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5 Things to Consider When Dating After The Death of a Spouse

Dating after the death of a spouse is difficult but with the support of family and friends, it’s doable.

By Tamika Morrison OkelekePublished 3 years ago Updated 3 years ago 3 min read
5 Things to Consider When Dating After The Death of a Spouse
Photo by Gadiel Lazcano on Unsplash

Reality TV Star NeNe Leakes recently lost her husband, Gregg, who was her soulmate to cancer. I was stunned and heartbroken for her, you could tell they really loved one another. I personally know two widowers, who are now in their early 40s but lost husbands in their 20s. According to them, it has been a struggle to find companionship after the death of their spouses and I’ve been a witness.

Dating after the death of a spouse is difficult but with the support of family and friends, it’s doable. Accepting the person you loved and committed to doing life with has transitioned is one of the most devastating events that can happen to someone.

With time, you can move on, if you wish and there’s no need to feel guilty or shameful about desiring love and marriage. I have a matchmaking friend, Ming The Matchmaker of Color Blind Intl, I reached out to get her perspective on this. She regularly coaches her clients and confesses, divorcees and widowers are her preference as clients. I came away with the following takeaways:

1. Grieving takes time. Don’t let well-meaning friends and family force or rush you through this process. Everyone’s process is different. The death of a spouse is devastating whether expected or not. When you take a pledge of love and devotion, professing “Til death do us part”, no one says it expecting it to happen if it does happen. It’s OK for you to take all the time needed to properly grieve your spouse and the love you had.

2. Write in a journal and talk to a therapist. The death of a spouse is the same as going through a traumatic experience. Taking time to write in a journal can help you to sort out overwhelming emotions and is recognized as a healthy way to express yourself. You can get the same benefits from talk therapy which is highly recommended. Having a trusted therapist will help you identify and understand your emotions better plus help develop ways to manage.

3. Don’t compare potential partners to your late spouse. I’ve seen this happen many times when the relationship or marriage was long-term. Listen, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment every time you do this. Let’s face it, no one will ever compare to your late spouse and nothing will compare to the love you experienced. The quicker you come to terms with this fact, the better you will be when meeting potential new love interests. People are individually unique with an abundance of gifts and talents. That is the gift of humanity. Expect the best. Expect love and expect that your wishes will be met then the possibilities for new-found love are blissfully endless.

4. Don’t take dating too seriously. Remember, you’re dating to have fun and meet new people, so loosen up. If you don’t, you’ll be disappointed every time. Going in with expectations and putting the pressure on finding ‘The One’ is sabotage. Don’t turn a pleasant activity into stress and uneasiness. Relax, play dress-up and enjoy the outings!

5. Give yourself permission to enjoy life. It can be hard to smile or laugh with another without thinking about the love you had and how wonderful of a person your late spouse was, but they wouldn’t want you to never smile again. If you’re with someone who makes you smile, smile big and if they make you laugh, laugh with freedom! As far as we know, you get one life to live so live it!

Dating after the death of a spouse can be intimidating and daunting, but if you’re ready, you can do it!


About the Creator

Tamika Morrison Okeleke

Writer, PR Evolution Coach and Founder, Wordsmith, Soul-healer. I use words to inspire, connect, & make a difference. Follow me @1stLadyofPR.

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    Tamika Morrison OkelekeWritten by Tamika Morrison Okeleke

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