More Online Dating Tips for Widows, Part Two

Q. I’ve tried online dating on a variety of websites, but have never been interested in continuing to see someone after a first meeting for coffee or lunch. There hasn’t been any chemistry. Any advice? I had a very good marriage and my friends say my standards are too high. But I’m not willing to just “settle.”

A couple of possibilities come to mind. First, unrealistic expectations are an issue for some widows. Are you setting yourself up for failure by using your late husband as a yardstick? He may be a hard act to follow – and impossible to live up to. Remember, it took many years for the two of you build a relationship. You faced problems together and found ways to work them out. You grew to know and understand each other over time. You resolved some differences and learned you had to live with others. A new relationship at this stage of your life doesn’t have a chance unless you accept that it takes a while to develop. It’s only human to want the same kind of connection with someone new, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

I also wonder whether you’ve thought through the qualities you want in a new man. They’re probably very different from what was important to you earlier in your life. For example, do you require that he follow the same religion you do? You may have cared about that when you were younger, but may not now--especially if your children are grown and out on their own. Does he have to share your politics? How about your interest in theater and ballet? Does he have to be financially well off? What are your deal breakers?

Realize it may take a very long time to figure out what you really want. One widow told me, “I want a smart, competent, take charge guy, who I can turn to and say, ‘What should I do about this?’ It would also be great if he’s handy with computers and can fix the smoke alarm.” Another woman wants a poet.

Be aware, too, that some widows don’t want another romantic relationship. They’ve built fulfilling lives for themselves, had a chance to gain independence, and see a new man as someone they will have to “give up a lot for.” We all have different definitions of happiness.


If you have a question for Florence, please email her at

Florence Isaacs is a freelance journalist, author — and a widow herself. Her books include My Deepest SympathiesWhen the Man You Love Is Ill,What Do You Say When and Just a Note to Say...The Perfect Words for Every Occasion.


Image via Wikimedia Commons, 246-You

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Comment by Louise Jordan on December 8, 2014 at 2:05am

My husband was in a nursing home for 8 months from a major stroke.He died Oct 27,2014. I was with him when he died.The Drs said he would be in a nursing home the rest of his life.Our marriage had alot of problems.We married at a very young age and was married a long time.I had 2 friends that found their husbands on a dating site.I tried a dating site even before he died.I wanted a good marriage.I lost my only daughter and my son had his own life.I was very lonely and felt guilty for even signing up on it. I had some men wanting to meet me or take me to eat.But I couldnt do it.. I guess I am not ready.They were in a hurry to meet me. I just could not meet them.I was very dependent on my husband.One of my friends said they were mostly out for sex and I was not ready for that. I would like to find someone with a happy family.I miss my family so much. One day Im doing alright then the next Im missing my husband. Im just confused.

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