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It was sometime after I buried my husband that I decided it was time for me to begin dating again. Can you imagine? Me, age 50 *hand-over-mouth*-something, doing that high school activity, again? Well, it's true. I realized after three years, it was time, my time, to move on with the best of my life. I wondered where to begin. I chose an internet dating site, filled out a profile, hit return, and as Dr. Phil says, "It's okay."
Now, before you, dear widow, scurry on over to one of those internet dating sites, I have three tips to guide you, and here they are:
1: Give permission. Give yourself permission to go out with a member of the opposite sex, or same sex, as the case may be. Call it, go-for-cup-of-coffee, call it, meetup-under-the-big clock at Grand Central Station, call it, anything-you-like, but give yourself permission. You are a free woman now, and as such, you are entitled to get out of the house, and have some fun. If you feel like you are cheating, stop that!
2. Be cautious. Internet dating is risky. Do not give out your home telephone number. Under no circumstances, until you have had ample opportunity to meet this person, should you tell this person where you live. Meet at a busy, outdoors, if possible, busy cafe', or busy restaurant, or busy bus stop waiting bench. Are you getting a message here? Tell a friend, tell a neighbor, tell a trusted family member that you have an internet date and when. You can even record the information in an email message to yourself, with a cc to an out-of-state acquaintance. I like to place a call to myself and leave a message on my landline answer machine stating where I am going and when I expect to be back. For chuckles, I describe what I am wearing. I figure if the meeting works out, I will have a record and know what not to wear the next time we meetup.
3. Be prepared. Okay. So you met the guy. And, he likes you; and, you like him. You agree to meetup again. Only this time, you say it's okay for him to pick you up at your place. Why so trusting? Maybe it was the way he held the door for you at the restaurant, or helped you off with your coat, or gently held your chair as you seated yourself at the table. Maybe you like that he's a civil structural engineer with International Business Machines, or that you feel sorry his wife died of lung cancer. Whatevuh. Take my advice, dear widow, and pin a mad #20 bill to the inside of your bra before you go out your door. What is a mad $20 bill? Mad money. It says you are prepared to get mad in case Mr. Wonderful trades angel wings for devil horns and you need to call a cab. Never be afraid to pick up and leave.
It's not easy losing a husband. And getting on and out into the real world again can be tough. But if you remember my three tips outlined above, you may discover a fun time, meet a nice friend, and be one giant baby step closer to the best of your life.
You have permission to email Linda Della Donna at little red mail box (all one word) (the at sign) the initials a o l (all together) (dot) (com) to ask a grief question and/or request a copy of her free e-book For Widows Only: Us.
My Mighty Muse