I appreciate your reception to The Widow’s Dilemma. Well done, ladies. Sterling perceptions, comments, and advice.
I can add a little more. I tell widows to trust their experience and above all don’t get desperate. So, I developed some red flags to slow or stop the ambush of desperation.
It takes time to screen men and test for what widows can tolerate and accept. With their experience with men, they can spot red flags about dating, shack up, and marriage.
- Too smooth a talker. Reads her well and tells her what she wants to hear. Test him: Out of the blue declare no sex without marriage. He dashes, forget him. He agrees, change red flag to pink. Surprised men have a way of disclosing true intention.
- He acts immature, adolescent, sometimes like a pure teen. Perhaps captured by modernistic games or TV programming for the immature, particularly comic book characterizations and horror programs. If his maturity level does not match hers, any future with such a guy is probably dim.
- He avoids work, enjoys just sitting, continually complains. He’s not what any woman needs.
- He drinks heavily, or regularly has to have beer in his hand.
- Has no hobby to speak of, nothing to keep his mind occupied but TV, which he views all the time. Enslaved to particular kinds of programming, usually not that of mental stimulation.
- House and yard functioning and repairs, and perhaps car care, are of little or no interest to him.
- Lacks pride in his sense of family responsibility; e.g., expects her to take out the trash and similar chores. If he mows the grass, it is not often enough.
- Test him: She invites him to plant a plant, do the dishes, cook breakfast, or sweep the walk, and he dodges or refuses. It’s not that she expects him to do such things regular, but don’t tell him that. She want to assess his reaction. If he doesn’t care to please her special request at some cost to him, dodge or dump him. He has insufficient respect of her, and his love not will be far behind.
- Test him, although she needs to have some reasoning behind it: “I want to live together for one month without sex. What say you? Can you do it?” He will likely respond with a loudly verbalized “WHY?” She will see how much he respects her or how inconsiderately he feels about her desires. Drag the questioning out if at first she can’t figure him out. It’s only a test; she doesn’t have to carry it out.
- Test him: Refuse sex during dating. (I know two ladies. In their late sixties, they both refused sex and even took trips with their man but insisted on different hotel rooms. One refused to marry because he was not saved. After my Grace led him to the Lord, they married and remain so more than a dozen years later. The other refused to marry until he converted from his to her religion. They remained married until he passed away about eight years later. Both couples had successful and happy relationships with extended families.)
- Test him: If she expects to marry, let her refuse sex until they marry or at least he proposes with sincerity that she believes without doubt.
- Test him: Refuse to talk finances except to claim hers are extremely private, inaccessible, and she lives miserly for no reason except that’s the way she is. If they do anything, he pays just like in the old days. Let her measure his dedication to her by how he reacts. Don’t let his spending, however, bring her finances into the dialogue until he proposes marriage.
Red flags don’t disqualify a guy unless too many or too out-of-tolerance for her to accept living with him. Looking for red flags, however, discourages her becoming desperate.
Each woman is born hard-headed and soft-hearted. As a widow and given good reason, it is fairly easy for the former to overwhelm the latter. With emphasis on being hard-headed, she can more easily both spot red flags and get her way with any man. No reason to get soft-hearted, as it can lead to loss of advantage that precedes desperation. She just has to use the best she’s got; that is, the self-endowed wisdom of years of experience learning what’s best for her when dealing with men of all ages.