“Twenty things I wish I had known before I started dating after loss ~Michelle
1 – A new relationship won’t heal your grief or take away the pain; in many ways, it may confuse and accentuate your loss.
2 – It takes time to build a new relationship, so whatever you do, don’t compare what you had with what you are trying to develop.
3 – Sometimes, it may feel like you are cheating on your late spouse.
4 – You will FEEL everything in the new relationship much more intensely because of your past.
5 – You may guard your heart more than you should, thinking you can control future pain – spoiler alert, you can’t.
6 – You may sabotage your new relationship on a subconscious level to protect yourself. To avoid this takes work, personal awareness, and patience.
7 Love yourself first before you try to add anyone new to your life.
8 – If they don’t want you to say your late spouse’s name, they are probably insecure and unrealistic. Be with someone who can understand the importance of what came before and how it adds to what comes next.
9 – Nobody is getting out of your new relationship alive, be okay with another loss. I wouldn’t trade my previous life to save myself the pain of loss. The same goes for my life with Keith.
10: Some people are not emotionally secure enough to date a widow.
11: If pain isn’t processed and dealt with, it will return in your new relationships. Do the work to heal.
12: A new relationship can be phenomenal. You know so much more than before your loss.
13: Don’t change who you are to make anyone else happy.
14: Don’t compromise just because you are lonely. Be okay with being alone, loving yourself, and becoming the best version of yourself.
15: Know your purpose, passions, and principles, and date somebody who aligns with those things.
16: Blending a family is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, so don’t romanticize it and think it’s all “Brady Bunch” because it’s not. It’s hard work, emotionally draining, and kids are involved, so be prepared to get messy.
17: Understand that you will feel like you are living in parallel universes for some time. Eventually, things will shift, but it doesn’t happen overnight.
18: Remember all the essential lessons grief taught you; those lessons can pay huge dividends in a new relationship.
19: Get couples counseling.
20: Be here for it all. Don’t let your past pain stop you from having a great today and tomorrow. That doesn’t have to mean another person; just be present and willing to try.”
Michelle One Fit Widow
^Thought provoking, vital reality read for Widows/Widowers