If you are young widowed and dating, you are in a unique group, and you may need a lot of support for this transition in your life. Unfortunately, some people in your day-to-day life may not understand this part of your journey. Consider looking for an online grief support group of other young widows and widowers to help you.
When you are young widowed and dating, you may have a lot of different feelings. You may feel guilt for dating someone else or guilt for feeling joy after the loss of your spouse. If your new partner makes you happy in different ways than your late spouse, you may feel excited but guilty at the same time. You may also miss characteristics about your late spouse that your current partner doesn't have.
The combination of happy and sad feelings is something that you will have to deal with a lot as a young widow, and this is where an online grief support group for young widows and widowers can be very helpful because they are all going through the same thing. When you lose a spouse in your 70s, 80s, or older, you may not go through the same thing because you are more likely to decide not to date. That is why finding a young group can be so beneficial.
There are many different types of support groups. Some are focused on specific religions, formed around memoirs or podcasts, centered around a certain geographical area, or dedicated to being inclusive and LGBTQ friendly. You may have to look for a few groups before you find the right fit.
When you start dating, your in-laws may be supportive or they may look down on your decision. If you have to deal with the latter, keep in mind that they are hurting and grieving too. They don't understand what it's like to lose a spouse so young. But as they are grieving for their child, sibling, or whatever their connection is, they may really struggle with the idea of you moving forward.
You living your life may make them feel like the loss is more final. You certainly don't have to put up with anyone judging your decisions, but if you get negative feedback from your inlaws, try to be gentle with them and remember they have suffered a loss too. That said, always draw boundaries if someone is being very hurtful.
Most importantly, when you are ready to start dating, be kind to yourself. Don't settle for less than you deserve. And remember, this happens at a different point for everyone. Some people are in love within a few months, while others don't have a relationship for years.
Young, Widowed & Dating Facebook Group