Dear Mr. Right: An Open Letter From Widow To Widower


Dear Mr. Right,

Many moons ago Elvis Presley recorded a little song called “She’s Not You.” In the first line of the lyrics, he croons: “Her hair is soft and her eyes are oh so blue. She’s everything a man could want, but she’s not you…”

I must admit that every time I hear Elvis singing that song, I wonder what you’re thinking when you look into my blue eyes. Are you savoring a sweet moment with me or are you remembering the lovely lady named Mrs. Right who brought so much happiness into your life for 25 years?

Personally, I hope it’s a little of both. 

It all comes down to history, my dear Mr. Right. 

We are who we are today because of our late spouses. Just about every good quality you see in me is a reflection of the joyful man I was married to for 29 years. 

They say “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the heart.”  Truer words were never said.  Mr. Tess had the ability to look past my “bad hair” days and see whatever was on my heart.

My fondest memories are of dancing with young Mr. Tess outside, under a star-filled sky.   I remember the excitement every time he called and the freshness of young love.  There was much hope back in those days. We couldn’t wait for the honeymoon and sincerely hoped it would never end. 

Ah, the marital embrace is surely an experience to be treasured and kept in one’s heart forever. After all, the result of this beautiful experience for me was the birth of three little boys. Nothing could be sweeter than a child conceived in love.


Great expectations 

When I married, I assumed as all of us do, that it would be forever and that perhaps when we were 100-years-old we would die in the same moment. I believe the term for that idea is “wishful thinking.”

As a young widow, I found that when my spouse died, a part of me died also. Everything about my life that made me me was gone.

I had the strangest sort of problems after Mr. Tess passed away. For one thing, I didn’t ever want to be alone in a room with another man. I remember going to see my financial planner to invest money from a life insurance claim. I actually had to get up and leave the meeting because I felt as if I were cheating on my spouse just by talking to this man about my finances. 

I cried all the way home and into the evening.

Suddenly friendships that we had as a couple dried up and disappeared; surely no one wanted a third wheel on a dinner date. One woman was certain that since my husband was now out of the picture, I would go after hers!

That was the farthest thought from my mind.

Christmas shopping was the worst experience ever. Everyone in the stores was so full of joy and merriment. It was as if they had no idea that something devastating had happened in my little world.

And what about those wedding rings? 

I worried about anything and everything.


Kissing frogs

I tried my hand at dating, but as the saying goes, “I kissed a lot of frogs.” No one seemed to understand me.

One night I had a dream. In the dream I was waiting at my front door for my date. I could see the gentleman getting out of his car across the street and walking toward the house. 

In that same moment, I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I turned around to see Mr. Tess standing there. He embraced me, and leaning me backwards, planted a passionate kiss on my lips. 

He was gone and my date was at the door.

And then I met you, my dear Mr. Right.

You wrote me a message on CatholicMatch and before the end of that week we met in person. Our face-to-face lasted for five hours! 

I remember the first couple hours of conversation were focused on our late spouses and our lives together with them. We cried and we laughed. We spoke of the joy our children brought into our lives and sadness of my oldest son’s passing. 

There was no stone left unturned.

I also remember being worried sick the first time you were coming to my house for dinner because I thought maybe I should take down some of the pictures of my late husband. 

But what did you do? 

You went up and examined them carefully and asked about each one with interest.  You wanted to know my history.

Do you remember meeting my grown children and their spouses? The funniest part had to be when my granddaughter Maddie came running up to me with open arms yelling “Grandma!!!!!!”  You laughed and went with the flow. 

Since my daughter-in-law was expecting, you told stories about taking Mrs. Right to the hospital to have your babies. What a lovely time we had.

I remember well the first time I met your children. My very first thought was how much they were like my own and how easy it would be to love them. They have the best parts of their father and their mother in them. 

What more could you ask for?   

I was also honored when you paged through your wedding album with me and reminisced about your wedding day and young love. You cut a very dashing figure back in the day.

In the last few months we’ve met each other’s in-laws and passed the test. Now the big question would seem to be, “Is it possible to love two people in a lifetime?” 

Being in a relationship in our 50s is quite an interesting ride, wouldn’t you agree, Mr. Right? After all, we live in different states, we both have children, we have different friends, I have grandchildren, you are big city, and I am small town. 

But the thing is, it works for us.  Together we are learning to walk before we can run again. 

You are my best friend and I love you!

-Mrs. Tess



  1. Tom-1144485 November 15, 2014 Reply

    Lovely story, and it gives me hope and insight. I lost my wife of 35 years to cancer just a month ago, and very much wonder that the future will bring.

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Mary-851887 February 17, 2014 Reply

    Thank you for your insight. Dating at any age can be a challenge and confusing. Dating in our 50’s and beyond seems to be even more of a challenge. I appreciate your words.

  3. Sue D. July 18, 2012 Reply

    i am very lonely pretty red hair and green seductive eyes
    love coffee chatting and dancing

  4. Jim-397948 August 19, 2011 Reply

    Instead of calling me Mr. Right…Call me Mr. Open Heart…There are wonderful women on CM, including widows!!!!

    • Barb-505508 August 20, 2011 Reply

      Hi Jim,

      I’ll take that as a compliment. I’m sure there’s a lovely lady out in NJ just waiting for you to sweep her off her feet!


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