At the end of a marriage, a grieving process begins. Life can seem lonely and empty without a companion at your side through thick and thin. Especially after a long or happy marriage, you may wonder if you'll ever find love again? The truth is that anybody can find love again. The real question is how you can find a healthy love that will make your life richer and more fulfilling.
Whether you lost your spouse to death or divorce, love is still out there if you are willing to look for it. It is not always easy, but there is much you can do to find a compatible partner, even the second (or third, or fourth…) time around.
Changes You Can Make Now
There are a few positive changes you can make in your life right now to prepare for dating again.
Too many people start looking for a new partner immediately after they lose a great love. When you move quickly from one relationship to the next, you're more likely to end up in a troubled relationship. Love comes in its own time. It's important to allow room for appropriate, healthy grief after the loss of any relationship.
In addition, we are most likely to enter a healthy relationship when we are as healthy as we can be ourselves. For instance, people who have been victimized in prior relationships are more likely to be drawn to those who will also victimize them. And exploitative people seem to have an uncanny ability to identify those who are the easiest to take advantage of. So before you consider entering a new relationship, take some time to become the best self you can be.
Another way to think about this is that if you enter a new relationship while you are still grieving the loss of a previous one, you are not yet the person you will be a few months or years from now. This means that the person to whom you are attracted today (and vice versa) may be very different from whom you might be attracted to when you are less sad or lonely.
The time you have with yourself right now can be a wonderful, valuable gift. Take the time to discover who you really are. What do you love to do? How would you dress if you were dressing only for yourself and not a partner? Where would you live? How would you spend your money? When we are committed to a marriage and a spouse, we may compromise with our partner to maintain harmony. This is an excellent time for you to ensure that you are exactly who you want to be before committing to another relationship. At the moment, you only have yourself to please.
Choose the Right Person
You are a unique individual. Not everyone is well suited to share your life. When you fall in love quickly, there’s a chance it will be based on infatuation. While having the right chemistry is important, you also need to take time to sort out people who are truly compatible with you from those who aren't. The right person will likely share common goals, interests, and values with you. Another thing to consider: The right person is unlikely to be just like the spouse you lost, so beware of holding out for someone who looks or acts like your past love. By doing this, you could be ignoring your perfect new partner.
Don't Rush into Marriage
Perhaps your marriage was amazing. Healthy love is a wonderful thing. However, you won't know if marriage is right for you and your new love until you spend considerable time with them. Think about it: Marriage is both an emotional connection and a business arrangement. Not only do you not want to marry someone you are emotionally incompatible with, you also don't want to marry a person who can't manage their finances or who is in legal trouble. The best way to get to know these things about someone is to take the time to get to know them. This is not a process that should be rushed. You are worth the time it takes to get to know a potential new spouse. You deserve that, and so do they.
Find the Right Support
There is no magic wand that will summon the person you are meant to be with. You will have to put in the time and effort to find someone worth your companionship. If you need help, Psychology Today suggests asking friends and family to set you up with compatible people or offer guidance on where to find them.
Be sure, too, that you don't have too many preconceived notions about whom you might find. If you go out into the world thinking everyone over 40 is in a different phase of life than you, or that men only want one thing from a woman, it can be counterproductive. Keep an open mind and give everyone a fair chance.
Finally, it is important to trust your gut. If you ever feel uncomfortable with a new person or situation, don't force it. You can move at your own pace, and someone that cares for you will be okay with that. If you need more help after trying these suggestions, there are counselors out there waiting to assist you.
BetterHelp Can Help You Find Love Again
If you are nervous about finding love after the end of a marriage, you are not alone. Many people have been hurt and need help navigating future relationships. This is where a therapist can help you.
At BetterHelp there is always a licensed therapist available. And because therapy is conducted online, you can do it in the comfort of your home. A BetterHelp therapist can help you figure out your game plan for getting back into dating, reinforce techniques to help you feel more confident, and put you in the best possible position to succeed. Read below for reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing similar issues.
Therapy Can Help Single People Make Good Relationship Decisions
Therapists have discussed how relationship therapy is not just for couples. Relationship therapy can also help single people examine past relationship patterns and prepare for healthier future relationships. Destructive relationship patterns often go back to childhood wounds; when we process these wounds, we are less likely to recreate negative family dynamics. And when we are single, there is time to work slowly and deliberately on positive changes. Most importantly, working on relationship patterns when we’re single puts the focus on self-love, which is at the heart of any successful relationship with another person.
The Benefits of Online Therapy
As discussed above, relationship therapy is an excellent way for single people to prepare for healthier relationships. But when you are single, it can be difficult to find the time for in-person therapy in your busy schedule. This is where online therapy comes in. You can access BetterHelp’s platform from the comfort and privacy of your own home. There’s no need to sit in traffic or take time out of your busy workday to drive to your appointment; you can speak with your licensed therapist from wherever you have an internet connection.. BetterHelp’s licensed therapists have helped both single individuals and couples with relationships. Read below for reviews of BetterHelp therapists from people experiencing similar issues.
"Rachael has been an invaluable partner while I worked through some difficult questions and choices following my husband's death. She is kind, thoughtful and listened to my questions, fears and doubts. She challenged me with thought provoking questions to help me work through my issues. I am forever grateful that she was in my life during this extremely challenging time."
"I am incredibly grateful that Jillian indeed helped me grieve and work through the challenges of divorce and early motherhood. She helped me learn about myself and transform my life in a positive way. She offered practical, specific tools to incorporate into my daily routine. She helped me to reconnect with myself and clarify and move towards my life goals… My sessions with Jillian made a huge difference as I navigated this time in my life. I could not recommend her more highly."
Finding love again can be daunting, but with some dedication and a little help, you can succeed where so many other have before you. Be sure to use all your resources, and don't hesitate to reach out to others. Love can be right around the corner. Take the first step.