Deciding to start dating again after a loss is a courageous and brave way to reclaim your life after the death of a loved one. There is no time limit as to when you should start dating again, or even a rule that says you must date again, but you will find that everyone, from your family to your neighbors will have an opinion on the subject.
Everyone experiences grief differently and therefore mourning periods are not the same for everyone. What may be a sufficient time of mourning for you may seem like too short a time for someone else. Some people actually believe that there are rules and ways to behave after the death of a spouse. These notions are as archaic as the long ago idea that a widow must marry the brother of her dead husband.
Some people may worry that to begin dating again would, in some ways, be cheating on your deceased spouse. Anxieties will cloud the air and old fears will surface. The best help for getting through this new phase of your life is to have a good set of friends by your side, holding your hand, and keeping you steady. Expressing your feelings of mourning in a safe place is a good way to begin the healing process.
Coming to terms with your previous marriage is important before you can move forward. If you are lucky enough to fall in love a second (or third) time it will not be the same type of love as your previous marriage. You are older and more mature and you approach life differently.
Experts say that being able to reestablish a sense of intimacy with someone other than your spouse is more difficult for widows. If you feel comfortable getting out into the dating world you should try it.
It may be a hard thing to figure out, but make sure that when you do date that you are dating for the right reasons. Dating to fill a void is unfair to you and your new partner. You simply cannot replace the partner that you lost, but the heart can love again.
Talking about your deceased spouse when you are dating again is common. Just don’t spend the entire evening reliving your former life. Make sure you spend time getting to know your date for who they are and try not to morph them into a therapist role.
About the Author
Ron Zvagelsky has a degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2006. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of PlanJam – where you can find dating advice.