Dating After A Bereavement Or Divorce*

*This is a collaborative post*

Ask anyone you know who is in a relationship and has been for a lengthy period of time and they'll probably tell you that the thought of starting again is enough to break them out in a cold sweat. Yes it's true, the world of dating has changed somewhat but don't let this put you off. On the contrary, these days with online dating it's actually easier to approach someone or tell them you're interested because you can do it from the safety of your computer!

Dating After A Loss

Of course if you've recently divorced or have just lost a partner, the last thing you'll be thinking about is dating and this is only natural. You should allow for a period of grieving and there is no telling how long you'll need so don't rush into anything. Try to remember that what's right for one individual isn't necessarily what's right for you. If and when you do feel ready to date, it's important that you don't look simply for a duplicate of what you've recently lost. No matter what, you'll never replace your lost love, nor should you try to. Instead you should embrace the memories you've made and seek out a partner who you can connect with nowMany people find that they gain comfort from individuals who have also recently lost a partner. Of course this is understandable as you'll each know just what pain the other is going through.

When you do feel ready to 'get back in the saddle,' be prepared to get a little internet savvy. The majority of people meet these days through online dating sites such as eHarmony, Matched, POF and the free mature dating siteThere's actually a whole host of dating sites to choose from and if you're new to it all then yes it can feel a little overwhelming but don't worry. Simply take your time to browse each site and opt for websites that are both user friendly and those that also have excellent reviews. It wouldn't harm to chat to your friends and see if they online date and what their recommendations are. If you're really out the loop then you could get a friend or family member to help you write your dating profile bio. 

Remember that your dating profile is what will grab the attention of any potential dates and as such you should really sell your attributes! Use photos that you are happy with but that also showcase the 'real' you. Don't pretend to be something that you're not as this will just lead to disappointment for both parties. Share an insight into your life, talk about your hobbies but don't reveal too much. You want plenty to talk about when you get together on that all important first date. Above all, be honest and clear from the beginning about what you want and what your intentions are. This is best all round to save on any heartache later on down the line. For instance if you're just after a fling, avoid getting involved with someone who clearly wants a committed long term relationship. There are actually adult dating sites and sex sites which are designed for no strings dating if this is what you're after. Likewise if you're looking for a relationship then avoid dating someone who is just after sex, even if you think you can change their mind. You're just setting yourself up for more upset. If you're an older woman who is looking to date a younger man - and believe me there's a lot to be said for having a toyboy! - try sites such as my local cougar dates

Once you've written your dating profile, there's nothing left to do but go for it. No doubt there will be some hiccups along the way. Your family for instance may find it particularly difficult watching you move on. The best thing you can do is be open and honest with them and ask them to respect your decision. Although they may initially struggle to deal with the situation, they'll eventually come round. On the other end of the spectrum, you may find that many family members may actually encourage you to start dating again and if so then great! 

Expect to also feel guilty when you do start dating again. Many people say they feel as if they're cheating on their dead wife/husband or partner and as awful as the feeling is, this is completely normal. You just need to give it time and eventually the feelings will pass. Don't put pressure on yourself, simply take things at a pace you're comfortable with. 

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