How many times have you thought to yourself: I don’t want to “work” at a new relationship, I want it to be the fun part of my life. And how many times has a nagging voice in your head chimed in, well, just live alone then, because there’s no such thing as a toil free relationship. You will still argue and still have moments of total frustration. Whether it’s a friend or another partner, relationships do require effort. So be prepared before you get back into the dating game. It’s hard to trust and get into another relationship where you may end up going through more emotional pain. Maybe the relationship will be a second love, but then they get sick and you’re a widow again. Or maybe the relationship will not work out and your trust is broken. It takes time to become emotionally open to understanding that trust begins with your relationship with yourself and then flows out to others. The typical widow wonders, “Can I find love again?” When you lose your spouse you often re-examine what love really is. You may feel unlovable and even be afraid that you will never be in love again. This fear can be overwhelming when you really want to be in a relationship again. Here it is – I’m going to talk about sex, that forbidden topic that no one wants to bring up. What do you think of when the word sex is mentioned? Most of us tend to be interested, but scared and we react emotionally. But the truth is that sex is over emphasized and glamorized by society as a whole. The funny thing is that married couples think single people get all the action and are free to get all they want, anytime, anyplace – and single people think that married couples are the ones that are having all the fun. In reality, a widow often finds the hassle of sexuality the most trying in starting up another relationship. Having a loving husband made having a sexual life easy and comfortable and just because our husbands are gone doesn’t mean our sexual needs go away. Most widows are more or less terrified by the thought of dating again, especially if it’s been years and the dating rules have changed. They feel old, unattractive, unsure of themselves and fearful of the unknown. Also, no matter what our age we still hear our parents telling us to be good girls. At this stage we may even find our grown children telling us the same thing. No wonder dating is confusing and uncertain when you are a widow. I can’t give you any magic words of wisdom on this issue. Everyone has their own moral compass about what feels right to them. Take your time with a new relationship because dating too soon (and only you can judge that) may be nothing more than you trying to fill that emptiness in your heart. An important element in the rebuilding of your life is the process of learning to love yourself first. As you love yourself you will attract others to you. If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect anybody else to love you? Have faith in yourself because you are strong and loveable just as you are – this I know. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith if it feels right because otherwise you may miss the chance to have another great guy in your life. On the other side it can be easy to get mixed up with the wrong guy, so listen to your heart and be careful but not fearful.