Finding Love After Loss
Listen to Susan Ways’ inspirational story of losing her husband at a young age, and how she found love after loss.
Susan Ways is a living example of finding love after loss. She’s a professional speaker, blogger and HR professional and has been coaching professionals for over 25 years. After the loss of her husband to cancer, she started Tendrils of Grief – a podcast about hope to help other grievers navigate the devastating and confusing space of grief.
In this episode of Last First Date Radio:
– How losing a spouse can change you in many positive ways
– The power of healing after loss before you date again
– How to have the courage to date again
– Some obstacles widows face when dating online
– Susan’s journey in finding love after loss
Finding Love After Loss
How old were you when your husband died?
I was fifty one, and he was forty nine. He had a fifteen month bout of lung cancer. It was quite a journey. He never smoked or drank and was relatively healthy. His cancer changed me in many ways.
How did his cancer change you?
We had a great marriage. I lost my best friend. Suddenly, I was a single mom. My daughter was thirteen at the time. I had to redefine who I was as a mom, as a friend. I also had a hard time asking for help. I learned to ask for support.
I had been working for a company that wasn’t grief-friendly. They were unkind to me, and I made the decision to leave. I stood up for myself in a bold way, taking a job for a lot less money to heal and take care of myself. I started stepping into my own power, and I began to get my life back.
What gave you the courage to date again?
I did a lot of work on myself to become the best version of myself. I loved being part of a couple and didn’t want to be alone. I missed being in a relationship, having that sacred space again.
It was really scary to date again. I had to figure things out. It was like a dating test lab, figuring out what worked and what didn’t. I was curious and leaned into possibility. It wasn’t easy. I kissed a lot of frogs, but I learned so much about myself.
What obstacles did you face as a widow dating online?
There are a lot of scammers who see ‘widow’ as a vulnerability and possible source of money for them. They come in fast and furious and promise love. I learned if someone has a sob story about needing money for surgery or to get out of a country, those were scammers. Some are sophisticated, and you have to be careful.
Other obstacles were men who sent naked pictures. I learned to immediately block those guys instead of continuing the conversation. I also found men who were so caught up in their ‘mess’ and baggage, they couldn’t get out of their own way.
What was your biggest challenge with finding love again?
I had to learn to be authentically me and not emasculate men by taking charge or being the driver/chaser in dating. I realized what I wanted by exploring what I didn’t want.
Did you find love again?
I did. I was introduced by a friend. (Listen to the story. You’ll be inspired!)
What advice do you have for other women who are thinking about finding love after loss?
I had a mantra that my ideal guy was looking for me, and I was looking for him, and we’d know when we met each other. It felt better than saying there’s no one out there. Be curious about what’s out there. Be discerning. If it looks too good to be true or you can’t meet them quickly, cut off communication. Be open to the process. Go on multiple dates and don’t compare to your late spouse. Every relationship lives in a unique space, not in the shadow of comparison. Give yourself some time to develop a relationship.
You can find Susan and her podcast here.
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