Opening the Door to Love Again After a Loss
Not long ago, I met a very lovely lady who enthusiastically shared her story of love lost and found again. She explained how her husband had died 20 years earlier. Years later, after vowing that she would never love anyone else, this woman found herself falling in love again.
When we lose a spouse, the last thought on our minds is being in a relationship again. As we deal with the intense pain that we find ourselves experiencing, this becomes the overarching theme of our lives until further notice. We’re searching for answers and still longing to be with our lost spouse just one more time.
Pain from Loss is Personal
But as time progresses – as it will with no regard for one’s circumstance – and our pain from loss begins to ease, we will begin to rebuild our lives alone. How everyone decides to tackle their situation varies from person to person.
Some may throw themselves into work. Others may decide to cultivate new friendships or spend time with old chums. Still others might join clubs specific to an interest, or become more active in civic and church organizations. Many may consider volunteer opportunities. Some widows journal about their experience of loss. And then there are those who refrain from dealing with the pain, burying it deep within. They busy themselves with a variety of activities that become distractions from the acute discomfort and sadness.
Loss and Loneliness
One theme that all who have lost spouses share is the loneliness that ensues after loss. After a while many would like to seek companionship, but they don’t know how to go about it. Oftentimes, the desire to pursue a new relationship is influenced by advice from those around them.
So many men and women have been “off the dating circuit for a long while,“ and feel uncertain about how to go about seeking companionship. They often turn to friends for advice and sometimes the news can be discouraging. Many will hear “how bad it is out there.” And there are many stories that would frighten even the most courageous into remaining solo forever.
But we must be our own judge of these matters. Whether we are ready to open our lives to someone new is a decision only we can make. The widower or widow are the only ones who can give themselves permission to move on.
Risking Love Again
I understand how so many readers will read this and say, “Oh, I will never move on.” Or, “I’m not at that point yet and probably never will be.” However, one chooses to remain, remember that you should never give up hope on your future happiness.
When you begin to feel the absence of the deceased spouse less and less and more of the presence, wholeness and wellness of who you are becoming without them in your life, you will be able to decide if finding a new partner is right for you.
Here are some things you should think about when deciding if you are ready to find love again:
Have you taken the time to grieve?
Have you thought about what you would be looking for in a new mate?
You may feel lonely, but are you ready to have a new partner in your life?
Are you willing to face the possibility of losing another companion or spouse?
We must get rid of the guilt and fear that are part of the aftermath of loss. As we gradually do, we will begin to consider if we wish to think about the possibility of finding love again. You can read my blog about Risking Love Again.
If you are a widow, are you open to finding new love in your life? Will you be looking for someone like your spouse or someone different? Why? How did you know you were ready to open to love again after a loss? Let’s start a conversation.
Yvonne Broady lost her husband to pancreatic cancer in 2009. She faced the task of rebuilding her life as she dealt with the pain and grief of loss. Brave in a New World was written as a guide for those who are navigating a grief journey. The book explains the variety and complexity of feelings one has when they are mourning. She shares her journey through the grieving process and how she gradually rebuilt her life. Please visit Yvonne’s blog and follow her on Twitter.