Author Topic: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?  (Read 1082 times)

Mishka3086

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Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« on: April 29, 2017, 11:24:35 PM »
Hello everyone.  I am new here, I joined a couple months ago but this is my first post.
I was widowed on January 29th this year and lost my husband to a very senseless act of violence. We just had a baby in November and my husband had helped me raise my older son from the time he was 7 (he's now 14)...
After his death, I was left not knowing who to trust (the person who killed him was his "friend") and having a very hard time adjusting to losing my best friend and only person in the world I felt really knew me and understood me as deeply as he did... I ended up reaching out to several old friends that I had lost touch with and one of them is someone I've known since 4th grade. We had a short lived fling of sorts years ago, before I met my late husband, but it was never much more than a physical relationship... He has been so incredibly supportive these last couple months and I am seeing him under a different light but at the same time I am still so depressed and struggling with the loss of my husband. 

Is it crazy for me to consider dating this friend now? I feel guilty and somewhat wrong for having these feelings so soon but at the same time I don't feel like I can fight them either.  He makes me feel good, he makes me laugh and feel safe... even though I am constantly thinking of my husband, my friend has a way of putting me at ease whenever he's around or even just when we're talking on the phone.

What are your opinions on how I should go forward with things? Too soon to be romantically involved with someone? Too messy? Or should I allow myself the comfort of feeling loved and cared for while I continue to mourn my husband? I'm so torn on what to do. I miss my husband desperately and would do anything to have him back but I also know I have to move forward with my life without him. I want to honor him but I also am having strong feelings for my friend that I'm not sure I want to ignore. Help please. Any experience with this? All of your input is greatly appreciated!!

Love and Light to All ❤

Portside

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Re: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2017, 04:41:06 AM »
. . .  and I am seeing him under a different light but at the same time I am still so depressed and struggling with the loss of my husband. 

Is it crazy for me to consider dating this friend now? I feel guilty and somewhat wrong for having these feelings so soon but at the same time I don't feel like I can fight them either.  He makes me feel good, he makes me laugh and feel safe... even though I am constantly thinking of my husband, my friend has a way of putting me at ease whenever he's around or even just when we're talking on the phone.

What are your opinions on how I should go forward with things? Too soon to be romantically involved with someone? Too messy? Or should I allow myself the comfort of feeling loved and cared for while I continue to mourn my husband?

My deepest sympathy on the loss of your husband.

This is just one man's opinion but I think, yes, it's too soon for you. Actually, it isn't a matter of time - it's more a matter of where you are in your grief. To my way of thinking, a person is being unfair with both themselves and the other party when getting into a relationship while actively grieving a lost spouse.

It sounds like you have not yet processed the death of your dear husband. I fear to become involved with your old friend now will delay your recovery and introduce some confusion into your life. You said yourself you are still a bit depressed and struggling with your loss.

Reconnecting with an old friend simply because you enjoy the closeness will not reduce your pain or ease your grief by itself. That will take some work and time.

Hold off until you are ready to approach a new relationship on it's own merits - whenever that is.

Good luck - Mike

The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

Lisa

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Re: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2017, 10:43:48 AM »
It is a very personal decision based on your own expriences and feelings. I wouldn't tell you what to do. I just know dating is very difficult unless it is the right person.
Take care of yourself. Take comfort in your friend. Perhaps  don't make a decision now? I waited 22 months to date and made terrible decisions. Each situation is unique.
"All the waves must reach the shore before the water calms"-Ray ♡

maddalena

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Re: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2017, 01:00:38 PM »
well, there are a few things that enter my mind. You already had sparks with this guy.  While all common sense says "too soon" honestly, after 6 months from my husband's death (which was not sudden like yours) I felt nauseated at the thought of another man.  I wasn't ready. but maybe you are.
Now, almost 5 years have gone by.  I am happily married for just a year now.  I am still grieving my husband.
I dream about him. I look for pictures of him sometimes and enjoy my memories of him.  Will your new guy know how to deal with this? What i'm saying is that grief isn't just going to stop after 2 years and go away in a nice little package. It's forever.

