Young Widow Can Imagine Not Marrying Again

Ahhh, dating.  Sooner or later this becomes every widow’s favorite topic with other widows.  And there is a very good reason for this:  Because we feel like it’s unacceptable to talk about it outside of the herd.

But I can guarantee you that, for most widows, it’s one of the first things we think about after our husbands die.  I don’t mean that in a bad way.  It’s human nature to wonder what comes next.  And for those of us who suddenly find ourselves involuntarily single, we want to know:  Am I supposed to start dating?  When is it too soon to start dating?  What will people say if I start dating? What will they say if I don’t?

It’s very natural to find a mate, settle down, and have kids in our twenties.  That’s why hormones were invented and why birth control is not 100% effective.  I often say that I miss the stupidity of my twenties when I really didn’t know what marriage meant.  I just thought it would be fun to use one of those price guns at Target.  I really didn’t think the whole thing through and it didn’t occur to me that by marrying my husband when I turned 20, there was a good chance that I would be with him for 70 years.

But fate is a tricky thing and things didn’t quite turn out that way.

Now, in my 30s and having taken the vows once before, I know full well what it means to be married and smell the same gas, watch the same do-it-yourself shows, and wake up to the same morning breath (which means that he didn’t get up with the kids so that you could sleep in) every day for the rest of my life.  So, forgive me if I pause before making that leap once again.

And dating isn’t as easy as it was in my twenties.  I know I’m hitting the age where 49% of all the males I know will start to get divorced, thereby flooding the market, but it’s still no picnic.  They all come with kids, mortgages, and potentially crazy in-laws to deal with.

Now, funny enough to the male population, I seem to come with more baggage than they do.  I’ve never quite understood that.  Sure, I’m dealing with a loss, but I think widows and divorcees are pretty much tied in the bitterness and “it’s not fair” department.  Believe me, it’s just as hard for me to accept you with your three children from three different wives as it is you to deal with me and my deceased husband.  Let it go.

And now that I’m older, I’m pickier.  I mean, in my twenties, I was looking for a nice rear and a decent car.  Now I’m grilling my potential dates on their benefits packages and the state of their health. `Cause let’s face it, I don’t want to lose another one.

And finally and most importantly–after you’ve been single for awhile and you start to understand that you can handle most things on your own, you start asking yourself, “Do I want to get married again?”

Don’t get me wrong.  Marriage is great.  But once you get used to sleeping right smack in the middle of your bed with no one to poke because he’s snoring so loud, it’s hard to go back.  It would be nice to have someone to bounce the big decisions off of, but on the flip side, you don’t have to ask anyone their opinion on anything.  You don’t have to shave.  You don’t have to wonder when he’s going to notice that huge-ass dent in your car.  If you gain 500 lbs., no one else is going to be irritated about that other than you.

Now, I know this sounds cynical and that really not my intention.  But for those of us who got married in our twenties and had only the slightest taste of independence, well, that’s pretty hard to give up now.  And the problem is that we’d be giving it up to start all over again.  I mean, it took me 11 years to mold my husband into the man I knew he would want to be.  And now, when I go out on a date, I can say within the first 20 minutes, “Nope.  I don’t have the energy to train that one.”  And then I go home and flop myself right smack in the middle of my bed with hairy legs and a box of chocolate.

Hey, it’s not perfect.  But in my experience, Russell Stover has never snored.

Catherine Tidd 2010

Catherine Tidd

More Articles Written by Catherine

Catherine Tidd is a widow and the Founder of, a free social support network dedicated to anyone who has lost a significant other. She is also a writer, public speaker, and mother to three young entertaining children. She received a degree in English from Rollins College in 1998 and has since worked as a writer, editor, Marketing Manager, and Event Planner. Originally from Louisiana, Ms. Tidd currently lives in Denver, CO. To read more of Catherine's work, visit


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  • Love this piece! You have a way with words. Thank you! I was sure I would NEVER remarry, but I did, and I’m glad!

    ~ Alice J. Wisler
    Author, speaker and blogger

  • sissy says:

    Yes Im young and just found out my husband has cancer the more aggressive type tomer in his brain right now, we are not doing radiation and chemo its too late for the gama ray,so now he is home he wants to die at home its hard and cry alot no I won’t ever marry again just like to know how to live again thats me when my life is just stop dead on the train tracks I don’t feel like moving on anymore.

    • Kim Go says:

      Sissy, I am so sorry for your husband to be facing this illness and you for enduring this road of caregiving and grief. You are in my prayers.

