Starting Over, Dating After the Death of a Significant Other

Whether expected or sudden, the loss of a partner is always a devastating disappointment. The finality of losing the love of your life, and the idea that you will move on in the world without them by your side, may be one of the most difficult challenges you will face.

If you’ve suffered the death of a significant other, grieved, and found yourself on the other side, you may be at a point where you want to find love again. You may have feelings of fear, anxiety, or even guilt, and you’re not sure how (or if) you should start dating again. Read on for some tips that can help you start the process over.

There is no Time Table

In grief, there is no manual or checklist. how you grieve and move on is entirely personal. Whether it takes you 3 months or 3 years, your timeline is yours. When you start to feel the sadness rising and you find yourself longing to share your life with someone again, it’s probably time to start the dating process. Sharing each day with someone is a very intimate and special experience and it is healthy and natural for you to move forward with your life in a positive way.

Letting go of guilt

While it is important to take time to heal and recover from this devastating loss, it is also important not to prolong the grieving period. Your partner wouldn’t want you to live the rest of your days in sadness. If you feel guilty, know that your feelings are natural, but also know that you deserve to be happy.

Family expectations

Your children and other family members who are also grieving the loss of your spouse may not be ready for you to date again. While it’s important to be sensitive to their grieving process, you also need to remind them that it’s your decision to make. Keep in mind that their grief journey is personal to them. As you remain sensitive to their grieving process, stay true to yourself and move on when you are ready.

All in all, starting to date again is a completely personal choice. As someone who has suffered such an incredible loss, it can be a difficult decision. but it’s a decision only you should make. Moving on with your life does not erase the memories of the past, nor does it hurt the spouse you loved and lost. A new relationship will bring you joy and happiness, creating more cherished memories to add to your life.

Are you struggling to move on after the death of a significant other and need support and guidance? A licensed therapist can help. Call my office anytime and let’s schedule a time to talk.


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