Having someone to share your life with
If you have shared a good life with your late partner, their absence will be hard to accept. Finding yourself alone after a lifetime of togetherness can be difficult.
It may take a while before you can fully acknowledge that you are single again and living life as one, instead of two. Even if you’ve been anticipating this moment for some time, coming to terms with the reality is hard.
How long it takes to assimilate this new status is different for everyone. If it’s been a while and you’re starting to miss having someone to share your life with, maybe the time has come to think about dating again. Only you will know when the time is right.
Feeling like the odd one out
Finding yourself in a room full of people when you’re used to being with your partner can be an isolating experience. There is nothing worse than feeling like a ‘spare wheel’ in a room full of couples, especially if the majority are strangers to you.
I recall, only too clearly, the first time I went to a social gathering on my own after the loss of my husband. A friend from work had invited me to her home for some pre-Christmas drinks.
However, the majority of the other guests were strangers to me. The only people I knew were the hosts who, although extremely considerate of the fact that I was on my own, were obviously busy with their other guests, as well.
I did make an effort to mingle but despite being determined to do my best, I found this quite difficult. I was not at all comfortable being on my own and was relieved to eventually make my exit.
It’s quite surprising how the simplest of actions become major accomplishments when you have to do them on your own. Especially for the first time!
Following this experience, I was determined to regain a degree of confidence and the self-assurance that comes with it. I made up my mind that when the time was right I would consider the prospect of dating again.
The right time to reach out to other singles
It is hoped, in time, that the opportunity to meet someone new will come along. How you go about creating the ideal environment for this to happen is a major decision. It is worth giving plenty of forethought to what you can do to help this situation.
Ideally, meeting an interesting stranger while out walking the dog or queuing in a supermarket would be wonderful, but exploring other options could also have a happy outcome.
Joining Meet-Up groups or other socially driven events can be a good source. Trips away, specifically organised for singles are popular. Here, at least you get to meet others who are also looking to make new friends.
Sharing common ground makes life much easier in the early stages, although it’s important not to give too much away, too soon. A little intrigue can be an attractive quality!
Once you start to make friends with other singles, it is inevitable that you will find yourself comparing their general characteristics to that of your late partner. This is to be expected and is a consequence you must try to avoid. We all have our own unique qualities and it is probable that you, too, will be compared with others.
When you do decide to start dating again, you may find yourself frequently thinking about your late partner. It may be that now is not the right time to be meeting other singles.
Sometimes, a feeling of guilt because you find yourself ready to move on can deter you from going forward. This is quite a common reaction. However, I’m sure that your late partner would be glad to think of you finding happiness again.
If you have come to terms with your decision to look for a new partner and the prospect of dating again, ask yourself what characteristics you are looking for. Maybe your late partner was not very interested in sporting activities and someone who might share your enjoyment of playing tennis, for example, could help you to come to terms with someone new sharing your life.
Looking to the future
Missing your late partner and the life you shared together is hard. Deciding the time is right to date again, however, could be a significant moment. Acknowledging a new path of discovery ahead of you could be exciting and bring the opportunity to find love again.
With confidence, you can realise your full potential and this could lead you in a very different direction to the one you had been used to. This does not take away the love, respect and the bank of fond memories you have for your late partner. Hopefully it will help you to begin a new chapter of romance and happiness with someone new.
Founder of Widowsorwidowers.com. Writer/Blogger. Publications include Huff Post UK, Esme, High 50 and Living Better 50.