Author Topic: Dating while grieving?  (Read 4757 times)


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Dating while grieving?
« on: November 08, 2015, 03:54:17 AM »
So most days, I'm pretty able to act and think normally.  My new girlfriend makes me very happy, and I'm glad I'm making progress.  But yesterday was a nightmare grief day; of course, overdoing the alcohol didn't help, but I spent most of the evening bawling my eyes out.  Luckily, I was alone.

But it makes me wonder whether I'm supposed to be in a new relationship yet if the old one still has such a profound, albeit occasional, effect on me.

Thoughts on this?  Has anyone successfully dated someone else in the gray area between active grief and moving on?


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Re: Dating while grieving?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2015, 06:36:25 AM »
I started dated new guy only 5 1/2 months after DH died.  I would say I was just in the gray area but still very actively grieving.  I was functioning day to day, not crying everyday at that point, and very lonely.  I would say I had no business entering a relationship at that point but it just sort of happened.  I continued to grieve while building a new relationship.  He was very patient with me, allowed me to talk or cry when I needed to, gave me space to do the work I needed to do on myself.  We fell in love quickly but our relationship has needed to progress very slowly because of my grief and especially my children's grief.  We have now been together a year and a half and I have grown tremendously.  We have gone through a lot together and I have gone through a lot on my own. I wanted to be very sure that I wasn't using our relationship as an attempt to fill that hole that losing DH has left. 

In many ways I wish I had met NG now, not a year and a half ago.  I am in a pretty good place now and continue to do a lot of work on myself.  But maybe I am where I am in part because of this relationship.  He gave me a very safe place to learn that it's ok to be happy, it's ok to look forward instead of living in the past, that it's ok to miss DH and cherish the life we had together and still keep living for myself and my kids.  He has supported all of the changes I have made, encourages me, celebrates my victories, soothes my worries.

It takes a special person to love and support a grieving widow.  If your new girlfriend makes you happy and gives you the room to grieve when you need to then I think it very possible to be successful in your new relationship.  A new relationship should never make you feel like you to "be over it" already.

It's complicated for sure, I wish you the best.
You will forever be my always.


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Re: Dating while grieving?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2015, 08:49:22 AM »
I was at three months and every logical bone in my body said "This is way too soon! What are you thinking??" Yet, my heart said something else and was really adamant about it. Yesterday was one year since he said "I feel like I feel more than we are just friends" and we are still going strong. Like Trying, I did a lot of soul searching to make sure this relationship wasn't just a band aid for my grief.

Although my relationship is with a widower and we get it that sometimes, despite our happiness with each other, the loss we are still processing is going to overwhelm us, others have entered into relationships early with non-wids and have had successful relationships. For my relationship to work, I had to give my self permission to feel both loss and love. Maybe you need to give yourself permission as well?

Also, Trying needs to make a t-shirt and hand it out to people that says "A new relationship should never make you feel like you to "be over it" already." I cannot think of a way to say it any better.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good. - Unknown

Don't be concerned about being disloyal to your pain by being joyous. - Hazrat Inayat Khan

Joe: 1979- 7/2014


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Re: Dating while grieving?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2015, 08:04:03 AM »
I got together with my boyfriend and the father of my daughter when he was less than a year out, and not at all ready.  It was hard on me.  I imagine it was hard on him, but he's not much of a talker.  It was very hurtful for me.  That being said, we've stuck it out and I'm very glad for that.
widowed 2011 (DH 28)


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Re: Dating while grieving?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2015, 12:41:56 AM »
What Jess and Trying said.

My partner is also a widow and so might "get it."  But we all have baggage and life experiences that shape who we are going into these new relationships, grieving or not.  My strategy has been unconditional honesty.  I figured that if I couldn't just be me then what was the point?  With honesty, we've been able to grow together but it has taken - at least on my part - a willingness to be open and vulnerable and on his part?  Infinite patience.  I instantly knew I was in with adp (my significant other) but making it work takes more than that. 

Give yourself permission to be a fallible human with a past who is open to love again.  It is a process. 
« Last Edit: November 10, 2015, 11:16:31 AM by TooSoon »


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Re: Dating while grieving?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2015, 03:33:48 AM »
I guess the unconditional honesty thing is probably a good idea.  While new GF knows about my past, she doesn't know that it still affects me.  I've done my absolute best to downplay things, to make sure that the baggage of the past is not brought forward into any new relationships, because I'm worried that new GF will think that she has to compete with me still loving someone who is dead; that's a feeling nobody wants to have, and I hate to burden her with that.

So I think a quick heart-to-heart is on the cards.  Nothing too serious, just a mention that I'm still recovering from what happened, but that I'm totally in love with new GF in a way that I can no longer be with my prior spouse.  I'll always remember her very fondly, but I'm fully capable of loving new GF just as passionately and exclusively.

Taking bets on whether that conversation will make things better or fuck things up irreparably...


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Re: Dating while grieving?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2015, 02:55:03 PM »
^^^ No matter how it turns out, I think that conversation has to happen.  Good luck.
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Re: Dating while grieving?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2015, 07:02:30 PM »
In regards to the "talk" your planing....

I like your words and your attitude :)


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Re: Dating while grieving?
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2015, 08:42:29 PM »
Thank you all for sharing your stories. My husband passed away 7 months ago. I have had a "friend" that we went out once, but spent many hours talking. Things were actually moving pretty fast, but we have just recently decided to slow things down. It is hard because I am starting to really fall for him. I needed to hear your stories to help me be content with where we are. Thanks again!