Dating 101

Tips for getting back into the dating world after losing a spouse

Making the choice to get back into the dating world is no small task. If you have managed to win the battle with any guilt issues you may be grappling with, you have already taken one of the most difficult steps.

Dating after a death can be difficult; here's what other widows are saying about getting back into the dating world.

  • There is a certain liberation about knowing you have already survived the un-survivable. In an existence where silver linings can be tough to find, grab this one. Use the knowledge that you are still upright, breathing, and aware of the fact that life still holds joy in spite of your loss. Enter this new arena with confidence.
  • Online sites can be fun. Be advised however, that a “widow” status does not deter potential suitors. The combination of a widow status and a less-than-warm self-description will not buy you time to ease into the experience.
  • Hold tight to your sense of humor, you'll need it.
  • Forgive yourself for any mistakes you make. No one is perfect.
  • Be candid about your feelings, but avoid the temptation to use your date as a grief counselor. There is a time and place for telling your life story; a first date is not the time. Although it’s important for your date to understand the emotions you're going through, allow your date a chance to bring the issue up and ask questions.
  • Be honest with your children. How your child adjusts to you dating again will largely be based on your lead. It's also important to make sure your children know you are not trying to replace their dad (or mom).
  • Any feelings of panic, guilt, confusion or anger are not unusual, especially if you find yourself developing feelings for someone. Relationships can trigger an array of emotions in widowed parents. The trick is to acknowledge your feelings and work through them as a family.
  • You may be judged or receive unsolicited advice from friends and family. Some will opine you are “moving on too soon” while others may simply feel you have chosen someone who is not right for you and the children. Do everyone a favor, and try to focus on your life rather than any hurtful comments.