Episode 2.10 Dating Again

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“You’re not only experimenting with dating, you’re experimenting with your new self,” says Ken Brown as he joins The Solo Dad Podcast along with Ben Janoski to discuss what it means to return to the dating world as young widowers with children. Some of what’s discussed, such as ghosting, how soon to meet in person and getting catfished, will be familiar to anyone navigating the contemporary dating world. More unique is what they dub the ‘picture purge,’ which is how to feature mementos of your dead wife in a way that doesn’t erase her from your daily life, while not scaring away your new partner, and allowing you to have control over the space which now belongs to only you.

Ben brings up an excellent point that often the guilt and hesitation you feel, or even the words you put into your deceased loved one’s mouth about dating someone new is really an emotional safety mechanism, because you don’t want to go through the devastation of loving and losing someone again. The only answer is just to get out there and do it, let it be weird and awkward, and see how you feel. Observing how a potential new partner acts around the presence of your loved one’s memory can be a test as to whether they are worth dating.

There is always space for your loved one even as you continue your new life with a new love. Still it’s important to carve out your own space and continue to be happy in the way your loved one would want you to.


· “Guys tend to be fixers. You see a problem, you want to fix it. Well, I’m lonely. How do I fix it? Go on a date. How do you date now? Apps.” (5:55-6:09 | Ben)

· “People who are serious about getting into a relationship know that there’s no substitute for face-to-face.” (36:44-36:50 | Ken)

· “A lot of guys don’t want to disappoint. We’re guys, we want to pick up the check. It’s old-fashioned, but it’s ingrained in our psyche. We don’t want to admit to feeling that maybe there is something holding us back, or we’re still thinking about something else. Part of that is being on the journey.” (43:49-44:29 | Ken)

· “Ghosting feels like more work than just being honest.” (48:32-48:36 | Matt)

· “To be that self-aware to know whether you’re truly ready or not ready to date would be astronomical. You’re going to make some mistakes, it’s going to be awkward and weird, but you’re going to have to do it to test it.” | (56:16-56:36 | Ben)

· “There are all sorts of safety mechanisms that our bodies will create for us. Mine was a general numbness, and that’s where dates would pick up on my not being emotionally available. Because you’re not projecting or acknowledging certain things.” (1:04:45-1:04:57 | Ben)

· “You’re not only experimenting with dating, you’re experimenting with your new self.” (1:08:22-1:08:26 | Ken)

· “If you’re looking for someone in your life that’s going to be a partner to you, you’re looking for a person who’s going to be accepting of—especially with kids—the existing relationship that’s going to carry on with the person you lost.” (1:32:41-1:33:20 | Ben)

Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm

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