I know this particular topic is not for everyone, but it is one that many people face at some point so I want to address it. I recall the first time someone brought it up to me, it made me so angry. It was the day after my first husband’s funeral. A well-meaning older gentleman who lived down the street happened to be walking by when I was getting the mail from my mailbox. He kindly gave me his condolences concerning Steve’s death, then said, “You’re young and attractive—you will get married again.” I am usually a very calm person, but I wanted so badly to punch him in the face. I restrained myself! I didn’t ever want to think about marrying again. No one could ever replace my 37 year old beloved husband. How dare he say that!
Now I can say that I have been happily remarried to an extremely good man for 22 years now. That’s a whole other story. I had to work through my grief before I could ever even entertain the idea of another man in my life. When that time came, it brought up all kinds of new grief and issues. I felt guilty for having feelings for another man. That was sweetly taken care of by my Steve when he told me before he died that I would marry a very good man. I didn’t want to hear it from him either, but I’m so glad he blessed my next marriage in several ways- making it easier to fall in love again. A lot of people don’t have that permission to go on.
Some people rush in way too fast into another relationship, trying to fill that horrible void. If you do not take time to review the special gift you had with your loved one and come to peace before rushing forward, it can place too much pressure on your next relationship. Some of the emotions to work through when dating again are feeling unfaithful, feeling guilty for enjoying life again, dealing with all the differences between your loved one who has gone on and this new person in your life, realizing it took years to build your relationship with your loved one (a new relationship cannot pick up where your old one left off. It will take time to build as well), and discovering all the ways a new relationship will impact your children and friends. Then there is the very scary vulnerable position to be in the dating world when you have been living a married life for so long.
The book I wrote to help others grieve, My Forever Memories of You, has an entire chapter devoted to this particular issue with all the surrounding challenges involved. It goes so much further in depth than this short blog—with places for you to work through in your own unique personal way, suggested thoughts that have helped others, and God’s word to encourage you as you work through this particular new twist in your life. Stepping into the dating world can bring up fresh new waves of grief so go easy and slowly (and prayerfully). God is with you. Jesus promised He will never leave you or forsake you- not in the loss of your beloved spouse and not as you begin to consider dating again.
Love and prayers,