Dating someone who is grieving
I may have come out of the dark, winter basket, but my real feelings are in a laundry basket; waiting to be sorted out.I do not have many friends to talk about this; I doubt many would in this situation.I had, then, my first major experience as the “grieving party.” It was a hard time, but it also completed my education in how to offer real help to someone who is suffering a loss.I offer you what I learned, in the hope that it will help you be the best possible support for those in need, and to avoid the inevitable awkwardness that comes with facing the raw and jagged pain of someone you care about. She was warm, and managed to be “normal” in a way that was not at all callous.I buried this idea along with the letter knowing I would re-enter the dating scene in my own time. I was by myself at the grocery store and I looked up to find a man watching me with an interested look in his eye. I called him and asked him what he thought about me dating. I’m so happy you are considering it.” Her response wasn’t what I expected, but from both her and my father-in-law’s answers I felt better about moving forward.To my surprise, I found myself feeling attracted to him. This innocent exchange of glances made me uncomfortable, but only in a sense that I realized I was no longer a married woman but an available single one. First, I needed to be willing to discuss dating with people who I was close to. He said genuinely that he wanted me to be happy and that he knew Mark would want me to be happy too. I wasn’t sure what she would say and was shocked when she didn’t say anything. Second, I needed to know that I wouldn’t be dating to just fill a void. However I had met Mark online and thought it was a good place to start. It felt a little uncomfortable to be searching for a ‘new’ man after being with one man for ten years.Brewer says that you need to be aware of the intense feelings your children could have as you start to date.
“Every person experiences a unique grief process,” he says, and the grieving process is influenced by many factors, including: When Friends and Family React to Your Dating You might feel that it’s time for you to find a new partner, but you’re worried about what friends and family will think.
We tend, as a culture, to be uncomfortable with anything that isn’t efficient, productive and easily distilled into an elevator speech.
As an Irish friend once said, “you Americans think you’re supposed to be happy all the time.” I learned a lot about grief from Buddhist practice, enough that I became open to the needs of someone in pain, overcoming my own awkwardness and performance anxiety.
He didn’t hesitate to give me his blessing to date whoever and whenever I wanted. I knew that the void that Mark’s death left in my life would never be filled the same way that Mark filled it. As I scanned through the results not many of the profiles interested me.
I knew that even as I started dating, I still had to continue to fill my own life with my own positive activities, people, and feelings; I could not put the pressure on someone else to fill Mark’s place—if I did, neither one of us would ever be truly happy. After several pages I started to wonder if I was just being extremely critical because I wasn’t ready.