I evolved from a widow to a cougar, and learned to love myself again.
"A lot of people perceive women as sexy based on their outer appeal. But there's no way to mistake if a woman is confident." -Trey Songz
There is always a window of opportunity, it's just whether you're ready or not to open it. I was single for about a year and a half after my husband's sudden death. The first six months were devastating and filled with grief.
Once the cloud of sadness began to lift, I embarked on my journey of finding my new self and forgotten confidence. I was still a mother, sister, daughter and friend, but I was no longer a wife. I found this to be scary, yet liberating. I realized that dwelling on the past was a waste of time. Time took on a new meaning and importance.
Who was I? I had a need to discover my passions and improve the person I ignored for the past few decades by focusing on my family. I loved being a wife and full-time mother of three, but it was now MY time. I realized that going out to dinner with my married friends was comforting, but I needed more excitement. I discovered that trying to date the single men who I knew for years was not going to work. I was going to have to step out of my comfort zone and into the unknown singles world.
I took an inventory of my mental and physical assets and deficits and I found that exercise helped me in both areas. Reading self-help books and seeing a therapist were both beneficial, but talking to other widows and divorcees was what I craved. They gave me tips from their years of dating as an older chick.
I loved the attention I received when I went to singles bars. I felt like a teenager with an added bonus, which was the experience I obtained from being in a successful marriage. I loved myself and had been loved.
I ventured out with single women and enjoyed the freedom that comes with being unattached. I felt comfortable talking to guys as they approached me in restaurants or bars. I wasn't looking for my next husband; I was just out to have FUN and find a companion or two along the way.
My secret to my becoming this free-spirited woman can be summed up in one word: C.O.U.G.A.R. No, I wasn't looking to de-flower young, innocent men as the stigma implied; I was evolving into a Confident, Older, Unique, Genuine, Assertive, and Racy woman.
I felt confident in the knowledge that I was a good, intelligent, fun person with many attributes. I was older and wise with experience in multiple areas—marriage, family, travel, work, and sex. I focused on my unique positive qualities and pushed aside my insecurities.
I refused to miss an opportunity to meet a new man by waiting for him to approach me. I was assertive and initiated conversations in coffee shops, gyms, and grocery stores without hesitation. Men seemed to be attracted to me because of the energy that I exuded.
Did I dress sexy and youthful? Hell yes. Was I comfortable talking to men about any racy subject? Of course I was. I decided that the race, religion, or age of the men I met was not a factor in my quest for companionship. I didn't look for a man who fit societal norms; I was completely reliant on my intuition. This was very empowering. Were younger and older men attracted to the woman I had become?