It's still messy for me when I wake up trying to figure out how i'm going to tell DH that NG is my husband now!! but I have been on my feet; I'm me again. I don't go to bed at night reliving the horrible times before my husband died (he was quite ill) any more. My good memories of him overshadow the sad parts now.

Are you feeling like your old self? that's a question you need to ask yourself....
and if you start too soon with NG, are you going to trash him when the clouds clear?

nonesuch

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Re: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2017, 08:44:15 PM »
I may be totally wrong, but just throwing this out...

Is he a human Band-aid?  It helps to cover the wound for a short time, while the skin knits together.  When the covering is there, it blunts the pain every time it's jostled or touched. After a while though, it seems the healing is slowed and what the wound needs is air and light.  And the Band-aid is now kind of grubby looking, so it's thrown away. 

Just make sure he's not a temporary cover while the pain is so very acute.


Sugarbell

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Re: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2017, 11:28:57 PM »
My experience only...it's a mind screw both on you and him.

Others have done it and it works out great...even turns out to be marriage.

Everyone is different...personally I wished I had not started dating till I was healed. I know easier said than done. But remember when you are broken still you are likely to attract the broken. Just my experience only.
B.W.H. 9/24/2007

Mishka3086

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Re: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2017, 12:46:12 AM »
Thank you to everyone who has replied. You all have very valuable insight into this that I just don't have and I appreciate everyone who has offered their response. I agree with all of it. I think I am missing my husband so bad and not knowing how to be alone makes this "option" that much more appealing. But it is messy. He has kids and 2 different baby's mothers. He sends some mixed signals sometimes. I think I am just so desperate to feel a connection again, to feel loved and have someone to talk to. I don't really have any friends outside of my mom and dad. So I think maybe I am clinging to a "friendship" for other reasons although we do have a connection and fairly good understanding of one another... just over the course of today he made me feel confused and unsure and I know this is the last thing I need right now! Thank you all for your input and please keep it coming! It helps so much to hear from people who actually understand what I'm going through. I feel so alone so I'm grateful for all of you and I'm also very sorry we are all struggling through such painful losses. But it does help to know I'm not alone. So thank you all ❤

Trying

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Re: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2017, 07:03:47 AM »
I am someone who started dating early, around 6 months, a man I had know 25 years earlier and reconnected with.  We were both broken, a recent ugly divorce for him and me in the throws of grief.  While it has worked out for me, we are engaged and living together 3 years later, it was not easy and probably not wise to be in a relationship when I had so much healing to do.  My marriage had lacked intimacy for many years and for me having an emotional and physical connection was not just a balm for my grief but for the many years I had been missing that in my marriage.  In many ways he was my rock and my biggest support during my grief journey from 6 months out but it was very complicated.  We have both said that we wish we hadn't found each other again for another year when we both would have been in a better place so we could've avoided some of the drama.

No one can tell you what is right or wrong in your situation but I think you are hearing everyone advise you to be cautious.  Cautious with your own feelings but also with his.  I suggest being as open and honest as you can be with him.  Tell him you are feeling confused about your feelings, that you value his friendship and support but can't trust yourself to know if your feelings go beyond friendship because of your grief.  It sounds like you really need his friendship right now so it may be best to not complicate things right now.  If there really is more there, it will still be there when you have had more time to heal.

My heart goes out to you and your children, this community has been my lifeline and I hoo every you find the same support here.
You will forever be my always.

Lisa

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Re: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2017, 09:21:11 AM »
I'll just add thhe very best thing I did  in widowhood was one on one grief counseling. I thought I was going nuts.  She would listen and tell me I was doing great 💜
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 10:32:08 AM by Lisa »
"All the waves must reach the shore before the water calms"-Ray ♡

Mizpah

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Re: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2017, 09:55:50 AM »
it isn't a matter of time - it's more a matter of where you are in your grief. To my way of thinking, a person is being unfair with both themselves and the other party when getting into a relationship while actively grieving a lost spouse.

It sounds like you have not yet processed the death of your dear husband.

Agree with the above whole-heartedly, and much that is stated by others.  And this is going to sound crazy, but I agree with both my own opinion on this, as well as the complete opposite of my opinion. 

