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It’s not uncommon to reach a point when you’re ready to start dating after the death of loved one. We, as humans, are wired to desire to be with others and to feel loved and needed. The problem is that when you start to date after the death of a loved one, you can get inundated with feelings of guilt and/or grief. It’s important to know that these feelings are perfectly normal.
The thing you can do before you start dating after a loved one has passed is to take plenty of time to mourn your loss. Sometimes people are in so much pain that they try to rush this step. They go back into the dating pool not because they are ready to love again but because they are looking for something to dull the pain.
The problem with this approach is that in the long run you are only delaying your healing process. In addition, you are also putting the feelings or your new love at risk.
If you haven’t fully dealt with your loss, you won’t be able to give yourself to a new person completely. They may end up getting hurt because you weren’t ready to love them fully.
To avoid these issues, allow yourself the time you need to heal.
Here’s the thing: there is no hard and fast rule about how long healing will take. Everyone moves at a different pace.
In many cases, it will be helpful to see a counselor to get some help dealing with your grief in constructive ways. A trained grief counselor can help you move past your grief quickly without forcing it or ignoring it. Ignoring your grief will only give it power over you for a longer period of time.
It can continually come up and grab you when you least expect it. Trust me, that’s not what you want.
Be careful as you enter the dating world that you don’t subconsciously try to “replace” your lost spouse. Don’t continually compare your new love with your past love. It’s not fair to anyone involved.
Instead focus on the main character traits that you like and want to find in someone. If you’re honest, you may admit that some of these characteristics that you like weren’t really present in your deceased partner. If you do come to this realization, don’t feel guilty.
By focusing on the “things” that you like in a partner rather than your old partner, you have a better chance of finding someone you can be truly compatible with as well as diminishing the chances that you are only trying to find a “replacement”.
Take things very slowly. There is no rush. It takes time to get to know someone and to build trust and friendship.
Dating after the death of loved one can be really tough. It can be exciting and horrifying at the same time. Just be willing to take it slow and allow yourself to feel.