’s plenty of groups that cater to singles, whether you want to hike, bike, kayak or just take in the sights in a leisurely fashion.  Do a search on the internet for “vacation tours” or “singles vacation packages”.

How about some relaxing time at the beach? The last few years I’ve found affordable rentals in the off season on east coast beach vacations. Invite a friend or two and your relaxing vacation can cost you as little as $600 with airfare.

Off-season the weather may be a little cooler, but there are still many sunny days. Recently two writer friends and I rented a beach house and we split our time between writing, reflecting, relaxing and laughing.

Try Something Indoors

If you’re more of an inside person, check out local chess, knitting, quilt or crochet groups. Go visit the nearest craft store.  It’s amazing what is available whether you like designing your own projects or creating a masterpiece from a kit. Activities that you enjoy engage not only your hands but also your mind.

Have you thought about volunteering to deliver meals to seniors or helping out at a nursing home once a week?

Yes, it’s difficult when you first get out there, but each time you venture out, it does get easier. You’ll make new friends and find new adventures. Who knows, you may find the next love of your life, but it may never happen if you close yourself off from the joy of living a fulfilling life. We all deserve a good life, so open your arms to the one that will bring you happiness.


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