Finding love after loss is not something that everyone thinks about or plans for. Because losing your soulmate can be one of the most traumatic life events that a person has to live through. Grieving the loss of the person you have envisioned your whole future with, whether from a long-term illness or a sudden loss, is sometimes a road travelled alone. But it doesn’t have to be. As with all things, time and life keeps moving forward and one day you wake up and think to yourself “I don’t want to live alone anymore”. This is a positive sign.

The idea of finding love again after losing your partner can be daunting. You might feel guilty because a big part of you feels as though you are betraying the person you lost. There could also be a voice in the back of your head, telling you that your friends and family members might not approve of you dating again and potentially having someone new in your life. You worry you are dating too soon or you are not really ready to put yourself out there. Whatever excuse you tell yourself to keep you isolated, we are here to tell you that it is perfectly acceptable and normal to want to find love again after loss. Here’s why…

1. Companionship is a basic human need…

Once the sea of grief has settled, the desire to meet someone new to fill your days with can become overwhelming. This is because the need for companionship is very human, very normal and very necessary. As noted by Dr. Abraham Maslow, who created the hierarchy of needs, listed “belonging” as our next need after food, safety, and shelter. For almost everyone, this need pulls at your heart, and even if you have given up in your head, the human body still yearns for the company of another person. Companionship establishes a deep sense of belonging by giving us emotional balance. It lets us enjoy life by giving us someone to engage in conversation with, encourages mental stimulation and positive thoughts.

The desire for companionship can lead you to finding someone who shares the same interests as you, someone to go on adventures with and most importantly a person who can provide emotional support during the darkest of days. Because really, who wants to go it alone when you don’t have to? We have seen many clients embark on their second life adventure — travelling around the country in a caravan with a partner, enjoying life on a cruise ship with a companion and even playing golf again with someone they call their partner.

2. Love guilt-free, everyone deserves it!

The love of your deceased partner will be ever present in your life. You were blessed to have them to love for however long you did and the memories of the life you had built together will forever be imprinted in your heart. The need to honour these memories may cause you to be reluctant to move forward and fulfil your basic human desire to find companionship with someone new. Denying yourself the opportunity to be happy and content again will keep you living in grief and sorrow, which we are certain is not the life your lost love would want for you.

Thomas Dowds lost his wife Rhonda from a sudden cardiac arrest while on holiday in 2016. Three years later, he married Moira Stockman who was also widowed when her husband passed away from Leukaemia several years prior. Thomas writes in The Guardian, that being widowed has taught him to enjoy every happy moment and stop sweating the small stuff. It is a common philosophy among those who have experienced loss. Although he knows he and other widowers will always feel sad about the loss of their partners, finding love again has given him a new lease of life. “Our children are really happy for us, and it has helped them open up about their own feelings of bereavement. It feels like we’ve taken two broken families and made them whole again,” said Thomas.

3. You can love two people at the same time!

We are led to believe that everyone is destined, if lucky, to fall in love with one soulmate forever. Hence when we lose the person that has completely filled our hearts, we believe that there is no room for another. That love after loss is nearly impossible. But in reality, our human hearts are capable of unlimited love and have space for future relationships. Granted, no two relationships will ever be the same and your new partner will never be able to replace the person you lost. Nor should you want them too. Dr Paidoussis-Mitchell offers the example of having children – you can have multiple children and love them all. The same can be said for romantic love. “You can still carry and honour the love of the person that has passed and have space in your heart to expand and love another,” she explains, “Accepting that helps you release the guilt.”

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