When do you know you are ready to move on?

A question for any of you that have decided they are ready to have a relationship again or do have one after the death of a partner. How did you know you were ready to meet a new partner?


Hi, I think that’s a difficult thing to answer to be honest. I lost my husband 17 months ago and have realised that I don’t want to be on my own for the rest of my life but I’m not actively looking for another relationship. I’m of the mindset that if it happens then it happens and that’s ok and if not then that’s ok too. At the moment I think for me personally it’s still a bit soon as I’m trying to learn who I am as a one rather than a two. I spent my whole adult life with my husband so I’m learning to navigate this life on my own first.
My husband always said if he wasn’t around then it was ok if I met and even married someone else. I’ll never marry again but I am open to one day sharing my life with someone again.
Since losing my husband my attitude has changed and I now take things as they come and don’t really look too far ahead or plan too far ahead so who knows if or when I may meet someone else.
I think only you can know if you’re ready or not to move forward but I feel that if you’re asking how you know you’re ready then maybe you’re not. But I do believe it’s okay to want and enter into another relationship, it’s not dishonouring your spouse it’s about living the best life you can and I firmly believe our spouses would want us to be as happy as we can and not to live a lonely life on our own.

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Hi Syllhl,

My husband died almost 2 years ago. I didn’t hope to meet a new partner and expected to be an iron-knickered nun mourning my husband until the day I died.

Then, (actually through this forum) I made a friend in a widowed man, it was pure friendship with us not trying to be romantic but just sharing our grief as we lost our partners around the same time and were going through the same soul-crushing awfulness at the same time so we messaged every day.

Eventually, as part of a larger group we met up. We felt an attraction but I felt very confused like I was cheating on my husband even thinking about a man. I had also at the time started looking at lots of men (just out of the window and that kind of thing! never getting near to them or seriously doing anything but I had noticed I was missing sex and never expecting to have it again as i felt a repulsion at the thought of another man).

I think there is a term for this feeling called “Widows Fire” which is why everyone should be very careful not to get into a bad situation from that feeling but since then I have found out that apparently it is quite a common thing to feel that burning desire, so much so that there is this term for it!!

Anyway, I felt revolted and like I was cheating on my husband just thinking anything like that, i certainly had not been planning to have feelings like that. I met that man a few more times (remember i knew him very very well from many months of daily long messages and some phone calls, all only firmly platonic in nature) and found myself falling in love… and i guess that’s when I knew I was ready if you can call it that but I still felt very confused and argued with myself in my head a lot!!

So I think it’s really hard to know if you’re ready but your body might tell you when you are ready and what for. It might be you get to a stage where you want sex but not a partner or cuddles but not a partner.

For reference, I am still with that guy now a year on, I met him for the first time and had that first “flutter” in my belly (or somewhere down there!!!) around 9 months after my husband’s death. Which I think is sick and early but yet it is the truth.

Prior to that when I used to read threads like this I wanted to vomit as really really didn’t ever want another partner or plan it…

Now I’m here though I am very grateful to have the chance, I think it helps an awful lot that we came from a place of friendship and that we talk about my husband and his wife on a daily basis as part of our lives so it helps me to keep my husband as a real person in a way too. I think it would be more difficult with a non-bereaved person and I can’t imagine that but know there are plenty of widows managing that too so every person is unique but if you meet a person who can fulfil your emotional/other needs I think you will know and then that will help make you as ready as you can be. Take care!