Six months after my husband died, I decided to venture out into the single’s world. I sauntered into a swanky downtown Chicago restaurant with a divorced female friend. She left me perched on a bar stool to go to the restroom. I stared at the glassware on the shelves behind the bar and a guy suddenly appeared, “So when did you get divorced?
I replied, “I didn’t get divorced.”
He said, “Well where’s your husband?”
Never one to pass up a good line, I said, “Six feet under.”
That resulted in a jaw dropping, confused, uncomfortable, pitiful facial expression, as he stammered, “I’m so sorry.”
I blurted out, “But I didn’t kill him!”
This opened the door to a litany of questions: “Do you mind if I ask what happened? Do you have kids? Was that very difficult for you?”
“I’d rather not talk about it,” I mumbled.
The next question was a shocker, “Do you mind if I ask you how long has it been since you’ve had sex?”
My response without missing a beat, “Twenty-four hours.”
That interchange was my initiation into the “Planet Single Bar Hopping Phase.” I later entered the “Planet Single Dating Phase.” Here are 10 tips to understanding the differences in dating widows vs divorcees:
1) Divorcees didn’t have a happy marriage otherwise they’d still be married. Widows had a happy marriage – or at least they only remember the happier times.
2) Divorcees have spouses who are regularly involved in their children’s lives. The spouse helps with decisions about the kids; attends their sporting events, theater performances, and weddings. Widows don’t have co-parents to rely on, but also don’t have listen to their opinions on child rearing.
3) Divorcees get a break from parenting if they have shared custody. Widows have a full time parenting gig.
4) Divorcees may get some ongoing financial support for the children and/or alimony payments.
Widows may have inherited life insurance, but it’s typically a one-time payment.
5) Divorcees may have hostility towards the ex and perhaps the entire female/male population. Widows generally have a favorable opinion about the opposite sex.
6) Divorcees may feel relieved to be single again and eager to jump back into dating and sex. Widows may feel abandoned by the death of their spouse, and reluctant to try new relationships. They may feel guilty about being disloyal to the deceased if they date a new person.
7) Divorcees have to deal with an ex who may be a pain in the butt. Widows don’t come with the ex factor baggage.
8) Divorcees may compare the new person with the ex. The new partner may feel the need to prove that he/she is different than the ex. Widows will talk about their deceased spouse, and this can be annoying.
9) Divorcees likely didn’t have the best sex life towards the end of the marriage. They may be excited to be with someone who enjoys sex and wants to be intimate again. Widows in happy marriages may have had a decent sex life and want to have it again.
10) Divorcees frequently have had family & friends who sided with one spouse over the other. Widows’ family & friends may be happy to include the new person into their lives or it may be hard for that guy/girl to walk in the shadow of the deceased.
Can widows be happy dating divorcees and vice versa? Absolutely, knowing the history of your partner’s past is key to a successful future relationship. Watch this fun video about widows and divorcees. For more about finding love encore go to my website: LoveEncore.