Bereavement doesn't have to break your heart forever
For those who have been widowed, a dating agency can help in the search for a new relationship
Looking for love can be a perilous journey at the best of times but if you have been widowed and reached the point where you feel you are ready to start another relationship, you may find the challenge of trying to find the right person, perhaps for the second or third time, particularly daunting.
For Jennifer Haskins (51), relationships are literally her bread and butter. It was her own experience that led her, with her now life and business partner Bill Whelan (62), to start Two’s Company, an introduction agency for professionals, in 2008.
They carefully interview clients before matching them and Haskins says, “We never get people looking for a one night stand or a fling.”
They trade on confidentiality and among their 500 or so clients aged between 26 and 71 years are politicians, celebrities and other high-profile names.
Haskins says they have experience in introducing people who have been bereaved and are aware of the issues that can accompany the search for love in such circumstances.
“There can be other issues with their family; sometimes they feel they need permission from others to move on and there is no set timeframe for this, each individual is different.
“The person can feel guilty that they are moving on and their family may not accept that. If they have children, they may feel it is something the children do not approve of and they don’t want to discuss it with them.
“They don’t want the children to feel they are being disloyal. Or it may be that there hasn’t been the perceived time lapse.”
Proactive in love
As a divorcee and mother of three, Haskins believes we should be as proactive in love as we are in other parts of our life.
“If you want something in life, you have to be pro-active whether it’s sport, your career or love. When it comes to our love-lives we are taught as children to believe that love ‘happens’ to you rather than you making it happen.”
Her experience is that widowers tend to look earlier for another partner than widows and, “I think it goes back to the fact that women have girlfriends they can discuss these things with and men generally don’t.
“Men only really tend to discuss personal issues, emotional issues with women so if they have had a wife or a partner for all those years, that link to them being able to express themselves emotionally has been severed so there is no other outlet unless they have a good female friend to talk to.”