Google Search: When to start dating after you lose your fiancé to suicide.
Not surprisingly, this search provided me with little to no helpful information. I was going to have to pave my own path on this one. Write my own story.
If I am being truthful, the fact that I would have to date is something I thought of pretty early on in grief. It was, however, not something I necessarily wanted to do again.
About 6 months into grief, I downloaded a dating app—with the encouragement of good friends and several glasses of wine. I’d start to talk to guys through this app and then delete. Add it again and delete. This went on for a couple months. During this time, I felt guilt. I felt fear. I felt conflict within myself. On one hand, I thought: I am strong. I am brave. There is NO WAY I could be hurt more than I have been. On the other hand, I thought: What if I add more hurt to hurt? Could confounding pain destroy me even further?
In the beginning of September, I began talking to a goofy, smart, (seemingly) sweet teacher. We had a lot in common—education, sports, a love for food and The Office. I really enjoyed talking to him, but was I ready to date? The answer to that question is a strong—F*** No! (Word choice again, Mom!) I would never truly feel ready to date. Not anything in life could prepare me for what I went through and for what I continue to go through in the aftermath of Shawn’s suicide. But, I decided to jump in anyway–and I am so glad I did.
Nicholas and I officially went on our first date at the end of October. Two months after we began talking. I had shared everything with him by that point, so he was well aware of what he was getting into. There were no surprises—and that, to me, was extremely important.
We have now been dating for nearly 6 months. Nicholas is loud, talkative, and nerdy. He is honest, supportive, passionate, talented, and thoughtful. Nicholas brings true joy and laughter into my life again.
He loves me for the me I am today—and for that I will forever be grateful.
Love is always a risk. No matter what you’ve been through. I am learning though–it just may be worth it.