Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things that can happen in your life. It can take years to start to feel like your life has returned to some degree of normality, and even then, it’s not easy getting back into dating.
Grief is an intensely individual process. People can help you, but ultimately it’s your experience. Trusting your instincts is essential to getting your timing right. However, when many of us are preparing to step into 50 plus dating after the loss of a partner, feelings of guilt can keep us away. In this guide, we’ll guide you through the steps you should take to ease yourself into the process.
Take Time to Think It Through
Really think about what it is you want out of dating at this point in time. You may be looking for a partner, a lover or just to experience the thrill of dating again. Whichever it is, allow yourself to be honest about what it is that you’re looking for without guilt. Once you have decided on this, you might want to think about it for a set amount of time to make sure that you feel emotionally ready to take on the new challenges that come with dating again.
Talk To Someone
You may want to talk to a professional about your decision to start dating again but if you choose not to it would still be beneficial to talk to someone, whether it be a family member or a close friend. They can help to support you through the decision and be a shoulder to lean on if you need it. If you are close to your spouse/partners family or if you have children together, sharing your feelings with those who were close to your partner can help you see that this is nothing to be ashamed of.
Don’t Try to Replace Your Loved One
If you compare every prospective date with your loved one, they will always be missing something. You can’t replace your loved one and it isn’t fair on a prospective date to try. It can be hard not to look for the same qualities in a person, as many of them are probably why you fell in love in the first place, but try and consider every potential date on their own merit. Think back to what it is you want from a relationship or dating right now and the type of person you would like to fit that opening.
Dip Your Toe
If you’ve thought about all these considerations and still want to take the plunge, try setting up a profile and start messaging people. Consider what you wish to put on your profile in regards to marital status; only you can decide how much you want to divulge and when to your potential dates so have a plan in mind for when you want to do this.
There is no shame in taking a break from dating if you find it is too soon. Allow yourself to set your own pace in any relationships that might stem from dating and enjoy this new phase in your life.
More general advice on dating can be found here and if you want to re-join the over 40 dating scene then Maturity Dating is here to help.