I haven’t written much about dating after loss. 

Not because I don’t have a lot to say, but because my conversation with you has always been deeper. 

More about the complexity of our thoughts and our new identities. 

But maybe, we can have a deep conversation about dating also. 

And maybe, it’s necessary that dating after loss be a deeper experience than it is.

No wonder dating apps don’t align very well with broken hearts. 

It becomes a barrier rather than a tool. 

An additional obstacle to overcome. 

I also think the word dating doesn’t really connect with someone who is grieving.   

I mean you might as well be asked to walk out naked. 

In the cold. 

With everyone watching you. 

Not easy to do. 

Not easy to experience for the duration. 

And not easy to process after you come back home.

The next day is even worse. Shame. Guilt. Remorse. Confusion. Additional grief

So I am going to put all of this aside for this letter. For this conversation. 

Just pushed aside. 

Clothes back on. 

Shame out the window. 

Dating not relevant here. 

So let’s start from the beginning. 

You want to be seen again. 

Have someone to call in the evenings when you come home from work. 

Someone to watch a movie with. 

A person who cares about your day. 

To travel with. 

In other words, at first you are looking for a friend. 

A good person you can slowly trust with your everyday life, who you also find attractive physically. 

Ok I had to put that in. 😊

I know I am asking for a lot. 

But am I really? 

It is much easier to look for a friend than a boyfriend, soul mate, husband, wife, second chapter. Lover. 

Look for a friend. No other expectations. 

No labels. 

No dressing up to go out. 

Just your jeans. Your sweater. 

Your favorite coffee place. A hike. 

A walk around the block. A drink. 

A movie. A call. 

This has nothing to do with dating and everything to do with not feeling alone. 

Loneliness is the biggest shadow of loss. 

Bigger than grief. And bigger than fear. 

It is also the one that stays the longest. 

This is why going out on a superficial date, with a complete stranger hurts you so much. (Click to tweet!)

It doesn’t provide anywhere near what you need when you are grieving the love of your life. 

It makes things worse. 

It makes you more lonely. 

Start with a conversation on email, in a support group. Even on a dating app. 

Stay with the conversation for a while. If that feels good. 

Go for a cup of coffee. 

I want to leave you with this. 

You are going to make the wrong judgment calls at first. 

Prepare yourself for those. It’s ok. 

Forgive yourself fast. 

Next time you will know better. 

I made mistakes in the beginning too. 

But who I was after the loss of my husband was so empty, so lost and so derailed that I had no sight of my behavior. 

Once I got some of my sight back, I moved so fast from those mistakes you would think I was a rocket going into space

Trust that your sight will come back. 

Trust that you will be able to right your wrongs. 

You my friend are alone, empty, lost and you are seeking to find a person that you can rest with, for a while. 

Take it easy on yourself. 

This is about your deeper need for companionship. 

Not about a Friday night drink with a stranger.

With many lessons learned from many mistakes made,

Christina

P.S. JOIN ME FOR THE TEMPLE JOURNEY: A LIFE AFTER DEATH. REGISTER HERE: https://www.1440.org/programs/faculty-led-programs/personal-growth/self-discovery/temple-journey

PPS. I hope you are listening in: www.dearlifepodcast.com

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