Although loss is a natural occurrence in life, it does not prepare us for the passing of someone close to us, especially when that person is our spouse. Once some time has passed and our grief becomes more bearable, the question may pop into our heads: Is it okay to start seeing someone else?
While there is a wave of emotions that accompany this thought, it is certainly more than possible to dip your toes into the dating pool and see new people. If you have recently lost your spouse and want to know how you can begin healing and moving forward, continue reading for further insight into this process and what you can expect as you grieve your own loss.
Move At Your Own Pace
People who have experienced the loss of their spouse often have trouble thinking about dating, which is largely due to the feelings of guilt associated with potentially falling in love with someone else. If the guilt is not tied to how they believe their loved one would perceive the new relationship, the guilt may also be related to how they believe their friends and family would see the new relationship. Either way, this feeling of guilt can often outweigh the feelings that you receive from another person or the loneliness that may encourage you to get back into the world of dating.
It’s important to remember that everyone processes grief at their own pace. Some individuals may be able to date only months after their loss while others may take a year or more. There is no specific moment when you should be dating again. Only move forward with seeing other people when you feel comfortable with it and remember to take it slow. If you need to, see it as an opportunity to start anew and launch a brand new chapter in your life.
Re-explore Your Sexuality
For some, the act of dating someone else may not be too much of an issue, but the concept of having intercourse with someone else with their spouse can be overwhelming. In fact, it may be a source of sexual anxiety for some, which can make it hard to engage in intercourse when you do begin dating someone you truly like.
If you have been able to move onto dating but need to heal the guilt that comes with sleeping with another person, you may want to try certain toys before you have sex with other people. For example, you could purchase a lifelike model from California Dolls to help you work through the emotions that accompany the sexual activity. When you have managed to move through these feelings on your own (and you feel comfortable), you can then start to become intimate with people who you see regularly.
Consider Receiving Therapy
No one wants to be trapped in their grief. That said, when we experience a traumatic event and are unable to start the healing process, the potential for our grief to transform into more serious mental illnesses like depression or anxiety becomes a greater threat.
If you feel as though you are battling these issues and they are preventing you from moving on from the loss, you should consider seeking out the help of a mental health professional who can help you work through your emotions. If you are having trouble finding the right person for you, you can use a service like withtherapy to help you match with excellent mental health professionals nearby.
Although the thought of dating after the major loss of a spouse can be daunting, it is more than possible for you to start seeing another person without losing the connection that you had with your loved one. If you are looking to start this process, use the tips above to work on your healing journey and start your own dating adventures when you’re ready.