Guide Office Romance: Letting Love Flourish In The Workplace

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People did not relinquish love, and love even enabled some of them to survive the horror and death around them. Death is perceived to be associated with love in various ways. 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. The French famously refer to orgasm as "la petite mort," or "the little death.

Similarly, it was claimed that "All animals are sad after sex. Is the human heart large enough to encompass more than one romantic love?

Every successful relationship is successful for the same exact reasons

Their love for two people is more complex given the continuing impact of bereavement , even years after the loss. The widow's ongoing relationship and bond to the deceased remains a central aspect of her life. In the romantic ideology, profound love should last forever. The end of love is taken to indicate that it was superficial in the first place. Contrary to this view, love can perish for various reasons that arise from changes in intrinsic or extrinsic circumstances; such changes do not necessarily indicate that the initial love was superficial.

It is true that profound love is less likely to perish, but it can perish nevertheless. Hence, there is no reason to assume that one's heart is not big enough to include several genuine loves in one's life. The death of a spouse places the widow in a new situation, which has similarities to other situations in which love ends; nevertheless, widowhood has unique aspects.

Whether a relationship is average, as most relationships are, or very good, or very bad, the ending of any personal relationship changes one's circumstances. This is due both to the tendency to idealize the past and to our sense of propriety in not speaking ill of the dead. Although the late spouse is physically absent, the widow's love for him can remain—and even grow. New widows and widowers face a range of circumstances in which their decisions are likely to be different. 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 c falling in love with another man almost immediately.

Most of the claims presented here apply to widowers as well. The case of a widow's love for a new person is different from that which pertains when a regular love affair occurs after a previous one has ended. This is especially so if, at the time of the spouse's death, both partners shared a profound love. In this case, the survivor's love does not die with the spouse's death. The love felt for the late spouse is likely to increase in light of the prevailing idealization of the relationship and of the spouse. Although a new love might physically replace the previous one, from a psychological viewpoint, the widow will now love two people at the same time.

Her love expresses the nonexclusive nature of love more than it does its replaceable nature. Thus, one widow writes: "'Second love' is different, but it's very good. I will always love and miss my late husband. It's really hard to understand sometimes how I can go from tears for my late husband into smiling and thinking of my new guy.

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There's an odd 'divide. Consider the following sincere description which appears on the site Widow's Voice by Janine, a widow, about her feelings toward her new lover. And he had only fallen in love once. We both had that love for over 27 years When C came along, and we started dating , it was different.

I knew things would be different, because he was not Jim. But I didn't know that love would feel different. And so as we became more serious and had deeper feelings for one another, I started to worry. A lot. I questioned myself and my feelings. Because this did not feel the same.

I wasn't experiencing the feelings that I had 27 years ago. I wasn't feeling that I was falling more in love each day. I wasn't feeling that my heart would burst from how much love I had for him. I didn't wake up each morning almost counting the hours until we'd be together again. So I wondered if I truly loved him. I stressed a lot over this, not wanting to give up on the relationship, but wondering if I was being fair to him if this truly wasn't love. It's hard to express how much pain I was in. He loved me a lot, but although I was not sure that it was love for me, I was not willing to stop seeing him.

I thought I was being selfish. Or worse How could this love feel the same as my first love? I was younger then. We were both worry-free. We had no children. We really didn't have many bills. We had no jobs. We had time. We had freedom. We had youth. We had only each other. And we had a long future ahead of us. It's 27 years later. I have 6 children. I have bills I have a dead husband I have a scarred heart. I am in a different place. Love after love will not feel the same. But that doesn't mean that it's not love.

The important lesson to be drawn from Janine's moving description is that love can be different; looking for the same love with another partner can be devastating, as no two people are identical. It is not wrong that your new love is different from the previous one. Realizing the difference in circumstance enables a widow not to feel that she is compromising or settling. In a sense, the new lover brings the widow back to life.

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. 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 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.

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 of these issues enhance their tendency to avoid intimacy. The role of imagery and counterfactual thinking is central in widows. 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. The connection to the deceased spouse is likely to remain throughout the widow's life, but its nature will undergo many changes.

The creation of a new, loving relationship involves both the capacity to let go and to hold on to the previous relationship, thus creating a new equilibrium see here. Like other people, a widow yearns for her lover to come back, but unlike others, she knows it is impossible. Which position is worse: the widow who knows that her lover cannot come back, or the woman who knows that her ex could come back, but might not wish to do so?

The pain and sadness are greater on the widow's side, not merely because of the terminal nature of the loss, but also because of the greater romantic intensity. The widow is eventually likely to accept her given situation, and this will help her to live more peacefully with her current relationship. Finding the right partner and then learning to live with him often involves a lot of time and effort. Some people reach an age at which they doubt whether it is worth the effort. The price of adjusting to a new person may be too high—one reason being that the presence of her late husband, whether for good or bad, will remain with her most of the time.

In many cases, the personal relationship would have been satisfactory, but not one in which a great fire burned constantly in the couple's hearts. It is likely to have been good and comfortable, but not what we are presented with in romantic movies. In such situations, the considerations about whether to enter a new marital framework are typically more mundane and relate to maintaining a comfortable life. As Nancy, a widow, indicates:.

The heart may include this person, but the question is whether it is worth the effort. Even if the predicaments surrounding being with a new lover are solved and the widow can spare a place in her heart for the new lover, there is still a whole set of dilemmas concerning how and when to embark on a new love. For example, what is the proper duration of grieving, whether and when to take off the ring, when to begin dating, when to give away his clothes, which clothes to wear in various circumstances, what and how often to talk about the past, and what loving behavior toward the new lover should be shown in public.

