The following post was written by Cheryl Woodson, a gifted physician and gifted writer. Cheryl’s post talks about ways to form new relationships after the loss of a spouse or partner.
Widows and widowers often feel lonely even in the company of long-time friends because they see themselves as a broken couple rather than as valued individuals. Some feel like an unwelcome 3rd wheel in the group. Others believe their new “singleness” makes their partnered friends feel uncomfortable, even threatened. Still others say they seem to have become their grief as if the people who shared their loss can relate to them only through that loss.
You don’t need to abandon your friends. You do need to expand your circle with new acquaintances who will meet and get to know you as YOU. That way, the old crew makes up a relatively smaller piece of your social life until they, too, can get to know the living, growing individual that you are.
Meetup.com is a great resource. No, this is not a dating service. It’s an online system that connects people of similar interests. Would you be willing to try a new activity: bowling, ceramics, fishing, nature hikes, discussion groups (of books, current events, art history, religious studies, or different kinds of music), new places to have coffee or brunch, movies, museums? Meetup.com and another site, “I wanted to do that, just not alone” will introduce you to other people who want to explore these activities in the buddy system. No pressure, no commitment and no repeat if it doesn’t work for you.
The Girl Scouts sing, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold.” You are not ½ of anything and YOU are platinum.