The next person in your life could be completely different
Following bereavement, you might find yourself thinking about finding love again. This does not, in any way, mean that your’e trying to replace your late partner. Wanting to share your life with the right person is a perfectly natural desire.
Missing the companionship of a partner can be hard to bare. If you have children who have flown the nest, this can also add to feelings of loneliness and displacement. However, having someone with whom you can share life’s ups and downs with can provide not only companionship, but support and reassurance as you continue on the journey of processing your grief.
Once you have met that certain someone with whom you feel you would like to form a relationship, it is understandable you would feel unsure about whether the time is right. Only you can answer this sensitive question. There are bound to be friends and family around you who are willing to give advice, but at the end of the day, it will be up to you!
Having made the decision to start dating again, it is important to recognise that your next relationship will bring with it a whole new set of possibilities. Wanting to meet someone with similar qualities to those of your late partner is to be expected, especially if you were very happy together. However, it is far better to have an open-mind, as it’s more likely the next person in your life could be completely different; yet someone with whom you could also be very happy.
This doesn’t mean you won’t have some shared interests; it is more likely that it will present new possibilities. It is these facets, which will make this relationship special in its own unique way.
Gaining confidence and self-assurance within the relationship
Making a concerted effort to learn about your new partner’s hobbies and pastimes is one way of building a friendship. Establishing an awareness of their choice of activities, and whether these activities might appeal to you as well, is important.
Something you have previously disregarded may, in actual fact, present an opportunity for you to discover something different, bringing with it the potential to make new friends and the chance to broaden your horizons. This could also be a good way of gaining confidence and self-assurance within the relationship.
Another way of making a mutual connection is that you both explore an activity neither of you have tried before. This may well open the door to other interests, which you can develop together. Perhaps this is the perfect opportunity for both of you to begin a new chapter of self-discovery!
Taking the next step
If the relationship is going well, you might soon find yourself enjoying a more physical connection. This is a bold step, of course, and one that should not be taken without forethought. If you are both widowed and this is the first time you have connected with someone new, this could prove challenging. Having said that, if all goes well, your relationship will have reached a deeper level of satisfaction establishing an even stronger bond.
Making plans together
A ‘date-weekend’ away could help to cement your relationship. Deciding where to go and what activities you’re looking for can highlight both your similarities and differences and how you choose to embrace them.
Deciding where to stay and making plans about what you will do once you get there can be an enjoyable project. It may also require some give-and-take. Making decisions at this time will be a real pointer as to how well you and your date cope with differences in opinions and ideas.
Committing yourself to moving in together might seem like a good idea, but perhaps not so much if you have three school-age children or he is currently unemployed. These may seem like hard-hearted maxims, but the reality could very quickly extinguish the flames of romance. In any case, the important thing is to look very carefully into your future and what you want from it.
Introducing your new partner to old friends
Being seen as a couple in public in the early days can feel awkward. Bumping into old friends who knew you when you were with your deceased partner can catch you off guard. Making a point of introducing your new partner shows you are comfortable together. True friends will be happy for you and give a warm response.
Observing each other’s character traits
In the early days, it’s easy to ignore character traits that could, in time, become irritating. Are you aware that he looks at other women a lot – albeit fleetingly, but annoying, none the less? Does she seem to be constantly checking her phone to talk to her friends and family?
These could be character traits that make the relationship difficult in the long term. Characteristics which annoy or unsettle you should be discussed, as it may be they are subliminal and something which can easily be put right.
Whilst it is important to be patient and not rush into anything, you could eventually find yourself wanting to spend more and more time together.
Make a point of increasing your awareness; not only about how you feel about your new partner, but how you feel about yourself within the relationship. This will give you a greater vision of your future and what life may have in store.
Always be true to yourself and remain open to the possibilities that lie ahead. If you love each other, then any potential hurdles will be challenges that strengthen your relationship, bringing happiness and satisfaction that you thought would never be possible to achieve again.
Founder of Widowsorwidowers.com. Writer/Blogger. Publications include Huff Post UK, Esme, High 50 and Living Better 50.