To say one “feels lonely” after losing their life partner is an understatement, especially if you have been happily married for many years. In time, however, you may find yourself at a crossroads. On one hand you can’t imagine life with another partner while on the other you hand you can’t bear this loneliness. You want a partner again.
Where your adult children are concerned, good preparation can literally keep your family from falling apart. Hard as it may be, talk to them and share how you feel and what you are missing. As much as you love your family and as much as they love you, their love cannot satisfy what you need. Help your children understand that you are not trying to replace their mom or dad, but that you may want to have someone to eat dinner with or a bridge partner again.
As soon as the thought of dating enters your mind, before you bring the thought to life with a real person, think about how a new relationship will land with your adult children. Consider both the emotional impact and the financial concerns that might be raised. Make an appointment with your attorney and talk about how a second marriage would impact your estate. Family concerns about money or the inheritance will only make things more difficult if you begin to date. We’ve all heard stories, so get your affairs in order BEFORE there is a person you care about and share any changes you make to your estate with your children.
If possible, consider your pace. If you slow down just a little bit and really enjoy the dating part of a relationship, it will give your children some time to get used to the idea of you dating again. It can help everyone adjust to the changing family dynamic that occurs when a new person is added to the mix. Just as the family dynamic changed when your children dated and/or married, it will change again if you start dating.
Communicate, talk about how you feel, and if you decide to date, go slow. Take care of those money matters early on so that any changes will not be seen as the fault of the new person in your life.