I have read lots of books about and by widows and they usually are wrenching accounts of the adjustment to life without. In some cases, I have been enlightened after reading the book by the current status of the women formally known as widows. Joyce Carol Oates was remarried as her book about being a widow was being reviewed. Kate Braestrup has a blurb about being remarried on her book jacket.
Even the "Widow's Camp" is run by women who are now married-and still they call themselves widows. Not sure I understand how you can be a widow and also be married. But the point of this entry is that I have not read many accounts of how you let a new man into your life. There are so many challenges and this is yet an additional layer to the grief experience.
We are all so colored by our past relationships. In my extremely limited experience on the dating circuit - there are some "types". Disclaimer here-again "limited" is true and I am also aware that most people should not be put into a "type box".
There are the widowers, who are anxious to fill the void left by the wife that was plucked from their side. They have not quite gotten the "living alone" and "caring for oneself" piece ironed out. The man that I met was still unsure where his wife put the can opener and she had been dead for a year. He was so excited by the potential "next" out there that he wanted to book a 4 day trip to the Grand Canyon, a place that his wife refused to go to. He also was ready to sell the house and move into mine! We had been dating for two weeks.
There are the divorced men, jaded about their past wives and not quite sure why they are dating at all. They seem a bit hostile and angry. The terrain there is like a minefield and I was never confident that what I said next would not remind them of what their ex did and said moments before the split. Hard to get past the anger and the hesitancy here.
There are the guys who are in their 50's and 60's and never got married. Not sure about them-and about how time seemed to get past them and here they are still single and available. I dated a man who still drove his mother's Camry.
And then there is my emotional state. I crave attention and affection. I sleep with a dog who although sometimes licks my feet is also not particularly loving. She barks and demands. Nothing much in the way of affection there. Also I was under the impression that I could find someone who was ready for the adult me-all grown up and insightful about my needs and inner self.
But I guess we are somewhat damaged by what has occurred before-and in my case, the fact that I am dating 60 year old men also means that there are physical issues that complicate the climate. Most have high blood pressure and back issues. Most are fighting the battle of the bulge although describe themselves as incredibly fit and athletic. They are flawed, emotionally and physically. Not sure it is worth the struggle but it is yet another hurdle to get over. I will hang in there.