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It’s been a span of time, months and maybe several years and you’ve gone through a painful grieving process. You’re still living, but you’ve had to make a lot of changes along the way. You probably still have periods of time in which you feel life is sad and pointless.

Your living space is still full of memories of you former life. You’ve made the effort to mold a new life for yourself, but at times, you retreat into the past. At some point you realize you’ll never forget your partner, but it’s time to move forward. You may not want to find a new mate, but you’re ready to be a strong and more independent person.

Evaluating Your Life       

You’re getting used to living on your own. It’s a good idea to take stock of what is important to you now. How old are you and what do you still wish to accomplish in life? Do you have a bucket list? Do you plan on moving to a new location at some point? How involved are you with your children and the rest of your extended family? Do you want to be closer to them?

You may find that you’d like to make some major changes in your life and set about building a timeline for that change. Or, after evaluating, you may find you’re relatively happy with your location and the way you spend your days.

The choices are up to you and even that may bring on a kind of sadness. But, the challenge of an independent life can also bring on a sense of freedom and a new joy. Your life with your partner is past, and you can choose to enjoy the rest of your years.

If and When You’re Ready

It’s perfectly fine if you decide that you’re okay to spend the rest of your life alone. Many people do just that. Living single is a perfectly fine way to live. It’s your choice.

But, there may come a time when you feel ready to at least consider dating again. You may decide to remove your wedding ring and settle in your heart that you’d like to find a new partner to share your life with. Just coming to that decision takes courage.

Now you’ll find there are many considerations. Your relationship with your partner was unique. The culture of your home and the lifestyle you lived was also a one-of-a-kind. The search for a new partner can’t rest on trying to replace the old one.

You may find you experience a pang of grief and maybe even guilt as you contemplate a new relationship. That’s normal, but not necessary. Most likely your partner would have wanted you to live a full and happy life. Again, talking with others who have had similar experiences can help you move through any emotional baggage that keeps you from moving forward to find a new partner.

Time to Take Stock

What are you searching for in a new relationship? You’re not the same person you were when you first made a lifetime commitment. You’re older, wiser and more experienced. What values do you hold that are non-negotiable? Does a new partner need to be a person of faith? Are you searching for someone with a great sense of humor or a serious person who enjoys quiet evenings by a fire?

You’ll want to take a close look at yourself. You have opinions, hopes and dreams, social values and a unique outlook on life. What sort of person would be a great companion for you today? You may find that you’re looking for someone quite different this time around.

Be Wise

It’s been quite a few years since you dated. These are untested and often scary waters. Take care. You may want to let friends and family know you’re open to a new relationship. Or, you make take the plunge into dating sites. Either way, take it slow and easy. There are safe and sensible ways to enter into the dating world. This may be one time to listen to the opinions of others before making a new commitment.

Wonderful Memories

All relationships come with joys and challenges. If you loved well, you’ll have lasting memories of your partner. You’ll be able to smile when you remember your life experiences and you’ll never forget them.

But now, you’re ready to live the rest of your life with new enthusiasm. There are new memories to be made. You’ve done well.

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