Dating as a Widow – Why Does it Seem So Hard?

Dating as a Widow over 50

Dear Ronnie The Dating Coach,

I am a 58 year old widow whose husband died 4-1/2  years ago. I feel that I am finally through the tunnel of grief and am ready to date and find a relationship with a man…only to discover there are no men. They have ED or they are not interested in a widow for some reason. Divorcee’s seem to be able to get back into the dating scene much more easily and faster than do widows. Why is that and what can be done to change the situation for this widow?

The Widow of Waltham

Dear Widow of Waltham,

My heart goes out to you because I can’t imagine how hard it is to recover from the loss of a beloved partner. Experts and therapists say statistically, you are right on schedule. Widows often take as much as five years to recover and feel ready to venture out for love again.

On the other hand, a widower usually looks for a new relationship within a year. There is probably some deep psychological reason for this, but to be honest, I’m not quite sure.

That said, let me address the rest of your question. 

Yes, contrary to what you have encountered, there are healthy, loving men dating voer 50 who are relationship ready and available. It’s not true that all men have ED. While its unfortunate you’ve run into a few of them, there is a simple solution in Viagra and other similar drugs.

If you meet a new guy over 40 or 50 thatyou are very interested in and he ends up having ED, very gently ask him if he’s looked into the drugs. This is a sensitive topic for men, so be careful how you say this.

As far as divorced women having it easier to find love again over 50, that is uncertain. Divorced women can feel many things such as bitterness, deeply wounded over trust issues, low in confidence, etc. When you are a widow, your man didn’t leave because he chose to do so. Given that, I’m thinking it’s possible divorce might be harder to recover from…

However, loss is loss so why make this a competition?

Why does it seem men aren’t interested in a widow? That’s a matter of perspective, attitude and outlook on dating and men. I don’t think men have a preference about divorce vs. widow. My bet is they are reacting to you as a “woman” and nothing more. Plus, when dating, you  are bound to meet many candidates that aren’t a good match.

Of course, there are some things you might be doing that could keep you from connecting with decent men:

1. Talking a lot about your late husband
2. Talking about how hard or sad it is to be a widow
3. Complaining about how awful dating is or how lonely you are
4. Not having an interesting life on your own
5. Not demonstrating your confidence or love of life

Men look for women who are happy, confident, and enjoying life. Women like this add to a man’s life. That’s my advice to you. While I don’t have enough information to know if you are doing any of the things that might cause men to steer clear of you, either way this is good advice. And not just for widows, but for all single women of any age.

Take a break if you need one. But then continue your search while you work to enrich your life as well. That way, you simply can’t lose.

Wishing you love,

Ronnie Ann Ryan – The Dating Coach

Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony,, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

11 thoughts on “Dating as a Widow – Why Does it Seem So Hard?”

  1. Hi I’m 60 and I met a 64 year old widower of 5 years online about 2 weeks ago and within the 2 weeks I feel we have very good connection and have developed some feelings he’s told me different aspects of his life except his wife which is understandable. But he recently said that he loves me spiritually what does that mean? And is it realistic to speak of love within a 2 week period of time?

    • Hi Rita, Is it realistic to speak of love in two weeks? No and spiritual love sounds like nonsense to me. Sometimes men say things to get women to relax and trust them. Sometimes men even in their 60s just want to get into your pants. And sometimes men just say stuff to hear themselves talk. One thing I know for sure is that it doesn’t mean he LOVES you in any traditional sense. Be careful.

      You may have feelings but often that is attraction or that you haven’t had attention in so long, your heart is drinking it in. My best advice for you is to meet some other men so you don’t over-focus on this guy and fall love before he’s properly vetted over at least 8 WEEKS. Or see him no more than twice a week to manage/slow the pace and guard your heart.

  2. I’ve been dating a widower for 4 months,(I’m divorced after 30 years) and it has been everything like a fairytale. He went on a business trip for his company, and when he left I hardly received any messages from him, and I didn’t even know if he made it to his destination. I would text once per day, but only 2 responses the whole week. When he returned, he ended our relationship saying that I had said something rude in the text message???? I had asked if he was ok, because I was worried. What could it have been to stop the relationship? I’m heart broken

    • Hi Carolyn, How do you know it was business? Maybe he went on vacation with another woman? So sorry to tell you this but I think your man is a liar. You didn’t do anything wrong from what you told me. Clearly he has issues and now you know. There’s a better man out there – one who is truthful and wants to spend his life with you. Once you emotionally let go of this situation, get back out there to meet that better man.

  3. I lost my husband almost 7 years ago and now I find myself really lonely, but I am shy and really don’t know how to talk to another man, but there is one in my church we talk briefly, but don’t know if he wants to get hung up with this old lady he is 95 and I am 87 help

    • Marylee – You’re a spring chicken – 7 years younger than him! Life is too short to be shy so push yourself to be friendly. What have you got to lose? Not one thing! Go for it!

  4. Three years ago I lost my husband of 35+ yrs at the age of 57. He was sick for about 20 of those years. Now as I approach 60, I realize I will never have a relationship with a man..just don’t want one. I just don’t have it in me to do “sick care” and watch someone die again. And I know if the shoe was on the other foot, the fellow would bolt. I hate to sound selfish, but I look at things from the standpoint of what’s in it for me, and I truly can’t find much. I have great friends and a freedom that is delightful.

    • CWG – Certainly the choice is yours, but why you are reading my dating blog? My bet is you want love but ear letting your fears win out. The single life can be fabulous too and I wish you all the best. But if you do want love, don’t deny yourself from a place of fear.

  5. I can relate to both these ladies since my husband died almost 5 years ago. I started dating 2 years after he died which was way to soon. I know that now so I am preparing to enter the dating world again and I am scared to death. But my friends keep telling me that I have love left still. I am going to go a lot slower this time and make sure it is right.

    • Hi Linda,
      There’s no need to be scared to death if you go slowly and date with your head and not just your heart. You’ll be fine. Your friends are right – t here is more love to be had so go find it!

  6. I can identify with the widow’s getting back into the dating world. I am twice widowed (once at 40 & again at 50) I am now 56 years old. My last husband died 6 years ago. I have been dating a bit but still need some suggestions on where to meet men. Right now I go to events I enjoy and there are some men present. I have a pretty full life. I just prefer to share it with a partner.


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