How to navigate dating when you're grieving

Published: 23/3/2023

Losing someone close to you can be an incredibly difficult time that filters into all aspects of your life, including your relationships and dating prospects.  

It's normal to feel overwhelmed and unsure about dating when you're grieving, regardless of when you lost someone, it's important to remember that there's no timeline for healing and finding love again. If you're considering dating while you're still feeling grief, know that you're not alone and there are ways to navigate the process with care and understanding. We hope our tips below can help you on your journey.

Give Yourself Time to Grieve

First and foremost, there's no timeline for grief, it will come and go and then come back again when you least expect it too. So know that it's okay to take as much time as you need to process these emotions, and don't ever feel pressured to date again before you're ready.   

Grief is complex and ongoing and it's important to put your healing and well-being above anything else.  

Be Honest About Your Situation

When you feel ready to start dating again, it's a good idea to try and be as open and honest as you can about your situation with potential partners. You don't have to delve into the full details about your loss, if you don't want to, just let them know you're grieving and may need extra time and understanding. If someone isn't able to handle your grief, then take a step back and ask yourself if they're really the right person for you.

Take Things Slow

In this fast paced world that we live in today, it's important to remember to take things slow and not rush into anything too quickly. Although you might feel like you need someone to fill the void left by your loved one, it's important to remind yourself that healing takes time. Enjoy taking the time to get to know someone, don't be afraid to build a strong foundation of friendship before jumping into a relationship. If someone is pressuring you to move faster than you feel comfortable, again, are they really the right person for you?

Practice Self-Care

Dating can be emotionally exhausting on any given day without throwing grief into the mix, so it's important to prioritise self-care during this time. Make sure you're taking care of your physical and emotional needs too, and don't be afraid to cancel a date if you simply don't feel up to it, any decent person would understand. You may also want to consider seeing a therapist or counsellor to help you work through your grief if it feels like it's all getting too much.

Lean on Your Support System

When you're grieving, it's important to lean on your support system for help and guidance. Talk to your friends and family about how you're feeling and share any concerns you might have, and reach out for their support as you navigate the dating process.  

Remember That It's Okay to Feel Happy Again 

When you're grieving, it's easy to feel guilty about experiencing moments of happiness or joy. However, please understand that it's okay to feel happy again, and that finding love and companionship can be a part of your healing process. You don't have to let your grief define your entire life, and it's okay to open yourself up to new experiences and possibilities.    

So although dating while grieving can be a challenging and emotionally complex process, with time, patience and self-love, you can find love and happiness once again.

To find support:  

Beyond Blue provides Australians with information and support to improve their mental health. Call 1300 22 46 36 or visit for more information.

Lifeline Australia provides Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support. Call 13 11 14 or visit for more information.

GriefLine listens, cares and supports people experiencing loss and grief, at any stage in life. Call 1300 845 6am to midnight AEST, 7 days a week.

MensLine Australia is a professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men. Call 1300 78 99 78, 24 hours / 7 days a week.

Kids Helpline is a free 24/7, confidential and private counselling service Australia wide specifically for children and young people aged 5 to 25 years. Call 1800 55 1800.

Life Supports Counselling provides Australians with experienced counsellors & psychologists in their local area Australia-wide. Call 1300 735...

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