Jun 11, 2024

Here are five dating mistakes that I made as a young widow trying to open her heart to love after loss. 👇🏼

I share them in hopes to prevent you from making them too! 


1️⃣ I jumped into a relationship before I was ready 

Shortly after my late husband died, I had this wild idea that if I could just find somebody to take his place then my pain would go away and my problems would be solved! 

So, I started dating with the intention to find my next true love. 

What I didn’t realize is that I was actually filling a massive void of loneliness and avoiding my grief. 

(This dawned on me AFTER I got dumped) 

Had I got clear about WHY I wanted to date, I still would have dated, but I might not have jumped into a real relationship so early on after my loss. 


2️⃣ I didn’t realize there were ALL KINDS of relationships to date for

(That’s right – dating for marriage or a committed relationship is just one type!) 

If I had the clarity that I was dating because I was lonely, then I would have sought out a different type of relationship. 

I wanted to go on dates, I craved adult conversation and was curious about intimacy with someone else, so a friendship (maybe friends with benefits) or a more casual relationship would have been more aligned for me early on. 


3️⃣ I didn’t know what kind of guy to look for 

I based my decision to pursue someone on two factors — 1) chemistry and 2) physical attraction (sounds shallow but true!) 

Basically, I was still applying the same parameters I used when I met my LH Ian as a 18-year-old freshman in college, and not having much luck. 

I had CHANGED drastically since his death. 

So I had to get to know myself first, to understand who would be compatible with me NOW!

Understanding what specific characteristics made someone an aligned match for me (or not) gave me confidence on dates and a clarity, which saved me tons of time potentially wasted dating guys who would never have worked out! 


4️⃣ I tried to recreate my relationship with my late husband 

I didn’t do this consciously of course, but subconsciously I was still comparing every guy to Ian. 

I craved the innocence of young love and the chase of our courtship, and when I didn’t get the same feelings from any new guy I dated, I made it mean that he must not be a match.

In reality though, I was actually pushing a lot of wonderful guys away. 

I had to accept that courtship, love and connection would feel different to me now, and trust that what I had with my late husband would be forever preserved in my memories and heart. 


5️⃣ I scared guys off with my grief

This went two ways: 

  1. Dates could FEEL my insecurities about my grief and “baggage" when it came up on dates, which in turn made them feel uncomfortable (your energy is contagious)

Or … 

  1. I would make them feel like they were competing with a ghost 

In the latter scenario it was as if I was trying to test my dates — like “can you handle the fact that I still love my dead husband? You still want me now?” — before I allowed myself to get close. 

Not a terrible strategy but in hindsight, these conversations warranted more care and intention. 

I learned later how to talk about my loss, my grief and connection to my LH in a more secure manner — providing space for dates to ask questions and share their concerns, as well as educating them about the nuances of grief — to reach shared understanding and compassion from both sides. 



👉🏼If you’re a widow(er) who is curious about dating, or already putting yourself out there but feeling lost or discouraged, check out my self-study dating course LOVE AFTER LOSS

I co-created the course with Dating & Relationship Coach and Therapist Michelle Mouthis to give widows CLARITY & CONFIDENCE as they find their chapter two love. 

In it we unpack seven specific struggles related to dating & widowhood and provide you with live trainings, tools and insights to ensure that you won’t make the same mistakes that I did! 

We hope this makes dating as a widow a little less daunting and more fun! 💖

So if you’re curious about dating, or already putting yourself out there but feeling a little lost or discouraged by the process…


To get HALF-OFF Love After Loss!💸

(Hurry! Offer ends Friday)



This program is for you IF …

  • You downloaded a dating app, then deleted it after feeling overwhelmed

  • You aren’t sure if you are ready to date, and you’re still counting the months or years to see if “enough” time has passed

  • You are already dating, but it doesn’t seem to be working

  • You don’t know what kind of partner is a match for you, because it’s been so long since you last dated

  • You can’t get past the first date because no one will ever compare to your deceased person

  • You WANT to date, but feelings of overwhelming guilt are getting in the way of taking the first steps

  • You are craving intimacy, closeness, and touch from someone else – but you’re afraid it takes away from how you feel about your deceased

  • You aren’t sure how to honor or talk about your deceased as you fall in love with someone new

  • The thought of a date asking you “So when was your last relationship?” makes you want to cry

  • You want to stop letting the judgment of your friends, family, and even other widowers get in the way of finding love again – and feel secure in your decisions

Trust me! I despised having to enter the dating world and “do it all over again” with someone new. But once I learned how to navigate my emotions, own my widow status, and get clear about the type of man and relationship I was looking for, I felt empowered and enjoyed the process.

Since then, I’ve attracted a loving partner who aligns with who I am and what I desire now.

So if you’re ready to find your next love after loss, I invite you to take the first step with us!

With love,

Emily & Michelle


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