- It’s a good idea to join a club, group or society so when you are ready you can meet like-minded individuals, who may share similar interests whether they turn out to be just friends or more. Maybe try a walking club, lunch club or a chess club? It is a good way to get out there again.
- Don’t feel guilty if you are interested in meeting someone. Your late partner would most likely want you to enjoy life. You will know in your heart of hearts when the time is right. Of course, you will never forget your first true love however, you’re never closing the book on your partner, you are simply starting a different chapter in your life.
- You may feel that people around you may be judgemental about starting to date someone new. It may take time for your or your former partner’s family to come to terms with it as well, but it’s your life and they wouldn’t want you to be alone or unhappy for the rest of your life. So make your own choices.
- You can never plan to find someone special, it happens naturally but you do need to give yourself the opportunity to meet people by going out and about. Don’t feel pressured by other people to join an obvious dating scene though, unless you would like to.
- It’s not all about marriage after losing your partner. Many people are looking for companionship, a friend, a date or maybe eventually someone to live with. There is no need to rush into anything, only when the time is right.
- Remember to be yourself. When meeting someone, tell them what you’ve been through and tell them what you want from this new relationship, but don’t spend your whole time on this subject. Never make comparisons to your late partner.
- Having never expected to go back on the dating scene, it can be daunting and difficult to come to terms with. Remember to make your date feel special, embrace the moment and remember that after all it can be a lot of fun meeting new people.
- Sometimes you may have to make the first move if your feel there is a connection with someone. Don’t throw yourself at them but maybe just suggest going for a coffee or to a community event together.
- Never restrict yourself to a “type.” Remember, you’re not looking for a replacement for your late partner. Broaden your horizons; you may not feel an initial bond because they aren’t like your previous love but you may find new traits of a new friend appealing.
- Spend as much time with your family and friends as you can. You never know who they can introduce you to but in the meanwhile enjoy those you love and laugh as much as possible.
by Dr Lynda Shaw
If you need help finding a new relationship after bereavement our Mature Guide to relationships, love and sex offers whether that is a new partner or new friends and companions to become part of your life as you get older. It is supported by Relate and will offer you plenty of advice and guidance to help you enjoy life again.