Matchmaker’s Advice for Widows & Widowers


You’re widowed and you’re dating again.  Good for you!  Congratulations on having the courage to get “out there” again.

As a personal matchmaker since 1990, I’ve worked with thousands of single widows and single widowers and it’s an honor and a joy for me to serve this particular niche in our Los Angeles Matchmaking community.

And I have some great news for you if you are widowed and dating. I’ve discovered through the years as a  personal matchmaker that if you’ve loved deeply and successfully before, then you’re much more likely to find love again.  It’s good to hear this from a seasoned Los Angeles dating coach, Yes?  Here’s the secret dating tip for widows and widowers.

Discipline yourself to focus on the present moment.

Be really careful not to compare.  One of the biggest challenges in dating as a widow or a widower is that the person who shows up on the date has to compete with the person you have in your mind, which is the ideal man (or the ideal woman) who happens to have many of the characteristics that your former spouse had, plus likely some qualities that your former spouse didn’t even have.

It’s a tough bill to fill for anyone but I know you can do it.

Enjoy your passions again, with someone else.

It can be intimidating to be the “new date” who’s competing with decades of memories from a past love.  Here’s how Gene is approaching his finding-love-again mission. Gene is one of our gentlemen clients. He is a single, widowed man who is 57 years old, a successful business owner whose wife shared so many passions — they did everything together — gardening, cooking, hiking, camping, mountain climbing, playing chess, watching NBA Basketball – they were attached at the hip.  Gene’s wrestling with the reality that it’s unlikely that he’ll find another partner who enjoys and can participate in each of these activities with him.  So he’s practicing being in the moment, in the present, looking for common ground and shared passions with the women he’s meeting now.

The woman we introduced Gene to last weekend has a passion for painting, especially wildflowers, something he’s never been exposed to.  He called me today to let me know that the two of them are going to do something creative and adventurous this coming Saturday.  They’ll head to his favorite park, where she’ll be painting while he takes a five-mile power hike, and they’re both bringing goodies for a picnic afterward.  They’re stretching, learning, growing, adapting — I like their chances together.

Build a list of actionable to-dos.

Here’s a fun exercise, if you’re a single widow or a single widower.  Make a list of ten activities you’d be open to trying or doing again after what may have been a long absence.  Challenge yourself to break out of your molds and patterns. Check out Meet-Up groups in your area to see if there might be some fun new friends to explore.  And be sure to register privately with us, so we can find you when we’re searching for our current and future personal matchmaking clients.

Here’s what I’d say — remember that whether you’re having fun or not, whether you’re entertained or enjoying what you’re doing at any given moment — this is under your control.  I would encourage you to look for the things that you do have in common with each of the people you date and see how it feels being together.  What you’re doing together?  Not nearly as critical as you and she can always find both old and new pass times that you enjoy doing, both together, separately, and side by side.

My hubby, for example loves to do the crosswords and he does them every single day. He also loves watching sports — lots of sports…. I’m often in the same room with him, right by his side, doing something else — reading, managing emails, words with friends, studying recipes, journaling, reading magazines, etc. There are things we love doing together like hiking and gardening.  He is a nut for tennis (not my thing) and so I’m typically in a yoga class while he’s chasing a ball around the court.

A great relationship is more about how you’re being together more so that what are you doing together.  My hubby, Gil just chimed in — he says that balance and compliment is something to look for and to develop.  Two people who are too much alike can make for a stale, stagnant relationship.

Leave the rear view mirror in the car when you go on the date, so you can truly be in the present, giving this opportunity in front of you the chance to blossom.

Julie Ferman has been  a personal matchmaker and dating coach since 1990, with over 1100 marriages to her credit. Single men and women are welcome to register privately, for free, to be eligible for personal matchmaking referrals throughout the U.S., Canada and the world. Julie provides a full menu of personal matchmaking and dating coaching services, by invitation. Her mission is to dignify and simplify the love search process for selective, relationship-minded professionals. Visit her website at

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.