New Start, Bad Choices – Becoming a Wiser Widow (Hope 4 Widows Blog)

As time moves on, I feel less like a widow, and I begin to wonder how long I’ll still be writing a widow’s blog. But it may be for a little while longer, because even as I continue to pursue my new life, the “single woman” life, being a widow affects how I think and the decisions I make. It influences which men I date, and how I react to them on those dates. Being married to Rick, a man who loved me so well and completely, affects the type of treatment I’ll accept and what doesn’t cut the mustard… Rick still has a great impact: my dating choices.

I’ll be honest, and admit to the world that I did something stupid. Can I blame widowhood? The fact that I haven’t had a man by my side in more than two years? I fell for someone too fast. Tonight, I finally decided to pull the plug on a so-called “relationship” where I’ve been taking less than I deserve. I’ve wasted one month with a man who was obviously using me. But he said all the right things, everything that I wanted to hear. You’re so pretty.  You look so young. You could have any man, and I feel privileged to be with you. I love staring into your eyes. I’ve never had a connection this strong with any other woman in my life. Yada yada yada.

I like him a lot. He’s extremely intelligent. He’s a successful businessman who is creative and thinks outside the box. He’s refreshingly blunt, and I enjoy debating politics with him. Added bonus – I think he’s sexy, and the feeling is obviously mutual.

I loved talking to him late into the night, and waking to his texts early in the morning. I loved when he came to spend time with me, albeit limited time and only when he felt like it. I took one month’s worth of scraps because he flattered me, made me feel good, and said all the right things – words that I haven’t heard since Rick died two years ago. But he sends me lots and lots of mixed signals, and most of them are finally registering.

Let’s just say I wasn’t thinking with my brain. I missed this. I missed having the attention of a red-blooded male. Even if I knew in the back of my mind that I wasn’t getting everything I deserved – or even close to what Rick gave me – it was what I’ve been missing for two years. In twenty years of marriage, I became used to having all that testosterone around the house, and this guy had plenty…

Read the blog on the Hope for Widows website.

About the author

Katherine Billings Palmer is a technical writer, poet, and essayist from Garden City, Michigan. She’s won several academic writing awards, including first place in the University of Michigan Dearborn Critical Essay Contest for her work about poet John Donne: “‘The Sun Rising’: A Lover’s Boast.”

In 2017, Katherine’s husband, Rick, died of complications from small cell lung cancer. She wrote a series of poems and essays about her struggles to cope with her grief. I Wanted to Grow Old With You is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

Her latest book, A Widow’s Words: Grief, Reflection, Prose, and Poetry – The First Year was published in January 2019 and is also available on

Katherine is a guest blogger for the Hope for Widows Foundation and writes about her grief journey at

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