Finding love after loss: How to move on after losing your partner

Dating after the death of your partner may make you feel guilty. But remember, finding love after loss is possible.
Finding love after loss of partner
You can find new love after losing your partner. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Updated: 2 Nov 2023, 02:50 pm IST
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Life is uncertain. The death of a partner can strike anytime, and it will make you think that loving someone else after losing your special someone is not possible. It may feel like a huge chunk of your heart has gone with your partner. Finding love after loss might not happen immediately, but don’t think the chances are zero. You should also know that when the time comes, it’s okay to move on.

Losing a partner to death can be an extremely painful event. Being in love again may seem unimaginable when one is grieving. But after enduring such a tragedy, each person’s road to finding love again is unique. While some people can return to their lives in a relatively short amount of time, others might need years, says psychotherapist, life and business coach Dr Chandni Tugnait.

Woman crying
Losing a partner is extremely painful. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

When is the right time to move on after a partner’s death?

Ascertaining the “right time” to progress in life is a multifaceted and highly individual process. A loved one’s passing or the closing of a major chapter in one’s life necessitates time for healing. You need to respect your loss and give yourself time to process the associated feelings. When you have accepted your loss and are prepared to embark on new experiences without sacrificing the memory of what you have lost, it may be the appropriate time to move forward.

Being emotionally equipped is critical. Your innate sense of acceptance and healing will guide you to make this deeply personal choice. You can navigate this difficult emotional landscape with the help of friends, family or a bereavement counselor.

Finding love after suffering a major loss can be a very difficult and an emotionally charged journey. Here are some challenges you may face along the journey:

1. Emotional baggage

The ongoing burden of bereavement and emotional baggage is one of the main challenges. It can be difficult to completely open one’s heart to a new relationship during the long and painful grieving and adjustment period that follows a major loss. Many people have to perform the delicate job of juggling their anguish from the past with their yearning for new love, says the expert.

2. Fear

It can be crippling to be afraid of losing again. It’s normal to be wary of making a commitment to a new relationship since you may experience another heartbreak. Often, anxiety or overthinking can cause self-sabotage. Problems can also arise from comparisons. It’s normal to draw comparisons between a new partner and the one you lost, which can be unjust to the newcomer and impede the growth of a strong, separate bond.

3. Guilt

Some people could feel bad about moving on, as though falling in love again would violate or betray their memories of a loved one who has passed away. Belief problems resulting from bereavement can impede the growth of a new partnership. It might be difficult to open yourself to a new partner and have faith in the stability of a new relationship when trust is damaged by past pain.

How to move on after the death of a partner

There may be a lot of different challenges while embarking on a new journey of love, but all you need to remember is to move at your own pace.

1. Let yourself grieve

Allowing yourself to experience and express your feelings is paramount as grief is a normal reaction to loss. Make space for anguish, fury, tears and other emotions to surface and flow naturally. Focus on processing your emotions instead of suppressing or numbing them, suggests Dr Tugnait.

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2. Take your time

Healing has no deadline and there is no need to be hasty, so progress at your own pace. Since every healing journey is distinct, don’t rush, go with the flow and be kind to yourself.

Happy woman
Finding love after loss is possible. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Seek support

Let your friends and family members be there for you even if you think you don’t need them. Sharing your experiences with others can induce comfort.

4. Reminisce and honour

Give tribute to and celebrate your loved one’s memories. Host rites or memorials that can help you in positively preserving their memory.

5. Self-care

Make sure to take care of your mental and physical health. Ensure adequate rest, nutrition and mood-boosting activities to stay happy and calm.

6. Professional help

If you are having trouble coping with strong emotions, you should contact a therapist or grief counsellor who specialises in loss and grief.

7. Set realistic goals

Reintroduce structure and routine to your life gradually. Establish attainable short and long-term objectives to restore your sense of direction and control.

8. Reconnect with your hobbies

Rekindle any interests and activities you may have neglected while grieving. Taking part in these activities can help you in finding your identity again.

9. Join a support group

Making new friends with people who have gone through similar losses can give you a sense of support and understanding that you might not find in other places.

10. Stay open to new possibilities

Although you will always remember your loved one, keep an open mind to the idea of pursuing new chances, experiences and connections. It’s about accepting the possibility of future happiness and development rather than trying to make up for what you have lost.

It is all about embracing your continuing personal growth and purpose.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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