It’s hard to move past the loss of the one you love, but if life is short should we not try to seek out as much happiness and joy as possible?
All of us at some point in life lose someone. We get divorced, we break up and sometimes we lose our loved one in a more tragic way- to death. We are lost. So the question we as men (and as a society) we have to ask is when is the right time to start dating?
About five months after my wife passed away I made very specific decisions about why I was ready to start dating. So I really want you to look into your heart and determine how soon and when you would like to think about reengaging in a romantic relationship. I do not believe that people are meant to live alone—ever.
I do believe that many widows and widowers have a very strong belief that if they begin dating, it is a sign of disrespect to the one that they lost. Please reconsider this thought process because it is so wrong and so damaging to you on a personal and emotional level. Your soul is screaming for love. It is not disloyal to seek the companionship of another person after your loved one has passed away, or you have lost someone to divorce. They are after all gone. There is no more “we” just “I”.
Everyone that I have talked to believes that the loved one who has departed would want you to be happy. I believe that the loved one who has departed would not want you to be lonely and sad. In my conversations with widows and widowers they often say to me, “I just can’t imagine being with someone else” or “I can’t imagine holding someone else’s hand or going out on a date with someone else—it just seems weird and awkward and wrong.” I will say to you that it certainly does at first feel weird. It does in the beginning feel awkward. But it is not wrong. You are single—morally, socially, and legally single. When you date for a little while the nature of your humanity takes over and it feels OK to be holding someone else’s hand—and then it feels more than OK—it feels great!
I’m going to be blunt—it absolutely sucks to come home to an empty household. It hurts to lie in an lonely empty bed at night. It is an hollow feeling to go on a business trip and know that you have no one to call to tell them that you arrived safely. It is a terrible feeling to know that you no longer have a loved one to be concerned about you. So my question to you is why you would want to continue to maintain a lonely lifestyle when there are people out there in the world who could bring you great joy and happiness?
Look—life is short, we both know that. And if life is short, should we not try to seek out as much happiness and joy as possible? I can’t tell you what is right for you. I just want you to consider the possibility that you can love again. If you do fall in love again, it does not mean that you did not love the person you were in love with originally.
I believe that you could have enough room in your life to love two people, or maybe even three people. Is love in such short supply, or is love unlimited? I believe that love is unlimited, and I could have loved one woman (or man) and also end up loving another later in my life. The love of each one does not nullify the love of the other. Get out there in the world and love and reconnect. You will find it just like I did. I married an amazing woman named Rachael in February this year.
Photo: Flickr/Dwayne Bent