How I Found My Confidence To Date Again After My Husband's Sudden Death

For the first time in my life I was free to do whatever I wanted.

Finding My Confidence As A Cougar After My Husband's Death LuckyBusiness, cpaulfell | Canva

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 needed 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 had known 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.

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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 a bonus, which was the experience I obtained from being in a successful marriage. I loved myself and had been loved.


How I Found My Confidence As A Cougar After My Husband's Death Pexels / cottonbro studio

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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. 


Being single ROCKS😎best things you didn’t realize about being single 👉💖

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I felt confident in the knowledge that I was a good, intelligent, fun person with many attributes. I was older and wiser with experience in multiple areas — marriage, family, travel, work, and intimacy. 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 attractive and youthful? 100% 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?

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KarenLee Poter, MSW, is the host of the KarenLee Poter Show on dating, love, and everything in between, as well as the author of A Cougar's Guide To Getting Back Out There.