Skip to content
How to Navigate Grief on the Senior Dating Journey

How to Navigate Grief on the Senior Dating Journey

As the top mature dating app, the unfortunate fact is that many of our members are widows and widowers. Dating after the loss of a loved one can be daunting. Some of the people reading this article have had the good fortune of spending most of their lives in love with the same person. 

How do you recover from that and fall in love again? Everyone’s relationship is different, and we certainly don’t have a pearl of wisdom that will make grieving the loss of a partner any easier. We can, however, tell you some things that have worked for our members. If you have lost your partner due to an untimely death or even from a painful divorce, the following advice may help you find someone new.  

Understanding Grief in Senior Dating

One of the first things that you should acknowledge is that while grief is not universal in senior dating, it’s common. Many SilverSingles members are in the same situation that you are. Others may not have been widowed, but do understand how common it is. Here are some other things to keep in mind as you enter this new phase of your life. 

Your Grief is Valid

No one should try to tell you when your period of mourning needs to end. Some people are ready to date within a year of losing their spouse or partner. Other widows and widowers never truly feel that they’re over it. While it’s normal for family members and friends to give you a little push to get out there and date again, no one can tell you what your feelings should be. If you’re honestly not ready to date, our advice is to wait until you are. 

You May Always Feel Sadness

It’s important for you to recognize that you don’t have to feel happy all of the time to date. In fact, almost no one is always happy. If you occasionally have sad moments but are able to compartmentalize them when needed, you’re probably ready to date. 

Your Loss Doesn’t Define You

Losing your partner is a life-changing event. It is, in fact, a part of who you are, but it’s not your entire identity. In addition to having been a loving partner or spouse, you were a friend, a sibling, a parent, etc. The other people in your life saw your marriage or relationship as part of who you are, but not all of it. This is a good approach to take when dating. So, if a member says something like, “I haven’t had much luck dating widows,” you can respond, “Well, you’ve never dated me.”

If you’re reading this article, chances are that you’re at least thinking about dating. Even if you’re not ready, congratulations on your decision to explore your options. 

Coping Strategies for Senior Singles

These are some ideas that SilverSingles members who have also experienced grief have recommended. While they may not work for everyone, they are worth considering. 

Understand The Five Stages of Grief and Know Where You Are

You are probably aware of the five stages of grief, but in case you aren’t: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

The truth of the matter is that until you’ve reached the fifth stage, you’re probably not going to be a good dating partner. Even when you have accepted the loss of your partner, you may not be ready for anything more than friendship. There’s nothing wrong with that. Friendship can be the start of many things. For your sake and the sake of others, know where you are in the five stages of grief. 

Lean on Friends and Family

Your friends and family are experiencing this loss with you. Talk to them about anger, depression, regrets, sadness, and any of the other many emotions that you’re feeling. This will be important for dating. These topics are not suitable for a new romance. While a dating partner should be supportive and understanding, these heavy topics can put a strain on a new relationship.

Consider Therapy

No one should go through a serious loss without help. There are many support groups and practices that focus on spousal or partner loss. Even if you’ve never considered therapy before, an event like losing your partner is unique. It might be time for you to give it a shot. 

Focus on Other Areas

It’s very likely that you may not be ready to move on romantically, and the idea of starting a relationship is stressing you out. How are the other areas of your life? Family? Your hobbies? Work? It might be time to put some additional time and energy into these other, less intimidating areas of your life. If you can’t think of anything, take a vacation to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. You can bring your lost love with you in your heart. 

How to Build Connections After a Loss

If you’ve read the preceding sections and still think it’s time to date, we are here to help. Here is some advice for using dating apps for over 50s and socializing in person. This will help you through the trickier parts of dating after a loss. 

Be Honest About Your Loss

There’s absolutely no reason to hide the fact that you’ve lost your spouse or partner. In fact, you might feel really awkward not mentioning it anywhere. SilverSingles allows you to write information about yourself in your profile. Don’t dwell on it, but don’t hide it. Something like, “After X years of marriage, I lost my spouse. I finally feel ready to start seeing people again” is perfectly appropriate. 

Don’t Overshare 

If a member is interested in you, they are going to want to know about who you are and what your experiences are. While talking about your deceased partner can trigger empathy, it may not be the proper emotion for a new romance. 

Seek Friendship

If you’re not sure if you’re ready to date but can see a time when you might consider it, look for friends. There are many SilverSingles members who are in this boat. You can match with one of them, and take things slow. 

Cast a Wide Net 

If you’ve never been on a dating site before, you should go in with the knowledge that not every connection is going to work out. Our system is designed to match you with compatible singles in your area using our proprietary dating algorithm. However, true connections are often hard to come by, so give yourself the best chance by matching with the members whose profiles you like. 

How to Navigate Social Dynamics After a Loss

So, you’ve met someone you like, and you think it could lead somewhere. How do you proceed? These tips will help you get through the predating phase, the first date, and beyond. 

Getting to Know Other Members

When it comes to the early stages of online dating — before the first date — you want to be engaging, charming, and safe. Use the SilverSingles Premium chat feature to exchange messages with other members. Complete your dating profile and include lots of photos. Try to post several images of yourself in various lights. For example, a facial picture, some images of you doing different things, a dress-up photo, etc. Don’t agree to meet another member until you’re comfortable with them. 

First Date 

The first meeting is crucial, but it also needs to be light and fun. Here’s how to make a great first date:

    Follow-Up Dates and Beyond 

    If things go well on your first date, you will want to set up another. Save this discussion for the end of the date. If you try to lock in a second date too early, it can come across as anxious. Say something like, “Before we head out. I’d like to see you again. Are you free for dinner?” You’ll know a lot more about how you feel after the second date. You should both be more relaxed, and you’ll be over your first-date jitters. 

    Don’t get discouraged if your first encounter doesn’t work out. It’s not necessarily the fault of either person. With millions of members globally, SilverSingles is the preferred dating site of singles over 50. If you stay on the site long enough, you are bound to make a connection. 

    Try SilverSingles basic for free. If you like the platform, you can upgrade to a Premium account and unlock upgraded features. 

    Related Posts

    older couple dancing outside Senior Dating Agency vs. Senior Dating Website: A Review Gay Dating Apps Making the Most of Senior Gay Dating Apps senior dating outside Senior Dating: Busting the Stereotypes About Older Singles