After Losing My Wife, I Might Be Ready To Meet Someone New

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Hello Meredith,

After a storybook romance spanning 35 years of marriage and four children, I lost my wife to cancer almost a year ago.

I’m fortunate to be surrounded by great family and friends but miss female companionship. I have not actively pursued anyone, and am not sure where even to begin – or if I’m actually ready.

Any advice or insight would be appreciated!

– Next steps


First, I am so sorry for your loss. Thirty-five years and four children. What a life to celebrate.

I wouldn’t expect you to know if you’re ready to date – and that’s OK. Sometimes the only way to figure it out is to try. My advice is to get into a bereavement group so you can talk to others about how they’re taking next steps. Groups are weird; you can wind up in a perfect mix of people who understand you, or you can land with strangers who make you think, “Huh. These people are not at all like me!” But … that gives you some information, too. At the very least, the activity shows you there’s a community of people going through something similar. If you have trouble finding a group, you can reach out to your doctor – or even the people who treated your late wife. After my mom died, Mass General helped me find some good groups for myself.

Also, tell your friends – your daily check-in people – that you’re thinking about looking, and that you need their support. Get people used to the idea that someday, you might find love. It might inspire them think about who they know for you.

Last but not least – and this is a big step – maybe sit with one of those friends (someone fun) and make a dating profile on an app. Honestly, you don’t have to swipe on anyone or have big conversations. But … it’s interesting to see faces. To see what people say about themselves, where they live, what they like. You can take it all in and get a sense of how people meet now.

If something feels good, great. If it doesn’t, you can stop the activity and watch a happy TV show (I will not stop recommending “Ted Lasso” for sad days). Find your own pace … and good luck.

– Meredith

Readers? How do you start this process without freaking yourself out?

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