Dating after death of a spouse

And is widowhood the proper time to fall in love again?

The end of love and death For many people, romantic love forms an essential aspect of their lives; without love, life may seem worthless, devoid of meaning.

The love felt for the late spouse is likely to increase in light of the prevailing idealization of the relationship and of the spouse. Although love for the deceased spouse may increase as times goes by, a certain disengagement from constant occupation with the deceased occurs over time, facilitating attempts to adapt to the new relationship.

Although a new love might physically replace the previous one, from a psychological viewpoint, the widow will now love two people at the same time. The connection to the deceased spouse is likely to remain throughout the widow's life, but its nature will undergo many changes.

Her love expresses the nonexclusive nature of love more than it does its replaceable nature. I wasn't experiencing the feelings that I had 27 years ago. The creation of a new loving relationship involves both the capacity to let go and to hold on to the previous relationship, thus creating a new equilibrium (see here).

Thus, one widow writes: "'Second love' is different, but it's very good. It's really hard to understand sometimes how I can go from tears for my late husband into smiling and thinking of my new guy. When C came along and we started dating, it was different. I wasn't feeling that ‘if I don't see him today I think I'll die' emotion. Like other people, a widow yearns for her lover to come back, but unlike others, she knows it is impossible.

New widows (and widowers) face a range of circumstances in which their decisions are likely to be different. The growth experienced by the non-bereaved at this stage of life is likely to be less conflicted and more positive, and while the growth of the bereaved remains present and distinct, it lags behind that of their peers...The lover is perceived to be "the sunshine of my life," and for many, without such sunshine, decay and death are all around.Even in one of the darkest periods of history, the Holocaust, people fell in love, despite the risks of expressing it.The French famously refer to orgasm as "la petite morte," or "the little death." Once orgasm is reached, it is in a sense the end of the loving experience preceding it and, hence, a little death.Similarly, it was claimed that "All animals are sad after sex." The widow's new romantic situation Is the human heart large enough to encompass more than one romantic love?

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