New relationships don't always begin at the most opportune moment. Sometimes we start dating someone a week before Valentine's Day, the day before a new boyfriend's birthday or just in time for the holidays. These situations raise all kinds of questions about gifts, dating etiquette and more. Yikes.
Then there are some new relationship scenarios where the timing is more dire. What if you begin a new relationship with someone you are excited about and then tragedy strikes for your partner? What if they suddenly experience a death in the family? Of course you show caring, compassion and concern, but what else do you need to know?
When a death in the family strikes your new boyfriend or girlfriend:
1. Be there.
Death and sickness cause us all to act strangely because we are forced to deal with our own fears. Your immediate reaction can be to run or retreat. After all, you just met this person. If you were enjoying dating this person do not run. Yes, it is uncomfortable but stand strong and be there for them.
Ask your new love to share stories with you about their loved one. Also invite your partner to share their feelings with you. Be available as they need you to be.
2. Back off.
Okay, now I know that it seems like a contradiction that I first told you to "be there" and now I'm saying back off but here's the deal. You can also make your new partner feel smothered or claustrophobic with your attempt at caring. No one knows how anyone deals with tragedy until it happens. If this person you are beginning to care about needs room to deal with this situation alone or with their family tell them that you are available whenever they need you to be and then back away.
It's difficult because of course you still have your own relationship needs but this is a tragic emergency situation. You would want to them to do the same for you. In a new relationship when you are still in the 'getting to know you' stage a death in the family may push you to a place of intimacy that you have not yet reached. Back off when necessary.
3. Back up.
There is no clock on grief and grieving. However, when your new partner makes him or herself available to you again it's time to resume the courtship. The natural unfolding of your love relationship may have been rushed forward for better or worse as you have dealt with a tragedy together. However, you still have to continue to date and get to know each other.
When you have a new partner more than condolences are required. Again, caring, compassion and concern are the way to go. If you are not that into the person then be considerate with the timing of breaking it off. Treat them the way you would want to be treated and don't make a difficult time worse. And there you have it: be there, back off, back up.
As I always say be good, my loves. And if you can't be good, be safe.
Also by the same fabulous writer