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Accurately remembering a lost loved one enables us to keep them in a place of honour in our hearts whilst also making space for the possibility of new love.
Whether widower or widow, dating again can bring you comfort and comapanionship after loss.
I recently met the mother of an acquaintance of mine in the park.
During our brief chat, she revealed quite a lot about herself – she explained how she had been in a very loving marriage for over 40 years until her husband died suddenly of a heart attack.
So when a partner dies, the grieving is not only for our beloved but also for the relationship itself. Each person’s experience of bereavement is different and unique.
To try and quantify an ‘average duration’ for grieving and recover is futile.
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A key challenge when dating again is idealising our deceased partner and the relationship we had with them.
Eva Ibbotsen writes ''you cannot stop the birds of sorrow from flying overhead, but you can stop them nesting in your hair.'' This is a great mindset for anyone dipping a toe in the widow dating pool: whilst you can't stop grief and sadness paying a visit, it is up to you how long you let them stay.
Moving on from losing a partner is one of the hardest things to deal with.
As psychotherapist Hilda Burke explains, everyone's experience is different and there are no hard rules about when to move on.
Do give yourself a chance – if your attempt at dating ends in tears, be kind and patient and applaud yourself for having given it a go.
Remember to keep taking chances with love and with life. Hilda Burke is a West-London based integrative psychotherapist, who has been working with clients on a broad range of issues, including bereavement, infertility, addiction, abuse and depression for four years.For some of us this may be hard to fathom but moving on is a deeply personal experience and what feels right for one, may feel inappropriate for someone else.