My Husband Died Four Months Later, I Started Dating Again

And when that first kiss comes, a whole bucket of emotion is going to spill. So I’ll allow myself to delight in the discovery of a great new person and try as hard as I can to keep the regrets and past mistakes I can’t control from spoiling that. This reboot of my “dating days” comes easier with the knowledge that Leslie herself wanted me to find someone after she was gone, and had told me so before the end. Those words brought me pain then, instead of the comfort I find in them now. It’s on my right hand, but it feels like such a betrayal to take it off entirely. While I was ready to put myself back out there, my house remained a shrine to Leslie.

This is how you end up making mistakes and regretting getting into the wrong relationship. What else do you need to know about finding love after being widowed and starting a new chapter of companionship? Let’s take a look at some important dos and don’ts. As your relationship evolves, so will your feelings of love.

I’d forced myself to visualize the inevitable decline in health, the physical act of dying, the utter heartbreak and loneliness I would feel once he was actually gone. I’d also imagined — painfully, reluctantly, hopefully — the possibility of happiness with someone else. Do you compare every potential date with your late partner, but no one comes close? Or does the thought of being intimate with someone fill you with guilt? Try to push through these normal reactions – remember, you’ll naturally idolise your lost love, so try not to judge other people by unattainable standards. Getting butterflies and finding excitement with your new partner and wanting to enjoy life again is a definite sign you’re ready to move forward.

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What happens if someone is still grieving and he or she meets someone they think would be a great partner who becomes interested in them? Out of respect for the new person, he should tell her he’s still grieving but feels they could become a loving couple, and, if she would be patient with him, it could work out. Then, as they go forward, they can openly and honestly discuss how things are progressing.

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In the very same respect, the answer to the question of when you should begin the intensely personal part of your Healing Journey known as the “go-through” is quite simple. The right time to begin the process is whenever you decide that the time is right to begin the process — and you will know. If there is one issue that can create division, and even anger, in a room full of widows and widowers, it’s the topic of dating after the loss of a spouse.

Funny enough, the origin of those problems lies mainly in selfishness. The problem is that we expect too much from our next partner, but no one can meet our expectations. But why do you feel so guilty when trying to start a relationship after the death of a spouse? Even if your partner was aware that they were dying and told you that they would be happy if you date afterward, you feel like you are cheating on them by starting a new relationship. We get used to our partners, and we don’t want to let them go.

“I’m totally over my previous relationship.”
In order to be really available, you must be absolutely ready to move past your previous love and devote yourself to another person. The grief of losing someone is genuine and legitimate, but if you are still grieving, you are in no shape to meet someone new. If you’re in a situation where you are dating, you might feel like things haven’t gone back to normal or at least like they won’t for some time. You may feel self-conscious about what people think about your personal life, mainly if other people are already married and starting families. But take comfort in knowing that no set amount of time needs to pass before you can start dating.

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And you may end up figuring out that you are not ready for a new relationship. You feel ridiculous, and your new partner is hurt. Though it’s easy to feel pressured by friends and family members, there is no perfect timeline for grieving or returning to your former state of happiness. Whether you are a widow or widower, have lost a parent, or have some other form of loss in your life, remember that each person deals with death differently. If your loss is recent and you’re grieving, you’re not ready to move on.

First, I needed to be willing to discuss dating with people who I was close to. I called him and asked him what he thought about me dating. He said genuinely that he wanted me to be happy and that he knew Mark would want me to be happy too.

If you wouldn’t let family or friends treat your spouse that way, why would you tolerate that behavior toward someone else—especially when your date could become your future spouse? If you can’t do that, then you have no business dating again. Losing a spouse is one of the most devastating events someone can experience in their life.

Complicated grief is a condition that occurs in about 7% of people who have recently lost a close loved one. People with this condition may be unable to comprehend the loss, experience intense, prolonged grief, and have trouble resuming their own life. If you have children, remember that they are grieving, too. It will take time for the whole family to adjust to life without your spouse. You may find that your relationship with your children and their relationships with each other have changed.

Starting Over After Losing a Partner

The contents of my mailbox shifted from travel magazines to daily reminders of my loss. It’s been over two years and I am still dealing with the paperwork and logistics surrounding Brad’s death. Second — and for this, I’ll forever be grateful — a few friends brought up the subject of me dating again, and in doing so, made my desire to date feel acceptable. When I’m in the throes of missing Jamie, I try to remind myself that my pain is a reflection of how much I loved him. And when I am swept away by my love for Billy, I think about the sobering fact that I may one day lose and grieve him too. It’s all part of the agreement we make when we fall in love.

And the ones who stick around – who continue to support well after the memorial service – will be share a bond with you for life. It’s perfectly natural to think you can never love anyone as much as the love you lost, but it’s entirely possible to love someone else in an entirely different way, and to be happy. You are a different person now, and chances are you’ve changed since you met your first partner too. Let go of all concerns, embrace this new stage of your life and be open to who and what it might bring.

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