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Will it ever feel ok to move on after the loss of a partner?

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Hi all. 
my boyfriend of 3 years passed away this year. I don’t know how I will ever get on with life. I thought that I was going to spend my life with him- we are both only 24 years old. 
I am finding the transition from being in a relationship to being on my own so difficult. I don’t myself telling people who come up to me in bars that I’m still in a relationship. I feel so lonely though. I am the kind of person who much prefers being with someone than being on my own, so that is something I’m finding so hard after losing him. I know that I won’t be ready to move on for a long time, but even the thought of kissing someone else turns my stomach.

Will I ever feel like I can move on from this? 

I am young and I would like to think that in a few years I might have a partner again to share my life with, to have a family with.. but I also feel like my late partner was the ‘one’ for me. And that I will never experience that kind of love again. 

any thoughts welcome… thank you :) 

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I am sorry for your loss.  You will undoubtedly always remember him and have love for him, your grieving will be intense at first, and ever so gradually as to seem imperceptible it will settle down into something more manageable, something you can begin to cope with and adjust to.  I see no reason you can't find someone someday if that's your decision.  My SIL did, they've been married 50 years now!  She lost her fiance in college and it was really rough, she found someone understanding and caring, he's actually been a saint.

Grief Process

This is not a one-size-fits-all, what strikes us one day will be different a few months/years from now, so please save/print this for reference!

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.


There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of its own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs)))  Praying for you today.



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It's so hard to hear about your loss Joanna. I wish you didn't have to experience this, especially at such a young age. I'm glad you found your way here though. This is a caring community. I too prefer to share my life with someone over doing life alone, so I can relate to your comment. I do enjoy my solitude, but that's different. Please be kind with yourself and allow time to process your loss. Above all else, self-care is top priority.

I was given this Dual-Process Model model (see below) when I went through a grief group. I found it more helpful than the 5-stages model for bereavement. I'll post it as it may help. Do know that what I share/post is always a suggestion, I'd never tell someone how to process their loss. Everyone moves through grief in their on way, there's no right way, and how you face and process your grief is always right for you. Be well and take care.


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