When to start dating after the loss of a spouse

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All of us have romantic predicaments; widows (and widowers) seem to have even more. And if they find another lover, while still loving their late spouse, how can these two lovers reside together in their hearts?

For widows, is loving again worth the effort of having to adjust to another person?

The book explores how men kill their wives and commit suicide when their wives intend to leave them.

She has to cope not merely with the new situation of loving two men at the same time, but also with the shift in the way she has loved her deceased husband: a shirt from a relationship with a physical companion who provides active support and love to one who is no longer alive and cannot be active in her life (see here).

In the romantic ideology, profound love should last forever.

Her love expresses the nonexclusive nature of love more than it does its replaceable nature. I wasn't experiencing the feelings that I had 27 years ago. The creation of a new loving relationship involves both the capacity to let go and to hold on to the previous relationship, thus creating a new equilibrium (see here).

Thus, one widow writes: "'Second love' is different, but it's very good. It's really hard to understand sometimes how I can go from tears for my late husband into smiling and thinking of my new guy. When C came along and we started dating, it was different. I wasn't feeling that ‘if I don't see him today I think I'll die' emotion. Like other people, a widow yearns for her lover to come back, but unlike others, she knows it is impossible.

There is ample evidence that this is possible, both in the diachronic sense of loving one person after another and in the synchronic sense of having two lovers at the same time. Their love to two people is more complex given the continuing impact of bereavement, even years after the loss.

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