When a beloved partner of ours dies, we may that the topic of having new romantic relationships arises at some point, either in comments from others, or thoughts of our own.
What do we think about embarking on a new romantic relationship? Is it something that we think is possible? Is it something that we suddenly feel ready for or a feeling that grows over time? Are we looking for a relationship or instead responding if the opportunity arises? How do we feel about loving someone new when we still have such strong love for the partners whom are no longer with us? What are our thoughts? Our worries? Our feelings?
There are so many questions. This is such a personal topic and there are absolutely no right or wrong answers. There are no ‘shoulds’; however this topic brings up some similar and some differing opinions. Some feel it’s something they are ready for now, some feel it’s something they may want in the future, and others feel they may never be ready.
Some people are concerned about what others may think if they were to start seeing somebody new. Although there are different views on what stages people are at, and what they think of the subject; it’s important that we should try not to let worries of others’ thoughts stand in the way of our happiness, and if that means spending time with someone new, that’s ok.
Another common thought is that starting a relationship with somebody new has to mean something about the person who is no longer here, e.g. that you might be “over the loss” or love them differently. This is not the case at all. Our love is of an infinite amount, and it may be helpful to compare this to the love parents have for their children; when a parent has a second child, the love they have for their first child does not lessen in any way – the amount of love they have to give increases. And therefore, starting a new relationship is not equal to being ‘over’ the death of your late partner, or loving them any less. And comparing someone new to your late partner is a fruitless exercise, as they will never fill that person’s shoes, so to speak, but that’s not to say that they cannot make you very happy in a different way.
Thinking of you all with love in our hearts,
Erin and The Loss Foundation Team