In our interview with DatingNews.com, we talked about our extensive Dating Advice section. Here, we offer answers to questions that are typically asked by widows and widowers as they venture back into the world of dating and beyond.
Wondering how we will cope on our own
If you have children and they’ve flown the nest, negotiating life’s journey alone can hold little allure. Looking on at other couples whose relationships have stood the test of time and who enter middle age with the prospect of retirement together, can be hard, but you can improve your prospects for future happiness.
Planning a trip away can be a useful distraction
If you have the resources to do so, you can use this time to travel. Taking time off to visit previously unexplored countries and landscapes can be uplifting and beneficial in so many ways. Planning such a trip can be a useful distraction from post-bereavement blues, and being away from home can also help you to reflect upon the positive aspects of your life, and the potential that is there if only you look for it.
You might want to indulge in nostalgia. Re-visiting your honeymoon destination or somewhere else that inspires thoughts of happier times, when your partner was by your side.
Back to work and giving your all!
There will be those who choose to throw themselves into their career. Using the time to absorb the positive aspects of progression and experiencing the success and subsequent rewards this could bring. Finding a focus and using it to fill a space can work miracles on your self-esteem.
In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly common for people to switch careers halfway through their working lives, or to have a side-project they work on in their free time. Setting up office space at home and working remotely, enables more people to follow a path based upon their own creativity and innovative ideas, leading to exciting possibilities.
If it is a long while since you felt inspired in your job and the workplace is somewhere you’d rather not be, now could be the time to think about a new beginning.
You don’t have to be lonely
Inevitably, there will be those who find themselves becoming withdrawn and experiencing loneliness and feelings of frustration, but it doesn’t have to be like this.
How long it takes to come to terms with being single again will be different for everyone. Whilst some quiet time can be beneficial, it is equally important to seek out friends and family to support you while you make this transition.
Developing new interests and making new friends
Developing new interests can be inspiring and will help you to come to terms with your situation. Creativity and artistic self-expression can be a great way to help you process your grief, as you get to explore your current thoughts and imagination.
After I lost my husband, I was extremely dispirited and found it difficult to think futuristically. Not wanting to be beaten by a situation I could not change, I joined a creative writing class at a local college. If it didn’t live up to expectations, I could just leave! However, it was the best thing I could have done at the time, as it put me in touch with other singles, older and younger, and gave me something to look forward to each week.
Whatever interest you choose to pursue, it will open the door to new possibilities. Mixing with entirely new people can provide a huge sense of release, potentially helping you to meet some kindred spirits. Introducing new people into your life can be refreshing and will act as proof of your determination to move forward.
Decide what you want from the next stage of your life
Eventually, it is hoped you will be able to confront your future with renewed enthusiasm and make plans that will fit in with your lifestyle and resources. Asking yourself what you want from the next stage of your life will hopefully set you on a path towards feeling complete again.
All these things can help you to discover or rediscover aspects of yourself that you had not previously had time to explore. This will stand you in good stead for the weeks and months ahead as you develop a new outlook and perspective on life.
Finding someone else to share your life with
There may come a time, regardless of your age, when you feel you would like to start dating again. If you’re keen to meet someone who has also lost a life partner, this is a good starting point for the basis of a future relationship. What’s more, it also means you don’t have to explain away any sensitive background history, which can prove difficult to share with someone who might not be able to relate to your situation.
Finding a potential partner should not make you feel guilty. Enjoy it as a sense of fulfilment. This doesn’t mean you have forgotten your previous partner; it’s more a case that you’re moving on, but cherishing your memories as you go.
As you enter this new chapter in your life, see it as an opportunity to grow and expand your vision for the future, building upon the experiences you’ve had so far and the possibility of dreams yet to be fulfilled.
Founder of Widowsorwidowers.com. Writer/Blogger. Publications include Huff Post UK, Esme, High 50 and Living Better 50.