Dating After Death: Tips for Getting Back Out There

Jun 8, 2016

Dating After Death: Tips for Getting Back Out There

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After the death of a beloved, the experience is unlike most any have encountered. With all the overwhelming feelings and thoughts, it can be easier for widowed seniors to become isolated and distant. This is not an uncommon reaction. Like most humans, it is easier to be alone than to add the worry of another person’s feelings. However, as time passes, you may find yourself curiously peaking at the attractive man or woman standing in your grocery checkout line. Butterflies from innocent glances can feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar.

Tips For Dating After Death

People are naturally wired to crave social interaction and intimacy. Do not be afraid of desire because you are inherently designed to crave it. Yet it is no secret, dating after the loss of a loved one is complicated and a unique experience. Not everyone you encounter will understand your point of view or know how to react to it. However, do not let this discourage you from spreading your social butterfly wings!

To lessen the worry of dating later in life, consider these dating tips!

Communicate Your Feelings 

Dating later in life can be more complicated than ever before. There are so many factors to consider, especially your friends and family. Family is one of the biggest influencers when dating later in life. Discuss your desire to date again with your trusted friends and family. Often times, those looking to date again feel more confident with a support network. Addressing the topic may be scary, however, your family may surprise you with their answers! Commonly those closest to you truly want happiness for you, especially after the death of a spouse. Be open and honest about what you are feeling and why. Open communication is key throughout the whole process.

Understand Your Emotions 

Grief and loneliness are natural emotions and can be very overwhelming at times. When the nights are too long and too cold, you may begin to seek companionship to lessen the darkness. As many grief counselors agree, getting back out there is good to find meaning in the world once again. On the other hand, it is important to understand the difference between being ready to ease back into the dating scene and just being lonely. No one in this world can duplicate your late spouse; so do not look for your spouse in every potential partner you meet. There are no time specifications for the grieving process.

Set Boundaries

Finding yourself again without your spouse can be daunting. However, setting boundaries in new relationships can help you do just that. Evaluate your expectations and desires for this new chapter in your life including the type of person with who you wish to spend the remainder of your days. By setting respected boundaries, it is possible to openly accept the course of your new relationship, for better or worse. No matter the outcome, understand it is a learning experience.

Understand That Not Everyone Gets It

Losing an intimate partner is a unique experience not all potential mates will be able to understand. It is common for some to no sooner hear the word ”widow(er)” and tuck their tails to run. Others will lean towards pity and shy away from anything mentioning your late spouse. Understand that most of these people are good intentioned just uneducated. Your situation is alien to those inexperienced with losing a spouse; therefore, they are unknowing of how to react. Nonetheless, do not let these people dissuade you from speaking about your past. An empathetic partner will accept all of who you are and the story which formed you. Completing the grieving process does not mean forgetting your loved one and the long years of marriage. Your loved one will always be a part of you and your story as you move ahead in life.

Each person’s life experiences will never be identical to the person next to them. Know your process of dating after a death is subjective and should reflect your best intentions for yourself.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I divorced my ex-husband over a year ago, but I'm lonely and interested in meeting new men. What elderly dating websites do you recommend?

Some of the best elderly dating websites are OurTime.com and SeniorsPeopleMeet. These websites focus on connecting seniors with other seniors. However, websites like Eharmony and Match are also well-known dating sites for all ages, just remember to adjust the age range of the men you’re interested in meeting! We wish you the best of luck!

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My father has lived in the same house for over 50 years, so he's reluctant to leave. How do I talk to him about moving to a senior care community?

When people grow attached to a familiar setting, moving to a senior care community can be a difficult subject, especially when caregiving is involved. To avoid excessive stress for you and your loved one, there are ways to bring up "the move" to elderly parents. Remember to remain honest and address any concerns your father may have. Prepare yourself for resistance. 

Have you checked out our Is It Time to Seek Senior Care Checklist? This resources will help you decide if it really is the right time for your senior to move out. This may be something that you want to bring to a meeting with your senior to show them some reasons why it may not be safe for them to live independently anymore.

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