    • Catherine Tidd says:


      I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with this. I just went to dinner last night with a friend whose husband has been ill for a long time (he too is terminal). I know you must be exhausted and going through a million different emotions at once and I hope that you are finding the support you need. We all go through times when it’s all we can do to just remember to put one foot in front of the other.

      Thinking of you….

    • Mrs Hulya Santini says:

      Sissy my Baby pas… on Ferbuary on Lung Cancer SCLC and I miss him so much since then being without my love of my live. My life supposed to go on but I can not pass it somehow, I really tried to get into the “normal” but some people seem to manage and some just do not. Catherine you just funny and I love reading your journals they make me laugh and with some of them comments I can agree with especially having chocolate and watching TV with unshaved legs, hehehe!

  • NLU says:

    Sissy, I’m so sorry that you are dealing with this at such a young age. I am 46 years and my husband was 43 when he died, I was 44 at the time of his death. It’s really hard to see your husband suffer thru their illnesses. I watched my husband and their was nothing I could do, except show him love and support. You will find the strength to go on, just remember you are not alone in this.

    I believe most of us say that we are not going to marry again after our spouses die. And what I have realized thru this journey that I have taken, is that the choices that I make today will decide what kind of life I will lead. And the life I want to have is a happy one.
    I have been a widow for about 1 year and 3 mths, yes started dating.
    What you said about the first thing you think about is dating, you are so right. It didn’t hit me until my daughter who at the time was 13 said “mom please don’t get married again”. and she said this the first night we were at home after her father/my late husband had passed away. Wow, I’m single, and of course all the questions come to surface. One of the questions that really got to me was, what are others going to say. Thanks to a wonderful cousin (my husband’s cousin) he gave me encouragement and talked to me about it. He helped me realize that I need to live life and go on.
    He has been a great support system for me, not too mention my mom, dad and sisters too. I have been dating this wonderful man and yes I do look for things that I didn’t look for when I first got married 25 years ago. Now as a single woman, I feel more alive, more vibrant and so full of zest in my life.

    • NLU says:

      It sounded like I was dating his cousin and no I’m not dating his cousin. I actually came into contact with my first boyfriend that I had when I was 13 years old, after 32 years we have come into each others lives and it’s so beautiful! I am so happy with him, don’t know if we will get married, he has never been married and no children. He accepts me for who I am! For now we are enjoying each other and living life!!!

      • LOL! NLU…I’m so glad you cleared that up. I’m sure your cousin is very nice, but….:>)

        What a great, positive story you posted. I love hearing about second chances and people who come out of loss changed, always remembering their loved one, but able to be happy. Thank you for sharing that!

        Best of luck to you!

        • NLU says:

          LOL, too funny. After I read it I realized that it sounded like I was dating the cousin.
          Thank you. I try very hard to stay positive. What helps is reading stories of other widows experiences.

  • Dawn says:

    Thank you for the WONDERFUL post! Fits me to a “T”.. mine died suddenly 6 weeks ago at 42, together 25 years married 22 of them. You got it so right on so many levels..Thanks for the laugh, just what I needed today <3 to us all

  • sofi says:

    My husband died of cancer a year ago. We have 2kids 5 and 2 yo. Its very difficult to start to open my heart for other male. I am 30yo. My parents really worried about me getting old and alone.. the older I am.. the harder to get man… here in my country.. young girls and single with no kids are everywhrre and attractive… I am very sure I would not remarry again.

  • dana says:

    Thank you for writing this! My husband passed away 10 years ago when he was 40 years old. We had been married 16 years, and had 2 boys. I “panic” dated very briefly after he died, looking for something familiar. I did a quick re-evaluation of my life, and realized it was perfect as it was, but more importantly, my boys needed to know they were “the” most important people in my life. And honestly, I could never love anyone more than I loved my children. It would be GREAT to have an extra set of hands in getting things done, or someone to bounce the important decisions in life off of, but, really, that’s about it. Our lives are full, the boys are doing great, I live *my* life now and don’t have to wait for someone else to weigh in on my decisions, or negate them altogether. I have made choices for us my husband would never have supported, including moving to a better school system, and never have to compromise what I believe is best ever again. I cannot imagine a strange man coming in to our home now and making our lives any better, on any level, than they already are. And happily living without the drama I hear from friends who have chosen to date again. Grateful for my time with my husband as I have my beautiful children, and grateful for the rest of these days to spend with them. Life is full with career, friends, work and, most importantly, my boys. Looking forward to great things…and someday…grandchildren. 🙂