The best you can hope to be to them is a good friend. Take honest stock of your expectations. Focus on the friendship first. Watch out for the rebound. Nobody can. Then, based on that information, you might decide to permanently, or temporarily, end the relationship. Losing someone is always hard, but losing a spouse is a profound experience that effects much more than your single status.
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With the loss of a loved one, a whole life can change. But also respect yourself. Elevate your love life with practical dating advice delivered right to your inbox.
I realise you're referring to getting hitched in the long term, but I'm worried that it highlights some slightly misplaced expectations. Having had a stable relationship, you've learned the value of a good partnership.
The trouble with women in the world outside your door is that, not having experienced a loss like you have, they're less willing to cut to the quick and get hooked up. You don't want to be seen as desperate, which I know you're not, but your enthusiasm may be misread.
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So how about you start working on a social life? Going to dinner parties full of couples may not be what you're after, but it's a start.
Every new person you connect with opens a door to another group of individuals you haven't encountered. Instead of sitting at home surfing for a girlfriend, how about going out and meeting a pal? Your emphasis on finding a replacement for your wife is probably the biggest hurdle to kick-starting this next phase of your life. Whether it's work- or hobby-related, now that your boys are probably busy leading their own lives you need to start doing likewise.
In many ways they are excellent role models for you, as they will probably have a healthy interest in dating at this stage, but not to the detriment of their other pursuits.
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You need to establish a similar balance. It's not a lady on your arm that you need to get you out of the house, but the will to rejoin humanity in all its gory glory. If you have a dilemma, send a brief email to mariella. Two weeks ago Mariella advised a depressed woman as to whether she should stay in her unhappy relationship and move to a new home in the country with a partner addicted to alcohol and cannabis. Here some readers respond:.
It is highly likely that the partner thinks if he's away from his current environment that he'll stop drinking and smoking. I know from bitter experience that it won't work.
Proceed with caution
An addict could park themselves on Rockall and find a way to get their next fix. It is easy to go with the flow and allow more destructive things to happen, but you can not keep going like this. Something I know about depression is that it can't get better until you start making moves for the better. Do you still love this man?
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If you do, then leaving him shouldn't be your first resort. There are reasons he finds life bearable only when seen through a concoction of drink and drugs, and they should be dealt with by talking to someone about them. To have your say on this week's column, go to theguardian.
Here some readers respond: It is highly likely that the partner thinks if he's away from his current environment that he'll stop drinking and smoking. Rock23 It is easy to go with the flow and allow more destructive things to happen, but you can not keep going like this. Hol48 Do you still love this man? Topics Relationships Dear Mariella.