5 Things to Do When Dating After the Death of a Spouse

By Color Blind Int’l Staff

I was devastated by the news that Reality TV Star, NeNe Leakes lost her husband, Gregg to cancer. One thing about Gregg and NeNe that’s undeniable is he loved her dearly. That’s something you say when you’re on the outside looking in, witnessing the beauty of unconditional love between spouses.

I’m not going to lie; it’s going to be tough for NeNe to move on. A love like theirs takes time to make. But with the support of family and friends, those who find themselves in a similar position as NeNe will find, in time, moving on is doable. And yes, I do believe she will be open to finding love again.

If you’ve been following this story, her late husband, Gregg, gave her his blessing to move on when she’s ready. She’s a beautiful, youthful woman who seems to thrive in partnership.

As a Matchmaker who also spends time as a Dating and Relationship Coach, I encourage my widowed clients in their quest to find love after the death of a spouse. I also encourage them to keep a support system around that celebrates their wishes to move forward. Here are five things I would encourage NeNe and other widowers out here about dating after the death of a spouse.

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 especially 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 many 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! I like to remind my clients, “YOLO!” Hey, why not?

Dating after the death of a spouse can be intimidating and daunting, but you can do it! And if you’re ready to find that special someone, we’re here to show you the way.

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