I'm a widow who is with a widower.  He was not very far out when I met him (I was 2 years, and he was 6 months), and I overestimated how ready he was, based on how he portrayed himself, things he said and did, our connection, and his having had other romantic/sexual partners after death but before me.  It was very very very very (I would just keep typing "very" over and over for a while, but I guess I'll stop) difficult for a long time between us, and caused me a lot of pain, and I think interfered with his grieving process.  I don't regret it (and we're still together, years later), and you're going to do what you're going to do, and I'm the last person who would ever tell a widow not to take comfort where you can find it, BUT. 

I would say either don't do it, or go in with your eyes wide open and EXTREMELY upfront and honest with this person so they don't get hurt.  But he's an adult and can make his own decisions.  I definitely understand the impulse to find closeness and comfort - I resisted it with a couple of DH's co-workers, and it was very hard to decide not to allow myself those cozy feelings (or at least not to act on them). 

So I completely understand your dilemma.  Part of me is like - hey, lady, allow yourself good feelings.  But the other part of me is like - alert! alert! save yourself from danger!

Therapy is awesome.   I highly advise it.
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

hachi

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Re: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2017, 10:04:13 AM »
My experience was similar to Trying and Mizpah in that it may have been too soon. While things have worked out, it presented its challenges. I was forever changed when my DH passed away. NG wanted a relationship too soon. He wore me down, although I did not feel I had enough to give him. I tried to be completely honest with him, but what I didn't realize was that it would take me a long time to be "all in". I had a bit of a fatalistic attitude and didn't think I was risking anything because, after all "nothing is forever".

Well, I did find out that is not true. My love for DH is forever, but now my love for NG is also. It just took a long time to get there. I held him at arms length for a long time. He is a pretty special guy, though and was prepared to wait it out.
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.      ~ A. Einstein

maddalena

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Re: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2017, 05:41:28 PM »
I'll just add thhe very best thing I did  in widowhood was one on one grief counseling. I thought I was going nuts.  She would listen and tell me I was doing great 💜
this!

daysofelijah

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Re: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2017, 05:52:43 PM »
Yes to the grief counseling. It along with my antidepressants were what helped me survive. I waited 2.5 years to date again, but I also had a baby and 3 other young children so daily survival was all I could handle for quite a while.

I'd tend to agree with what others have said though that it doesn't sound like the healthiest choice for you right now. Keep it at friends, do some counseling, recover and heal, then maybe in 6 months or a year things will be more clear? Best wishes for healing and clarity.
Amy, mom to four (14,13,9,5)

jgib

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Re: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2017, 05:53:02 PM »
I was tempted early on.  Met someone I liked, luckily he was wiser then I.  He told me I had healing to do and that we had connected because we were both broken.  We became good friends and 3 years on I would count him as one of my best. 
I am so glad we never became romantically involved, we are not right for each other that way.  I now do not look for anybody else to help me with my feelings, I work them out.  I am independent and comfortable with me.  I am more confident in making choices about things on my own and even just being in my own space.  These are all things I may not achieved if I was with someone else too quickly.
I am not sure I am even ready yet but I am open if someone comes along.
We all have our own journey because no two will be the same.  It has been good for me to hear about others stories.  Thanks for starting this post Mishka.  My condolences and best wishes to you.

Mishka3086

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Re: Dating while grieving - how soon is too soon?
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2017, 07:59:14 AM »
Thanks again to you all... I have started counseling and am hopeful it will help me through the struggles I am having to cope with his loss... After giving this a lot of thought I realize I'm just not ready for anything romantic. I do agree I was probably trying to fill the emptiness but I do not want to mess up my friendship based on something that will very likely not last. When I am ready, if he is still around then maybe we can give it a shot... But I think I need a more mature man and one with less baggage although who knows? Maybe it could work one day. I'm not totally closed to it but right now I know is not the right time. I miss my husband so much. It's hard to believe this is something I will have to live with forever. I'm only 31! 😢 I never thought I would lose him like this. Thanks to everyone who has responded. I truly appreciate all of your input more than I can express!

Xo