When to start dating after losing a spouse

“It is important to communicate with your friends and family about your desire to start a new relationship,” says Brewer.

“Often, family and friends will understand your wish to start dating, and sometimes they may provide good advice about when and how to start dating if they know you well.” Still, Brewer cautions, “If you are ready to start dating and you get a negative reaction from someone, realize that everyone has their own grief process and that others can experience grief in a different way than you do.

In particular, avoid over-reminiscing about your old life; it may make your new acquaintance feel excluded. You may long to clone your lost love, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever meet an exact replica of the one you were with. After all, the person you met at age 25 changed over a lifetime, and so did you.

Now you’re in a different stage, with a redrawn horizon.

The letter said that when you lose a spouse it is normal to want to date, usually sooner rather than later.

To my surprise, I found myself feeling attracted to him. This innocent exchange of glances made me uncomfortable, but only in a sense that I realized I was no longer a married woman but an available single one. First, I needed to be willing to discuss dating with people who I was close to. He said genuinely that he wanted me to be happy and that he knew Mark would want me to be happy too. I wasn’t sure what she would say and was shocked when she didn’t say anything. Second, I needed to know that I wouldn’t be dating to just fill a void. However I had met Mark online and thought it was a good place to start. It felt a little uncomfortable to be searching for a ‘new’ man after being with one man for ten years.

Even when expected, the death of a partner is a shocking heartbreak.

Weathering the waves of sadness — and building a new life without your mate — may pose the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced. Your partner would want you to be happy again, so banish the notion that you are somehow “betraying” him or her by seeing someone new.

What is your new life going to look like, and how do you start moving in that direction?

Here are eight of the first steps: Nobody gets married thinking, "I sure hope we can get divorced someday!