First, my deepest condolences on the loss of your wife. Nothing can adequately prepare a person for such a devastating and sorrowful event. Its like a volcano erupting, leaving behind nothing but ashes. Your world is rocked to its very core as you sift through the debris, desperately trying to maintain your faith, hope, sense of purpose, and peace of mind so you can at least sleep for a few hours here or there ... so you can manage a weak smile now and then ... and so you can try to start rebuilding your life one tiny step at a time.
Dating can be awkward and stressful at ANY time in your life, let alone trying to find a new soulmate or at least someone to spend enjoyable time with. Here are a few suggestions that I hope will help to lighten your journey:
1) Don't worry so much about "what is going on" with you right now.
You lost your wife, your soulmate. No more needs to be said about that - you have suffered one of the most painful losses known to mankind. Cut yourself some slack. You are bound to be more than confused at this point in your life. Just go with it and try not to over-analyze your feelings. Don't worry about the next 36 years of your life or whether you'll find another soulmate in your lifetime. The heart wants what the heart wants ... and when your heart is truly ready to love again, it will let you know and lead you in the right direction.
2) Try not to see each date as a potential life-partner candidate.
Instead of thinking, "OMG, I hope she's 'THE ONE'," try to think more along the lines of, "She sounds like fun! It would be great to have someone I'd actually like to hang out with now and then and enjoy playing tennis with or sharing laughs at a comedy club." Take the pressure off both you AND your date. There is nothing wrong with expanding your circle of platonic friends, male or female.
3) Be mindful of your online dating profile (if you have one).
If you indicate right up front that you're a widower seeking a new relationship (soulmate), that might prove to be too much of a perceived emotional burden for potential companions. The pressure will be on them to measure up to your ideal soulmate, which, of course, they never will. This is not the time to bare all. But you don't have to be dishonest either. You can put a truthful profile out there, but keep it in general terms for now - you can always elaborate more about your situation later as you see fit.
Most important is to learn to have genuine fun again, even in little chunks, whether it's riding a roller-coaster or enjoying a 3-D movie. No matter what your favorite pastime is, make time for it and even consider sharing it with someone else from time to time. No pressure. No commitment. Just a really fun time with a new friend and a way to experience laughter again. Joy is sure to follow.
Wishing you much comfort and peace of mind in your journey ahead.