Choosing to find love after loss isn’t an easy decision. Many widowed singles talk about the waves of deep loneliness they feel – even when surrounded by people they love. So the idea of dating after the death of a partner can bring on a tsunami of emotions.
“At Kelleher International, we’ve helped many widowers navigate their second love story,” says Kelleher’s CEO, Amber Kelleher-Andrews. Of all of the matches we make, these are the most rewarding.”
“It’s not easy to open up to love after loss; the experience of losing a partner changes you,” explains Kelleher International founder, Jill Kelleher. “Before bringing someone new into your life, I encourage you to take the time to consider who you are now, and what you now want.”
As you contemplate what’s next, the KI matchmakers share ideas for preparing you to find love after loss.
Write Your Next Chapter
For the first time in perhaps a very long time, you are an individual. You are no longer half of an “us” that no longer exists. You can only wrap yourself in the sadness of that realization for so long. Then you get up and use the space to rediscover your wholeness and do the things you love.
Now that you’re Me instead of We, become curious about your habits and hobbies. What works and what needs a reboot? Do you love your community and where you live? Or do you want to shake things up? What social activities bring you energy? Which people in your life spark joy when you’re with them?
Go on a fact-finding journey to discover what makes you love life and how you might share part of your new world with another.
During this Me-time build in moments of stillness and reconnection with your higher self in silence or meditation. During that time, if you’re considering love after loss, throw out the question, “What kind of romantic relationship do you want next?”
Ask you the question and let it go. Suspend judgment of the thoughts and ideas that come up for you during these moments of mindful exploration. There’s no need to worry about the answer – time is the big revealer.
You creating this sacred space and time to be with yourself in contemplation is one of the healthiest things you can do for your mind, body, and spirit.
Before You Get Back Out There
Once the new you is clear-eyed, confident, and ready to explore love after loss, we have a few gentle reminders.
Director of matchmaking, Kimberly Colgate says, “Remember to date through the lens of seeking someone who compliments this chapter of your life, rather than replacing your late spouse. I encourage you to focus on the here, now, and the future. Not what perfectly suited you thirty years ago.”
Priorities change throughout a lifetime. Partly because of that, our senior widower clients are a fun group to match. Kimberly explains, “Most are living life on their terms and desire a real partner to have fun and enjoy the golden years together. These widowers are clear on what’s important, and we make that the focus of the search.”
Red Flags to Consider
Once you’re actively dating, it’s important to know there are a few things that can be triggers for someone dating a widow(er). You aren’t responsible for their feelings, but it’s compassionate to consider their situation and the overall dating dynamic.
Your potential match might want to support you on difficult days – like your late partner’s birthday or the anniversary of their death. Until you open up and share your feelings, they don’t know how to support you in a way that feels good to you.
Once you think this person has potential, find organic ways to share bits of your history with them. Don’t shy away from memories of your late spouse that seem important and relevant to your current connection.
When it’s time for a sleepover, walk through your home seeing everything with the fresh eyes of your new love interest. Take inventory of the pictures and mementos of your late spouse throughout your home. And consider pairing things back. If that task is too difficult, take baby steps and remove one thing at a time. Or have a friend or family member come over and do it together. The goal is to make sure your environment is inviting to the new love you want to let in.
Kelleher matchmaker Patty Russell adds, “Be careful not to compare each person you date to your late spouse. Comparison steals the joy out of the journey, and it’s a common misstep by widowers in the early stages of dating. Your deceased partner will always have a special place in your heart, but don’t let it block someone else from entering.”
If you think you’re ready for love after loss, but don’t feel prepared for dating in 2019, we get that, too. That’s why Kelleher International shares dating and self-care tips, inspiration, and client reviews on our social community pages. Get to know our matchmaking team while you gain your dating confidence! Find Kelleher International on Facebook and Twitter.
Call us when you’re ready to learn more about our exclusive matchmaking services.