We had the kind of relationship people spent their entire lives searching for, that perfect blend of lover and friend. You could say it was a badge of honor, and I wore it proudly.People often wondered if I ever regretted getting married so young. A few months after his death, I considered remaining a widow forever. I figured the dating world belonged to 20-year-old coeds, not 31-year-old widows. I delivered my son three days before my husband was killed.I'd seen the movie a few times, but it never struck a chord with me. Comedian and widower Patton Oswalt was recently criticized by internet trolls after announcing his new engagement to Meredith Salenger 15 months after his wife's death. I was excited to see that he looked just like his photo — fit, tan, and a little rugged. I was a bit surprised to hear a thick country accent exit his lips but found it adorable.Then I remembered it was originally a book, a dating guide for single girls. People wrote things like, "He's getting grief-laid" and "I'm judging him in my heart for getting it on a little too soon." The engagement spiked so much controversy that it inspired a fellow widow blogger, Erica Roman, to defend him in an emotional post: "You don't get to comment on the choices of a widower while you sit happily next to your own living spouse," she wrote. We were having a great time until he decided to ask me how long I'd been single.And right now, taking care of yourself and enjoying yourself is an important new way to be responsible.Being “responsible” isn’t supposed to be punitive, it’s about building awareness and learning.You and your husband probably became more responsible and goal-oriented.
But if “having fun” in this way becomes where you get your self-pride and self-worth, then I encourage you to think carefully about why you are dating after the death of your husband.If I was ever going to get back out there, I needed to be prepared. Prebook, I felt depressed, insecure, and vulnerable. After days of Googling dating sites, I finally signed up for e Harmony. So why do people throw divorce parties and jump at the opportunity to set up the recently divorced but criticize widowers for attempting to move on with their lives. "I'm a widow," I replied, hoping to squash the subject matter. He proceeded to coax more information out of me, asking how my husband died, asking me about the trial, and even asking me about the man who'd killed him.It seemed the most private and the least scandalous. My husband's death had made the national news, and I was still being recognized around town. I decided not to let the fear of judgment consume me, but I did take a little extra precaution. If someone was going to take me on a date, they would have to drive 60 miles or more to do so. We messaged back and forth for a little while before he finally asked me on a date. There I sat with a strange man telling him about my husband's death. We went on to play some arcade games and have a few margaritas, but the date was ruined.Or you may build unrealistic expectations about a budding emotional attachment.I’m assuming that, like most of us, you’ve spent your married life being responsible.I moved out on my own, got a professional singing gig, and was finally starting to find myself again . Upon finishing my dark and depressing story, he said nothing.