If you’re dating a guy who just lost his Mom, these are some questions that you probably have on your mind:
- I am dating a guy who just lost his Mom, what should I expect?
- I am dating a guy who just lost his Mom, is he ready for a relationship?
- The guy I am dating just lost his Mom, how do I console him?
- The guy I am dating just lost his Mom and he wants to break up with me.
Dating A Guy Who Just Lost His Mom And What Should I Expect?
Losing a Mother is one of the most devastating things a child can experience and knowing what to expect can help you respond sensitively to the emotional wound your boyfriend is experiencing. Here’s what to expect from a guy after he loses his Mom:
- Moments reminding him of his mother
- His grieving pattern may be different
- Having boundaries & fickle-mindedness
- Expect tears to flow
- Be his key support system
- Expect him to fear future losses
- Barrier between the both of you
- He doesn’t need another mother
- Struggle with lingering emotions
- You won’t understand everything
Moments Reminding Him Of His Mother
You can expect him to have his moments where little things that occur in his daily life will remind him of his mother. This is going to happen a lot, and it is okay to ask him if he needs anything.
If he wants to talk about it, he will talk, if not he might just brush off the subject. If he prefers silence, then just give him a warm hug. But most importantly, if he needs space, then let him have his moments alone.
People Grieve Differently
Different people grieve differently. Some prefer to cry out loud, some prefer to be alone, whereas some don’t feel anything / feel numb on the inside. It is good to learn about the five stages of grief as it’ll help you understand grief better.
- Denial – Denial is the first stage of grief, typically people who are in this stage of grief are in shock and in disbelief that their loved one has passed away.
- Anger – Anger is the second stage of grief. During this phase, a person grieving can get angry over anything. Angry at the doctors for not saving his Mom’s life, angry at his Mom for not taking care of her own health, Angry at himself for not spending more time with his Mom, etc.
- Negotiation – Negotiation or Bargaining is the third stage of grief. During this phase, grievers tend to negotiate with God. “If you let my Mom live another day, I promise to stay true to faith.”
- Depression – Depression is the fourth stage of grief, typically a person would have more of less accepted the fact that his loved one has passed away. And he is currently feeling sad and depressed.
- Acceptance – Acceptance is the last phase of grief, this is the phase where recovery takes place as the person experiencing grief would have come to terms with his loss.
Boundaries & Fickle-mindedness
Everyone has boundaries. Certain people don’t like to be touched, while others don’t like to kiss goodbye. During this period of grief, your boyfriend may become indecisive and toggle between needing your company and pushing you away. Accommodate your boyfriend and give him time to adjust to this dark chapter in his life, no matter how long it takes.
Expect Tears To Flow
As the both of you grow closer together, he’ll get more comfortable being around you. Be prepared, as you can expect to see his emotional side. He may break down and cry whenever he thinks of his mother.
During the times when emotions run high, you may find yourself being swept into the intensity of the moment and may end up tearing.
This usually happens when boyfriends share old pictures of their mother, narrating stories of her life and how he wished you could have met her before her death.
Be His Key Support System
People tend to lose friends (even the closer ones) when they lose their loved ones. Friends may turn up for the funeral service, but the minute that ends, they’ll disappear. This is a very common occurrence because many people don’t understand grief.
Think about it, we were never taught about grief in school.
As such, we don’t know how to act “appropriately” to a person’s grief, we feel that it’s strange and awkward. Instead of learning about grief to console others, people tend to avoid a person who is grieving – because that’s the easier route. So it is really important to be there for your boyfriend, and be his key support system.
Fearing Future Losses
Your boyfriend may become more sensitive towards future losses after experiencing the death of his mother. He may start to avoid everyday situations that may trigger a feeling of loss.
He may find a way to avoid being around you as you leave the house, or leave town for a business trip. If you were expecting a hug or a kiss goodbye, don’t get your hopes too high as you may be hurt by his withdrawal or disappearance. In such instances, you should react with sympathy rather than anger.
