LOSS OF A PARTNER AND WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Your world has just shattered. The life you had built together and the dreams you had for your future, feel like they are crumbling around you. That is the reality when you lose your partner. Like many things in life it is hard to explain to the full extent unless you have lived it.
The days that follow are usually full of love and support. Family and friends rally around you. You appreciate that they care but your current level of numbness means that condolences and support basically falls on deaf ears as you start to go through the rainbow of emotions.
Life moves forward, support is only a phone call away but loved ones go back to their daily lives. You keep yourself busy during the day, children, work, anything to distract your mind. And then comes the night. What was once your safe-haven is now an empty bed that reminds you of exactly what you have lost and you wonder if you will ever feel whole again.
Although it sounds like a cliché, time is an amazing thing. You don’t forget but you learn to slowly find yourself again. Catching yourself in that first genuine laugh can be a mixture of relief and guilt but it is a step in the right direction. Eventually you reconcile your new reality in your mind and begin to carve out a new path as an I instead of a we.
What happens next?
You noticed an attractive person while you were in your relationship and you will again. At first you will probably feel more guilt over checking someone out than when your partner was still with you and that’s perfectly natural. Moving forward after such a loss is a process.
When is it appropriate for me to date again?
In a nutshell, whenever you feel comfortable! There can be a damaging stigma attached to finding love after the death of a partner. Everyone seems to have an opinion on your love life afterwards. Some will tell you that you need to wait some arbitrary amount of time, while others will think they are being helpful by trying to push you back into the singles scene before you are ready. The rest you will feel are silently judging you from afar.
Dating itself can be very daunting. Let’s face it, you thought you had found the love of your life and you were done with dating. Not to mention that you have to try and not constantly compare anyone new and you may have children to consider. You could find someone wonderful quicker than you thought you would or it could feel like one disaster of a date after another. You are on a big enough emotional rollercoaster without trying to carry anyone else’s baggage, period.
When you meet a special someone, try to give the relationship a chance to flourish. It doesn’t matter if it’s 6 months or 6 years after the loss of your partner, always remember that you aren’t betraying anyone. Your partner loved you and would want nothing but all the happiness the world had to offer. A great love to share the rest of your life with.
Your heart is big enough for two!