Pastor Jim provides advice regarding widows and dating.
Dear Jim: I AM A RECENT WIDOW AND WANT TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC DATING ADVICE FOR ME?
I am pleased at the “peace” you have regarding your husband and his presence with our Lord. While it does not remove many of the things you are learning to deal with, it is a great gift.
Before you entertain dating, I do have some suggestions for you. Allow me to share them as points below for your consideration.
First get through the grieving process
You will likely be surprised that there is a process you must go through as you sort out things and come to a “balanced” point in all areas of your life. This is a grieving process for widows and you need to be “through” this before you consider dating.
Have a plan
The desire to find someone to share your life with now is very natural. It is also one that CAN get you into a lot of heartache if you do not approach this with a plan.
Seek support of friends
The first thing that I strongly suggest is finding one or more Christian women with whom you can build a deep, supporting relationship where there is also complete accountability to one another. You will find that much of the intimacy you desire can be found in some real “buddies”. These women will also help you keep your perspective and emotions in check WHEN you begin to relate to men in dating.
Get a ‘check-up’
If available, I would find a good Christian counsellor and ask for a “check-up” of your emotional, psychological, etc. state. This can be a BIG help to you as we often cannot see things within us that can cause difficulties as we relate to others. If a counsellor is not available, then I would suggest discussing this with your Pastor.
Date only once emotionally ready.
You will find those (perhaps many) who will encourage you to move on with life as a widower and begin dating as soon as possible. They are well intentioned but likely not experienced in where you are. It is not the amount of time that relates to when you should date but where you are emotionally, etc. Having said this, I would follow up by adding that I have not found this process to be complete and a person ready to date before 1 year and most likely 2 years for most.
Don’t focus on what you do not have
May I suggest that you not focus on what you do not have, but rather on what you have and what you can become – one choice at a time. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to grow and do some things that you have perhaps long wanted to do/become. Be busy doing the things you enjoy with those you enjoy doing them with and let God lead you to the right choices. Find satisfaction is what you do and who you are and you will “naturally” draw others to you.
Philippians 4:11: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’
May God guide and bless you in your journey!