Expect A Barrier Between The Both of You
A man who lost his mother may begin to avoid intimacy to minimize the probability of being hurt again by another loss. There has been studies conducted explaining that people who experience the death of a parent at young age are more hesitant about having romantic relationships later on in life.
If your boyfriend is constantly unavailable, it may be a good idea to give him space to allow him to heal from grief.
He Doesn’t Need You To Replace His Mother
Don’t attempt to “mother” your boyfriend while he is grieving the loss of his Mother. He doesn’t need another Mother, what he needs is a partner, who is supportive and patient with him during this period of grief.
Struggling With Lingering Emotions
Your boyfriend may struggle with the lingering emotions associated with the loss of his mother. This is normal.
His feelings may become extremely strong during the holidays or on occasions where he is going through a major life transitions – eg. Graduations, getting married or having a baby. He is likely wishing that his Mother was around to celebrate life achievements with him.
While he may feel sad and depressed about losing his Mother, he is not necessarily emotionally fragile and is no more likely to have mental health disorder than anyone else.
You Don’t Have To Understand Everything
If you have never dealt with the loss of a parent before, you won’t be able to fully understand and empathize with him – and he knows that. You won’t always know how to react or what to say during his “moments”.
What he needs to know if that even though you may not be able to relate to his circumstances, you truly care for him and are trying to understand what he needs.
Dating A Guy Who Just Lost His Mom And I Am Concerned He Is Not Ready For A Relationship
This question comes up a lot and it is a valid concern. A great guy comes along and he is everything you’re looking for at the current moment. But sadly, he is emotionally unavailable due to the recent death of his Mother. You’re happy to be there for him as a shoulder to cry on but you don’t want to be in a position where you’re going to end up hurting yourself. So what should you do?
My three key advices are to:
- Set expectations right early on
- Have an open communication
- Decide how much you’re willing to endure
- Take your time to think it through carefully
Setting the Expectations Right
Setting the expectations right with your boyfriend from the start of the relationship can set you up for success – determine whether both of you would like to date casually or work on a long-term relationship. Both of you have to come to terms with what dating is and isn’t after the loss of his Mother.
Mostly likely, he isn’t fully emotionally available for you just yet. He won’t be fully present in the relationship until he heals from grief. In the mean time, he may want just want you to be his sounding board to tell you every detail of his grief experience.
Be honest with yourself and your boyfriend on how much you’re willing to accept before taking the next step forward.
Having An Open Communication
When neither of you have enough experience to talk openly about death and bereavement comfortably, it may lead to misunderstandings and heartaches. Having open communication with one another helps you to understand your boyfriend better without having to guess.
Good communication takes practice and with enough time, the both of you should reach a new level of comfort that’ll make having these conversations easier.
Deciding How Much You’re Willing To Endure
Attending to a boyfriend who has not fully heal from grief can be tiring and challenging. Grief is emotionally taxing. You’ll need to ask yourself how much are you’re willing to hear before your conversations with him starts to weigh heavily on your shoulders. Constantly hearing about someone else’s pain and suffering can mentally challenge you and cause you to feel depressed.
If your boyfriend hasn’t learned to cope with grief, he will likely lean on you for emotional support. You’ll need to constantly remind him that you’re not his grief counselor or therapist, and some things are better for him to see a professional.
Think It Through Carefully
You’ll need to be careful about getting into deep relationships with someone who has just gone through a major trauma – such as the death of a loved one. In periods of grief, your emotions are on “auto-pilot” and you may fall in love with anyone who is helping you through it. And trust me, both parties can misread what love is, especially during this period of time.
There have been many instances where couples “wake up” a year or two down the road, realizing that they were not the best match. While some managed to part amicably, others who have children or a property may not be as lucky – during a divorce, things can get really ugly.
I Am Dating A Guy Who Just Lost His Mom, How To I Console Him Even When He Won’t Talk About It?
