Monday, February 1, 2016

In Grief: Finding New Love After The Death of A Spouse

[Reviewed and updated October 10, 2023]

A reader writes: I have insight into my growth through grief these past 2 years. At first it was a tight shell around me, I couldn't let anyone in. Now it's a softer cocoon. I empathize with newly bereaved in a way I never got before. I sit, I'm patient, I listen.

I feel room in my heart for a new life partner while maintaining my connection with my deceased husband. How did I get here? I met a guy, a widower, he gets it! He gets me. I get him. It's new, I'm hopeful. I miss my deceased husband daily and I'm "in like" with a new man. I have room in my heart yet it feels awkward -- and hopeful.

Marty, do you have resources on new love after bereavement? Your articles are always on target. Thanks, truly.

My response: Blessings to you, dear one, for your willingness to grow through your grief and (as you say) feel room in your heart for a new life partner while maintaining your connection with your deceased husband. Breaking out of that cocoon is not an easy task, but I commend you for your courage and your willingness to try. As you have discovered, we humans have an infinite capacity to love, and if we so choose and if we are ready, our hearts most certainly are big enough to expand and make room to hold another. I wish you and your new partner every happiness ~ and here is a list of resources I've gathered for you, which I hope you will find useful and informative:

A Valentine Letter for YOU 

After Losing The Love of My Life, I'm Now Dating For The First Time in Decades

Best Dating Advice: Focus on Curiosity

But she is not like my wife

"Can I Love Again?" How to Build Your Self-Confidence

Challenges of Dating When You Have Kids

Dating A Widow or Widower: FAQs

Dating A Widower?

Dating & Relationships After Loss

Dating When You’re Widowed

Finding Love After Loss: 7 Steps for Moving Forward

Finding Love After Loss, Ellen Gerst’s blog for “guiding you on the path to finding love … after the loss of a partner due to death, divorce or break-up.”

I Got Over a Breakup by Tracking My Emotions on a Spreadsheet

Love After Death: The Widow’s Romantic Predicaments

Loving Again: After a Spouse Has Died Book by Janice Sargent Wiemeyer, PhD

Online Dating for Widows: 10 Tips To Avoid Being Scammed

9 Things You Didn't Know About Dating for Seniors

Past Perfect, Present Tense: Insights From One Woman’s Journey As The Wife Of A Widower Book by Julie Donner Andersen

Ring Out The Old? Not So Easy When Memory Serves

Running Forward Books and blog by widower Abel Keogh

Sometimes Men Need to Have Their Own Sandbox

The Matchmaker Delusion

The Most Important Quality Of An Intimate Partner 

The Reality of Remarriage Part Two: Answering Readers’ Observations

The Widower's Journey: Helping Men Rebuild After Their Loss Book by Herb Knoll, et al

Tired of Being Alone? Maybe It's Time to Try Dating Again

Widow Dating Questions: Am I Ready to Date?

Widower Dating Page -- National Widowers' Organization

Widowers Support Network - Members Only on Facebook

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