Women ageing

To date – or not to date – a widower?

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January 28  |  Grief & Bereavement, Love & Relationships, overcoming adversity, Self-Help, Women ageing, Women and love  |   Cynthia






I was recently asked to contribute to an article in a US publication, about the whys and wherefores of dating a widower.  This is a really tricky one to answer as there’s no right or wrong answer. Every situation is individual and different.

If you find yourself in this situation, here are a few quick guidelines to bear in mind:

  •  Ascertain discreetly how long it is since she died – he may not be ready for another relationship, even though he thinks he is.
  • Don’t rush it – go at his pace.
  • Know that anniversaries and special days will possibly be painful – even many years down the line
  • Don’t ask him about his late wife unless he raises it and if he does, let him talk about it. Don’t try to offer advice – all he wants is a witness to listen his pain.
  • He may want to avoid certain places where they went as a couple.
  • Set your own boundaries – beware of being compared to her, or incessant talk about her.
  • Watch out for warning signs – if he appears to be stuck in grief and it gets pathological then get out. He may not be emotionally available right now – but keep the door open if you want to.
  • Has he got baggage by way of children? If so, can you cope with it? Don’t try and be their mother. The best you can hope to be to them is a good friend. Be prepared for potential animosity from his former in-laws as well as his children and even friends.
  • Manage your expectations of him and the relationship. He may still be fragile. Give time time.

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Ageing with acceptance and gratitude

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November 14  |  Acceptance and gratitude for ageing, Fitness and the mature woman, Post menopausal women, professional single women, Self-Help, self-transformation, single women, Women ageing  |   Cynthia


I’ve got a real “thing” about the anti-ageing movement.  Basically I can’t stand it. If it’s fake, botox, cosmetic plastic surgery, extortionate pills and potions claiming to turn back the clock – I truly believe it sucks.

And I’ll tell you why this is the case.  Ageing is something which happens to all of us, whether we like it or not.  Given that we all know people who’ve met the Grim Reaper way too early, I feel it’s downright wrong to transmit the message to our daughters, and granddaughters, that ageing is a state that women should be ashamed of.  On the contrary – we should welcome it not shun it. The more you try to stop it, the more addictive the struggle becomes.

It’s physically impossible to stop the clock or turn it back – no matter what the outrageous claims which are made by the proponents of the inauthentic look. You’re fighting a losing battle!  At what point do you give up the cause? When some guy taps you on the shoulder, you turn round and he goes into cardiac arrest, because you’ve had so much “work” done, you resemble an Extra Terrestrial?

These frenetic attempts to compete with our younger sisters is absolutely absurd.  Lines and wrinkles are something to be proud of. And before the Botox Brigade lambast me, let me point you back to Silver Vixen Principle Number One – happiness is an Inside Job. It’s not about the externals.  It’s not about the amount of toxins you ingest or loopy lotions you fritter away your hard-earned cash on.  It’s not about mutton being dressed up as lamb.

Bottom line – and no pun intended here – the only way you can really find inner contentment is to work on your inner life. Self-care yes – self-delusion – a big NO!

Come on girls – we have a responsibility to those who come after us, to lead by example, and demonstrate that there’s plenty of life post menopause.  It’s up to us in a society which has gone mad, to teach them that attraction and self-confidence are based on establishing and continually working on a rich inner self – not opting for trout pouts or a Widow Wildenstein mask.

We all mourn our lost youth – but only up to a certain point. Because – if we’ve played our cards right, we’ve come to the wise conclusion that resistance to ageing is futile – we simply have to develop self-acceptance and gratitude for our lives, and give more to others, as well as to ourselves in a nurturing, healthy way, so we move ourselves from a place of self-obsession and vanity, towards making a valuable contribution to our sisters.