Dating can be very stressful when your boyfriend just lost his Mom. You want to help him through this difficult time but aren’t sure of what to do and how you can console him. Here is what you can do:
- Understand his pain
- Avoid being clingy
- Be a supportive partner
- Be present in the moment
- Listen to his rants without judgments
- Be encouraging towards him
Understanding Your Boyfriend’s Pain
While you can be genuinely compassionate and empathetic towards your boyfriend, you will never know how he is truly feeling or what he is going through. The pain that comes with the lost of a Mother can be very devastating.
During the healing process, your boyfriend’s pain comes in ebb and flow. Some days they’ll seem okay while on other days, they may shut down emotionally completely. Understanding this can help you understand that grief reactions can be unpredictable and sometimes hurt the both of you. During this period, you’ll need to be patient as your boyfriend will need time to regain their emotional footing.
Avoid Being A Clingy Partner
Grief is a lonely journey and everyone walks through grief alone – we’ll need to face our own challenges independently. Dating someone who is grieving can be a lonely experience. You’ll likely feel a disconnection in your relationships especially when your boyfriend chooses to be alone.
When dealing with a loss, it is common to hear about partners having trouble connecting. Your boyfriend may withdraw for a while as he sorts out his feelings and emotions. By giving your boyfriend the space that he needs, you’ll allow him to confront his grief on his own terms, allowing him to come back into the relationship whenever he is ready.
Be A Supportive Partner
During periods of grief, it is extremely important to be a supportive partner. You boyfriend now not only faces the stress of work and everyday life, but also the stresses that comes along with the death of his Mother. He may have to help sort out legal and financial matters and may also be required to take on the role as a caregiver.
It is a good idea to ask your boyfriend what kind of help he needs. While he may not ask for anything, do try to take a little initiative to prove your love – suggest doing the groceries for him, picking up his dry cleaning, etc. You’ll also need to understand that this situation will take time away from your relationship.
Be Present In the Moment
It is easy to assume someone is not hurting because they appear to be doing well and getting about their daily life. Tell your boyfriend that you’ll always be there for him and encourage speaking about his feelings. It may be difficult to know what to say to him during this period, but let him know that he is not alone and you’re aware he is going through a difficult time.
Listening To His Rants Without Judgments
When your boyfriend is grieving, he often needs to talk about his Mom (her life’s work/stories, etc) to process his emotions. Reliving loss is part of the grieving process. When your boyfriend is ready to open up about his experiences, expect the conversations to be repetitive and you may have to listen to his stories over and over again.
Allow him to speak and try not to interrupt or share your opinions unless they’ve asked for it. The best thing you can do for him is to listen to him without any judgments.
Allowing your boyfriend to talk about his loss helps to heal his grieving heart and can strengthen your bond in the long term.
Be Encouraging Towards Him
People tend to neglect their health during periods of grief, so remember to encourage your boyfriend to take good care of his health. Remind him to eat healthy and get enough sleep – many has reported the loss of appetite and insomnia during the grieving process.
Encourage him to find grief support groups in his area or engage a mental health professional to help him with his grief. There are many affordable online grief counselors these days.
It can be very helpful to talk to people who are either going through the same situation or getting advice from a professional.
Dating A Guy Who Just Lost His Mom And He Wants To Break Up With Me
It is a very common occurrence that people tend to push away their partners after the loss of their loved ones – breaking up is no exception.
The loss of a Mother is a tough and overwhelming episode for your boyfriend. He may make drastic and life altering decisions during times like this. Some are good decisions while others are terrible.
During this period, he may be hypersensitive to things in which he perceives that would bind him down. He may seek to break any bonds that are perceived to be holding him back.
Loss changes and shapes us forever. Some of us pull through the tough times while others get crushed by it.
You can try to offer support without demanding time together or asking him to explain his reasons for breaking up.
Make it clear to him that you are there if he needs anything – whether he needs to talk, needs food, etc. Wait for him to be ready without checking in or complaining. As a rule of thumb, try not to text him or call him more than once a day unless he asks questions or needs help.
However, do not continue to wait for him for months if he doesn’t reconnect. You’ll need to move on, because he already has. Know that you have value outside of your relationship and you’ll eventually find the right person for you, even though you may have thought that this guy was the perfect one.