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Thus, romantic breakups are often described as a kind of death.
In the words of Dusty Springfield, after such a breakup, "Love seems dead and so unreal, all that's left is loneliness, there's nothing left to feel." Personal relationships without love are also often associated with death.
She has to cope not merely with the new situation of loving two men at the same time, but also with the shift in the way she has loved her deceased husband: a shirt from a relationship with a physical companion who provides active support and love to one who is no longer alive and cannot be active in her life (see here).
In the romantic ideology, profound love should last forever.
Romantic love is a central expression of a good, meaningful, and flourishing life.
Without love and desire, many people feel that a large part of them is dead.
In most cases of widowhood, if there was a positive attitude toward the spouse during his lifetime, this is enhanced. In a sense, the new lover brings the widow back to life.
This is due both to the tendency to idealize the past and to our sense of propriety in not speaking ill of the dead. As Annabel, a widow, said to her friend who ignited in her the desire to make love: "Thank you for bringing me back to life." The widow faces the challenge of entering into a new and meaningful spousal relationship without letting the former relationship be forgotten or denied.
In this case, the survivor's love does not die with the spouse's death. While the deceased spouse ceases to disappoint and irritate us, the living new partner continues to do so; he reminds us of the richness and the difficulties of ongoing living relationships.Although the late spouse is physically absent, the widow's love for him can remain — and even grow. In a recent study by Bar-Nadav and Rubin comparing the issues facing bereaved and non-bereaved women when they enter new relationships after a long-term one has ended, the bereaved experienced themselves as having changed more, but it was the non-bereaved who reported greater meaning in life and saw their life change as more positive.New widows (and widowers) face a range of circumstances in which their decisions are likely to be different. The growth experienced by the non-bereaved at this stage of life is likely to be less conflicted and more positive, and while the growth of the bereaved remains present and distinct, it lags behind that of their peers...Here I will discuss three such central circumstances: (a) adapting to a new love while still loving the late spouse; (b) tending to avoid a new marriage or relationship, as it doesn't seem worth the effort; and (b) falling in love with another man almost immediately. Bar-Nadav and Rubin argue that the experience of loss and its aftermath are reflected in the fact that widows feel greater hesitancy than their peers do about engaging in intimacy with new partners.(Most of the claims presented here apply to widowers as well.) Adapting to a new lover The case of a widow's love for a new person is different to that which pertains when a regular love affair occurs after a previous one has ended. These concerns about intimacy arise from the anxiety that they might lose someone again, their fear of opening up to new relationships, and their concerns about not maintaining fidelity to the deceased spouse; all these issues enhance their tendency to avoid intimacy.