#329 - Same coin, different side

dating divorced starting over widowed

Last week I wrote about some emails I’ve been receiving from widowers that are bound and determined to find a new mate shortly after their spouse has passed.

The problem is that they haven’t taken time to grieve and heal from the loss of their wife and their marriage. They generally will give dating a black eye because no woman I know wants to be a replacement or a place holder.

That article touched a lot of people including a long-time reader, Nancy. Nancy made some great observations about the flipside of dating too soon.

Her comments revolved around waiting too long to start dating again. She said she spent too much time “wallowing in denial.”

Whether it’s denial, grief, anger, or any other negative emotion, getting emotionally stuck is not healthy.

Everyone will deal with the loss of a spouse, a marriage, or even a long-term relationship differently. As I said last week, this takes time. However, when you get stuck, it will take too much time.

When you find yourself in a “dark” place for an extended period of time you have to ask yourself why. Why am I still in denial? Why am I still grieving?

What can I do to move forward?
This is the next question you need to ask yourself. To be clear, just because you’re asking the question doesn’t mean you’ll be able to answer it immediately. It may take days or even weeks to come up with the answer.

The important point is to start asking the question “What can I do to start moving forward with my life?” There will be situations where the answer just isn’t coming to you.

If you find yourself there, seek out a grief share or divorce recovery group. They are usually available at many of your local churches and are a great resource to help you start thinking about your situation from a different perspective.

If that’s not quite getting you out of the darkness, it’s time to seek a professional counselor or therapist. The right therapist or counselor can help you sort through a lot of stuff much more quickly than you can on your own.

There’s no shame in seeking help. The important point is to recognize when you do need help.

We only have so much time on this earth.
This is the argument used by the widowers I spoke of earlier. They used it to justify moving forward too quickly.

This is the same argument I’ll use for those of you that are stuck in your loss. The older I get the more I see how time slips by so quickly.

It seems like almost yesterday that I was a young man in my late 20’s or early 30’s. Now, I’m in my mid 60’s and I’m amazed at how time has flown. And, as I look at the other end of the spectrum, I see that time is dwindling.

If you’re mired in grief or anger or denial, it’s time to pick your head up and see that your time to find your soul mate is counting down.

I’m not saying to rush out and settle for the first person you find or that you even have to have someone in your life. What is important, is that if you’re truly looking for your soul mate you have to be proactive.

There is a right time to start looking and that will vary from person to person. It can’t be too soon, but it also shouldn’t be an excessive wait before you start looking either.

Find your balance. Seek the experience of others that may be on the same journey but are a couple of years ahead of you whether you’re widowed or divorced. Seek guidance from medical professionals if you need it.

Take control of your life. Do the things you need to do to get and stay emotionally healthy. Then, be proactive in your search for your extraordinary relationship.

I hope I’ve given you at least one new idea to make healthier dating and relationship decisions today.

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Have a great and blessed day.