Having gone through such a major trauma — losing my husband — my outlook on life changed and I realized how short life was.

I knew I had to get out there and into the dating world or the time was going to slip away from me.

I usually hear where the person was on 9/11, which can sometimes be interesting.

Most of my dates have been incredibly respectful around the issue, actually.

I know how much of a hermit you can become after being widowed. Also, if you are dating online, you need to have a thick skin. You may think something is going along really well with someone, and then communication just stops without warning. We all get busy and drop the ball on an email thread now and then. If you really like someone you can try and reconnect, but if you don’t hear back, move on.

Dating is the process of discovering what is important to you in a relationship.

I had fallen into that married rut: still wearing my breast-feeding nightie to bed (my son was two at the time), buying my undies at Safeway, mom jeans, haircuts at Supercuts, etc. I will never allow myself to slide into complacency in whatever future relationship I find myself in.

As I began dating in earnest, I discovered a whole new world of lingerie, flattering jeans and great haircuts.

Since the launch of just over 20 years ago, online sites and mobile apps for dating have gained freight train-like momentum, providing millions of singletons worldwide with an easy way to connect with new potential love interests.

However, there's no doubt that everyone comes with his or her fair share of emotional baggage, the weight of which differs depending on the individual.

I learned that dating men who had never been married or didn’t have kids didn’t really work for me. Someone who has no experience in that area doesn’t fully understand the implications that come along with being a lone parent. Not exactly the sexiest shot in the world, you know?

I experimented over time with different photos and different descriptions of myself.

” Being a widow is bad enough, but telling someone your husband died in the World Trade Center on 9/11 takes it to another level.