According to the Holmes and Rahe Scale of major stressful life events, the death of a spouse is rated as the most stressful thing someone can experience, followed closely by divorce. When you’re in the midst of such a life-altering shift, the last thing you’re thinking about is finding love after loss.

But when you’re ready to start dating again, this guide is for you.

The people who care about you will try to give you the best advice they can. They mean well, but only you will know if and when you’re ready to get back out there. It’s hard not to think about everyone else and their needs. But you have to focus on yourself as well.

  • How will the kids feel?
  • What will your wife’s friends and family think?
  • Is this a betrayal of your marriage? 

I can tell you the answer to that last one is a resounding no. And while it’s important to be conscious of other people’s feelings, ultimately you have to decide for yourself if you want to find love again.

Is It Too Soon for Love After Loss?

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. The length and depth of your suffering does not have a bearing on how much you loved your wife.

My mom was widowed at the age of 40. My dad died in March after a battle with cancer in which she became a caregiver rather than a wife. By June, she had met the man who has now been my step-dad for over a decade. I grew up in a small town, and a lot of people weren’t shy about letting her know that was way too fast. But the truth is, she had already been grieving for over two years.

My parents were married for 18 years. If she can find love again, so can you. 

Everyone mourns in their own way. You may respond to the death of your spouse in a very different way than you did to losing a parent or close friend. That’s completely normal. Every heartbreak is uniquely painful. Follow your heart and your own pattern of mourning. Don’t let the fear of judgment hold you back.

Some people may decide that one epic love story was enough for them. But I would suspect since you’re here reading a blog about finding love after loss you’re not one of those people.

The number one reason people start to look for love after loss is loneliness. Once the soul-crushing pain dulls and some time has gone by, the house starts to feel really empty without your partner.

Grief & Guilt

Guilt is a common feeling among widowers who are dipping their toe back in the dating pool. Even those who had extensive discussions with their spouse about this very scenario still can’t seem to shake their sense of guilt.

We had a client whose wife encouraged him, on her deathbed, to start dating right away and still he struggled to agree to be matched a year later. 

It’s human nature to assign blame to ourselves for situations with which we had no control. Because of that we experience feelings for guilt that have no basis in reality. You’re not to blame for your wife’s death. Because if you are, this would be a much different conversation.

Since you’re not a murderer and you loved your wife dearly, there’s nothing you wouldn’t do to bring her back. So truly ask yourself, where is this guilt coming from? Chances are, it stems from you blaming yourself for something you have no business taking credit for.

Statistically speaking, men are much more likely to remarry after their spouse dies than women. You will never get over your late wife, but you can get on with your life.

If you’re a widower who is ready to find love after loss, we want to help you!