I met my late husband in 2010 through a mutual friend. In hindsight, I realize this was the best way to meet someone. We had grown up in the same area of the city and knew many of the same people. He became my best friend. We married in 2013, enjoyed life and welcomed a son in 2015, and then my husband died suddenly in 2019. After losing him so tragically and unexpectedly, I was heartbroken and unsure about love.
When you lose a spouse, everyone is watching and waiting for you to rejoin the dating pool. It took me a little over two years to dip my toe in and, whoa, dating has changed so much over the last 10 years. Where did all these dating apps come from? Swiping left and right is so confusing, and the thought of being catfished scares me!
I am not the same woman I was when I married my husband. My priorities and needs are different as a solo parent. My checklist now includes prior marriages (a widower is a plus) and kids because I need to be certain that he has experienced a long-term commitment and understands the role of a parent. I also know that I don’t need a husband.
My definition of love today is not the same one I had in my twenties. After becoming a wife and mom, I realized that love is an action and not just an emotion. It was important to learn my love languages (quality time and acts of service) and to understand how I receive and give love. A partner may think that gift-giving is a way to show love, but it isn’t for me. Not everyone has the same love language, and it is vital to know what your love languages are in relationships.
Love has many lessons, and I have learned my share. I have gone through some of the most challenging experiences in my life, but I am still grateful to have experienced true love. I am a better person for having loved and lost. I often reflect on what my past relationships have taught me. I have learned the importance of sacrifice and that time is valuable. That love and happiness are intertwined. If you’re unhappy with yourself, it’s challenging to find someone else who will be.
Healing is also critical on this journey. You need time for self-discovery and self-love before welcoming love into your life again. I didn’t want to rush into anything simply because I was lonely and used to having a companion. If you’re not comfortable with yourself, it’s impossible to be satisfied with another person. There is a misconception that only those in relationships can be happy. But being single does not mean you cannot have fun or find joy in your life. Life is to be lived! There is nothing wrong with doing things alone. I enjoy my own company and have embraced solo travel and dining alone.
These lessons give me hope that love will find me again.
Love is out there for us, but it will not fall from the sky. Yes, I believe in manifestation and prayer, but faith without works is…dead. If I want love to find me again, I must put myself out there and let the world know that I am ready for it. Love won’t find you if you don’t let it in. We’ve all heard that love will find you when you least expect it. But what if love finds the people who are looking for it? I’m tired of hearing about how love comes to those who don’t try.
I have hope that there is love after loss. I know I’m not alone, and I hope my journey can encourage you in yours. If are starting over like me, don’t give up!
Tell me, have you lost a love—are you looking for love again?
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