“As I made the decision to try to meet a new partner, I quickly realized I lacked experience after so many years of being out of the loop during marriage,” said Eileen Cooley of her new book Dating After Widowhood: Stepping Into New Challenges. “I felt like a fish out of water.”
“The idea to write this book arose after I described one of my first dates to a close friend. As I recounted my doubts and awkwardness, I also sensed her interest in the details of the evening, even though the date had gone badly. I decided to write down my thoughts and feelings as I adjusted to my new experiences in the world of dating. As usual, my reflections helped me to manage my adjustment as I ventured outside my comfort zone,”
After 30 years of marriage and several years as a widow, Eileen confronted the complexities of stepping out there again while grief lingered in the background. From deciding if another relationship could be in the cards to tackling dating websites, 41 brief essays present her unexpected feelings and challenges. Topics include Never another long-term partner, My aging body, Adjusting to rejection, Too many red flags, and Mindful dating.
“As a psychologist, I frequently listen to relationship concerns. After these new interpersonal experiences, I listened carefully to my own voice as I stepped back to see what I could learn and how I might grow. Thus, I was able to write the ‘Take Home Message’ segments for each essay.”
From Newly Widowed, Now Socially Awkward, published in 2017, Eileen knew that writing would help her process feelings and keep a clearer perspective as she tackled trying to date at this point in her life. “Over the past three years, writing helped me to see the whole process as interesting and informative, regardless of my actual feelings at the moment.”
Sales have remained steady for Newly Widowed, Now Socially Awkward. Additionally, Eileen has received calls from women sharing appreciation for the thoughts and feelings described in her book, along with others sharing personal feedback in reviews.
Dating After Widowhood is the sequel, written for widows who are considering dating or are ready to date, as well as women in other circumstances who have been with one partner for many years and now want to meet a new partner.
“For both books, I really enjoy feeling that Wayne and I are a team. As my editor, I appreciate that he knows the contents as well as I do. Our work together helps me to feel that writing a book is not an isolating project. I enjoy interacting with other people, and our process energizes my writing.”