Love After Bereavement: Up Close and Personal

If and when you find yourself in a new relationship and choosing to take things just that little bit further, you might suddenly feel unexpectedly overcome with awkwardness. Having shared an intimate relationship with your previous partner, the prospect of opening up your life to someone else might fill you with dread and second thoughts. This, of course, is quite natural and could be a sentiment also felt by the person you are with.

If you do find yourself questioning your reasons for having started this relationship, then you must ask yourself why. If this is your first experience of a relationship after bereavement and the first time you have had to consider things leading on to something more intimate, then it is important to acknowledge that you are in this place because something has told you that this is where you want to be.

Experiencing a second love does not mean that it has to be second rate or in second place to your first. In fact, because we tend to idealize situations, it is quite possible that the memories of your first life partner could be somewhat over-romanticised. Losing a spouse does not mean that you won’t or can’t grow to love someone else and able to enjoy a loving, sexual relationship together; nor does it mean that you have to forget your previous life partner!

It is presumed that you are, by now, comfortable with this special friend and have allowed yourself to reach this situation with equanimity: so why the awkwardness? It might be that you’re making subliminal comparisons to your deceased partner or that you feel guilty accepting that you are ready to move on. Perhaps you’re worrying about what your family might think. Whatever the reason, it is important that you share this with your new partner. If he or she is sympathetic and understanding, then they are likely to be someone worthy of your affections.

So how do you deal with this? Unless you’re tee-total, a couple of drinks will help you to relax; and if the moment comes at the end of a day spent in each other’s company, and you have both been enjoying the experience of just being together, you may find that what comes next, comes naturally.

For some, the thought of baring all can be a daunting prospect. Again, it is likely that your partner could be feeling the same way. If you’ve planned this adventure; a weekend away perhaps, then you may have indulged in some enticing new underwear. A satin petticoat can be very alluring on any woman; an old pair of jaded underpants on a man, a probable turn-off!

Creating the right atmosphere is also important. It doesn’t have to be too contrived but perhaps a scented candle or two, low lights and some soft music could all help to set the mood.

Acting upon any advice that you might give to a friend, follow your own code of conduct. Safe sex is essential, and ensuring that you really want to go ahead, and that you are not under any pressure, is very important. Moving on at your own pace will make the experience much more enjoyable for both of you. Getting that first time over will also move the relationship on a notch, if that is what you want.

There are no hard and fast rules about this; you just have to be guided by your emotions and instincts. Make this time together special. Try and put all anxious or embarrassing thoughts out of your mind and determine to enjoy yourself.

What matters is that you both trust and respect each other, while continuing to build upon the chemistry that has brought you together.



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