What do the pieces of dating look like in real life for widowed people? I want to finish this series with the most difficult post (I’m a very private person): how I navigate the world of dating.
I’m in my fourth year of widowhood. I’ve done the hard work of processing and feeling all of the feels around Jason’s death. I was very fortunate to find a trauma therapist, and I met and worked with Teresa Beshwate, The Sudden Widow Coach. Working with a life coach who specialized in widows was one of the best things I could have done, hands down and was the genesis of my work that I do today. I found a community of likeminded people through a Meet Up Group for Widowed Persons. I’ve accepted that this is my life after loss.
Managing My Mind
I tell you these things because the first step in successfully dating is to get yourself in a good place. I’ve created a new life filled with meaning and purpose. I have a good support system. I cut out the toxic people in my life. If my life is an ice cream sundae, its pretty damned good as is. A relationship would be the sprinkles or cherry; nice, but non essential.
That mindset creates beliefs that I chose to believe with my whole heart. You have the ability to go thought shopping and find beliefs that you can believe are true for you. The trick is you must believe them. I inserted the word God because I’m a believer. You insert whatever works for you.
- I believe that I am completely lovable as is.
- I believe that there is someone out there who would make a great chapter 2.
- I believe that God is preparing him and getting us ready for each other.
- I believe that I absolutely deserve the very best and am willing to be patient.
Thoughts Create Feelings Which Create Actions
Because I believe these things, I feel calm and settled. I feel hopeful that when the time is right, it will happen, and until then I can relax and enjoy meeting new and interesting people. When I meet people, I tell myself these things:
- I’m waiting for the best and weeding out the rest.
- I’ve set the bar high.
- I’m willing to wait.
- I’m currently accepting applications for this position; unqualified applicants need not apply.
Do you know what happens when you have these thoughts and feelings? You feel amazing and your actions come from a place of CALM! I’m not operating from scarcity, If you saw me (observed my actions) you would see me feeling settled, taking care of myself, and managing my thoughts.
If someone ghosts me, I tell the universe thank you for getting rid of them quickly. If someone throws a red flag, I get rid of them because I’m willing to wait for the very best! Right? Remember, we deserve this new chance at love. We deserve to be adored. Again.
The fact that you haven’t found singular love is NOT proof that you’re not lovable. It means that the timing isn’t right. When people meet at the wrong time it isn’t as meaningful. You need to meet when you’re both ready to meet. Searching for love often keeps it hidden. When the time is right, and both of you are prepared, it will happen, and it will be amazing.Amy Florian
How Did Online Dating Work For Me?
Dating is a great way to meet new people, and to gently say yes to the possibilities of life after loss. I know Jason will never be replaced, but I believe with all my heart that he would want me to be happy with another person if that is what I want.
When I visit the online sites, I make it a point to chat with no more than four people at once because I have a hard time keeping them straight! It’s important to me to remain in my integrity, and a limit of four allows me to stay there. I don’t chase. I don’t initiate a lot of communication in the beginning. I am just curious as to what the universe has brought me.
Staying in curiosity instead of judgement is a superpower.Julie Martella
I don’t talk to 90% of the people outside of the app, and only about 10% of them ever make it to a conversation inside of the app. If someone makes it off the app, I know that I would consider them at the very least a new possible friend. That’s how I run my show. Remember, it’s your show to do your way! I stay in curiosity, but there’s a strict vetting process I follow with lots of potential red flags. Remember, if someone hits a red flag, I get rid of them immediately.
My Personal List of Red Flags
- Wants a “bucket list” item.
- Tells me I’m naughty and they’re going to correct that.
- Wants to talk within five minutes.
- Pressures me to give them my phone number.
- Wants to meet right away, like that day!
- Ghosting even once
- Aggressive tone when chatting.
- Anyone who starts with “hey baby.”
- Asks to marry me and in the same breath tells me about their broken vehicle.
I laugh as I read the list, and yet they’ve all happened! My red flags may be your green ones! It’s all good and you have to decide what works for you.
I have observed IN MY LIFE that most men will run for the hills within a week. Once it bothered me. Now I wave as they run off, because 1. they didn’t meet the bar 2. it brings me one step closer to the right partner 3. I’m good with my life as is!
I will admit I have a big, messy, beautiful life. It is not for the faint of heart. So those people, the ones who are intimidated? They need not apply.
Have I met my prince charming? Not yet. Have I had some great conversations and met some interesting people? Yes. Do I believe that I will meet the right one for me someday? Absolutely!
Who knows? It might even be fighting over that last tomato at the farmers market!
Best wishes friends, and please reach out to share your stories of how dating online or in real life has been for you!
P.S. If you’ve enjoyed this series and want to work on organizing and managing the logistics of life after loss, I’d love to talk to you about my 1:1 coaching program, Navigating Widowhood. We cover ALL of the things so that you can feel better, move forward with your life, and create a new life to love.
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