Re entering the dating world
It feels like you can hear people saying, “He’s a deadbeat,” or “It must’ve been his fault because he’s a man.” Divorced dads get a bad rap. People begin conversations with phrases such as “I know this girl…” and “So-and-so is single.” It all feels so forced and silly. Then one day, after coming home to an empty house for what feels like the millionth time, you come to one obvious conclusion. My heart starts racing and after the beep, I say the first thing that comes to mind. To say that the death of a spouse of is life-changing in the worst of ways is probably a pretty big understatement.And at the time you experienced the loss, it’s likely that the thought of eventually re-entering the dating world seemed like an impossibility, or at best some distant vague possibility.They might worry that they will always be compared unfavorably to your departed spouse.
To people who know what you’ve been through, your marital status is like the white elephant in the room. For the next hour, my coworkers want all the details. As I drop her off at the end of the night, she said, “We should do this again sometime. Talking to a grief counselor or perhaps a priest can really help if you’re struggling.And as always, bring your struggles and questions to prayer.With some time and healing, though, it’s only natural to eventually start thinking about dating again. When is a healthy time to try dating again after such a deep loss?It’s important to understand when you’re discerning this question for your own life that there is no one absolute right answer to the question of what is too soon. Some factors can cause the process to take longer, like if the loss was sudden, unexpected, or traumatic.
I try to carefully explain that it has taken me time to grieve and to accept going forward with my life after my husband of 29 years passed, but regardless of how politely and positively I explain my past, there is an awkwardness that creeps into the conversation that makes me feel like the man is pulling back, like there are red flags going off.