Why does that question always seem to be followed by “YET”? Well-meaning family and friends just naturally assume that eventually you will date again. Maybe you will and maybe you won’t, but the question still gets to me, even after four years. What if you just don’t want to? What if you are not ready…YET?
The best thing you can do is tell family and friends how you feel about the subject of dating. If you don’t tell them the question will continue to come up. You may even become annoyed by it and wonder just what they are trying to say. Do they think you need a companion to survive? Are they just curious? Are they hoping to see signs that you are “getting on with life”?
You can get on with life quite nicely as a single person, if that is your choice. If you really are not ready to date or even “meet” a nice gentleman, don’t let yourself be pressured into doing it. Single friends may want to take you out “to find a man.” Simply tell them you are not really looking and are okay just the way you are.
I know some widows who are out there dating and having a good time. I also know some who are content to stay single and enjoy a quiet life. Nobody can, or should, make this decision for you. If you are happy the way you are, then they should be happy for you. You may get, “But aren’t you lonely?” or even “You are too young to be alone.” Worse yet the, “I know just the person you need to meet!”
Who says you need to meet anyone, if you are happy the way you are? You do! When (or if) you are ever ready to think about a companion, you will know. You may even think about it from time to time and not be brave enough to follow through. The truth is you may even feel guilty about dating another man even though you shouldn’t. It is just really hard to realize that you are a single woman now and that dating is okay.
Widows tend to still feel married even after many years. It’s not like we went through a divorce or a bad break up and might have been glad to be rid of our spouse. Actually it is not just widows who are choosing to live a single life these days. I happen to know divorced people who have decided to be alone and just work on making themselves happy. There is no reason to let anyone question your choice of lifestyle. You need to do whatever makes you happy.
I wrote an article on Yahoo Voices awhile back out of exasperation. It turned out as a humorous piece, yet it hit just how I felt. Take a look, I bet it will at least get a smile out of you and you might even nod your head in agreement. It’s called: Dating? Flirting? How do you do that? Click the link and check it out, then come back here and let me know if you agree.
Several months after losing my husband, I was talking to a friend and she suddenly asked, “You’re still wearing your wedding rings?” I was a bit taken back, because quite honestly, I hadn’t given my rings a thought. Is there a rule on how long you are supposed to wear them after you become a widow?
I couldn’t bear the thought of taking them off, I loved my rings, and they had been on my hand for years. Taking them off seemed like one more loss to me, but was I supposed to? I didn’t like all these new “rules” I was being forced into, that came along with that word Widow!
Once you become a Widow, you aren’t actually married anymore, even if you feel like you are, so was it wrong to keep wearing my engagement and wedding ring set? Would people think it was some more of that denial stuff I kept hearing about? I thought about other women I knew that were widows. Some had removed their wedding rings immediately, some continued to wear them for years, some actually wore them until they passed away too.
So, I figured, it is just one more thing I had to decide for myself. There is no solid rule or time frame in which you haveto stop wearing your wedding rings. Perhaps when, and if, you feel like you are ready to go out and possibly date, then it is a good idea to remove the rings. If you are not ready for one, then you aren’t ready for the other, right?
But on the other hand, if you just want to go out with the girls and really aren’t ready to be hit on, leaving your wedding ring on will protect you from most unwanted advances. And if a fellow hits on you while you are wearing a wedding ring, that’s a pretty clear warning sign that you probably wouldn’t want him anyway.
I do have one ring on my hand that I will never remove. You see, while my husband was in the hospital he had to remove his wedding band for a surgical procedure. He placed it on my pointer finger for “safe keeping.” After he was out of surgery and awake, I asked if he wanted it back. He told me to just keep it there, that way he would always know where it was.
Four years later, it has never been off of my finger, even though I did have to remove my wedding ring set because they somehow got bent and were hurting my finger. Truthfully though, I have seriously considered taking them to be repaired and putting them back on.
How about you? What are your thoughts on when and if a wedding ring should be removed? Did you take yours off, or are you still wearing them?
If you’d like to read more of my thoughts on being a widow, I do have a blog that I post to whenever the notion strikes me. Join me at My Widows Web and let’s continue to talk. I think it helps all of us in some small way…
My name is Donna and I am just and Everyday Woman trying to figure out this aging thing, I also get to figure out how to do the Widow's Walk through life. I lost my husband to cancer nearly four years ago, after being with him since I was 15-years old. He was always a big fan of my writing ability and I thought, "What better way to honor him, than to keep on writing and maybe be able to help someone else who is going down this same path.