Widows are judged more critically, and hence sensitivity, careful pace, and moderation are necessary. Thus, a widow dating a married man will be subjected to more criticism than a divorcee or a single woman—after all, she should know better what it is to lose a spouse. One sensitive issue is how soon the widow should wait before dating.

There is no acceptable norm in this regard: In some traditions, a year is the norm; in others, it may be longer or shorter.

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The case of Michelle Heidstra , described in Mail Online, is particularly striking as just four weeks after her husband's death, she was embarking on a new love affair with his best friend, Adrian, a pallbearer at the funeral. Lost in her grief, she found herself drawn to the man who could comfort her. Adrian was very close and supportive to her and to her baby. At the end of a day spent with a group of her husband's friends, including Adrian, Michelle found herself in his house.

We made love," says Michelle. It seemed so right. She was not even embarrassed to tell her friend about it. Michelle understands those who criticized her, but says, "How can you make rules about people's emotions? We all love and grieve differently. I have never stopped grieving for Jon. But that doesn't rule out a new love. A year later, they started dating again. They are now engaged to be married. Michelle says: "Blame me if you like, but grief hits people in different ways, and I have no regrets.

HR Rescue: Love at Work - Handling Workplace Romance

The case of Michelle is not rare; there are many similar stories of widows falling in love with their late husband's best friend within a short time after his death. Widows and widowers are confronted with a particular form of romantic breakup, but while this involves a terminal physical breakup, it is not a psychological one. There are various paths one can take in this situation, and any of them may be right in different circumstances. Two major paths are those of either finding a new lover or giving up the search for such a lover. The first path is more desirable, but as in other circumstances, it is not always available.

Widows can profoundly fall in love, but their loving relationship might be complex, as it is typically a three-hearts relationship. Just as such a relationship is possible when all three hearts are still beating, it is possible in this case as well. In both cases, being selfless and gracious is required more than in other circumstances.

Comparisons between the dead and living lovers will be inevitable—and in many cases, they will not be in favor of the living one, but one can reduce their relative weight by realizing that different circumstances cannot generate identical emotions and attitudes. The second path leads to a more comfortable life, in which freedom is greater, and the widow accepts, at least for the time being, the lack of a profound lover. This does not exclude becoming involved in a profound, loving relationship if it happens to come along. The romantic paths of widows are typically more complex, since widows are associated with a certain stigma, and people are more critical of them.

A major issue in this regard is how soon they "should" fall in love with another person. The above considerations can be encapsulated in the following statement that a widow might express: "Darling, my new lover, you may always be second in my heart, but not a far second; and in any case, I am also merely a second-hand woman. It would be nice to credit the actual writer of the lyrics rather than the most recent popular cover artist I to am widowed young and was and still am devoted to my husband.

After he diedI wanted to die too. I had to ring his best friend to tell him as he lives away, He was devastated as being away they hadnt bn in touch for a few years and he felt really upset and guilt I think about loosing touch till now when it was too late, was so supportive and wonderful to me, and I rang him a lot, as they were so close and I thought he would be the rock in my life, which he certainlly is!

I started to find myself fallng deeply in love with him, but when I eventually told him, he said he didnt feel the same way and I think he was shocked! I said it didnt matter and as long as we stayed friends I was happy, which he agreed to. We have for the last 8 years remained such good friends and so very close, we tell each other everything. I have travelled to where he lives for days at a time staying with him and vice versa and hes so caring about me and even said how much I deserve happiness, but it has only ever gone as far as friendship and hes never lead me on.

He is such a , ovely person and neither of us want to loose our friendship. I dont know how I can just except him as a friend and stop waiti g for him to change hus mind which I know deep down will never happen. My life does feel better sometimes and Im almost happy, except from craving him and my dead husband back in my life! Re Chantelle's post about falling for her late husband's friend, I believe it is a subconscious link to the dead husband.

When my own husband died, like Chantelle, there was a man who cared for him so much he showed much emotion. At the service, this friend actually wept because he appreciated my late husband. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. News Politics Entertainment Communities. HuffPost Personal Videos Horoscopes. Part of HuffPost News. All rights reserved. Skip to Article. Profile-Icon Created with Sketch. Fill 8 Copy 2 Created with Sketch. Thanasis Zovoilis via Getty Images. They compliment their partner in front of other people.

They make time to connect, no matter how busy life gets. They forgive and move on, instead of holding grudges. Let them read. First, thanks for reading and responding. I certainly agree that feeling awkward is normal for young people, and that sometimes, we all hope for a protector. I also agree that parents have a large influence on their children's views. However, I disagree with you that culturally popular and accepted examples in the media have no or little effect on children. We can see another example of this in the ubiquitous "Disney princess" phenomenon.

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I'm not trying to argue that Twilight is the only cause of violent relationships. In fact, next year I am publishing my second book on relationship violence, and it identifies fourteen "red flags" about violence, so I will claim to be an expert on this topic. I'm simply saying that the characters in Twilight are a model of a bad relationship.

I'm not sure that I get your point on "antidotes for social ills. But I certainly can't argue with the basic idea that reading, in general, is good. I just wish we did not encourage books that teach negative lessons. Well you all are adults here who are debating on weather your child should or should not read this book no matter if your an so called; "Expert" take it from a bright teen herself me that no matter what book your teen reads she should be aware of right from wrong I love that you said what you said Kayla.

You nailed it exactly. Modern psychology, bereft of religious morals cannot comprehend what you just said. With all their 'expert' opinions they don't realize that the people who blow in the wind with every new psychological 'discovery', do so because they have forsaken time tested principles of good character and religiously based morality, that would anchor them; they are looking for answers in all the wrong places.

I'm not saying psychology is useless, I'm saying it is like a big rudderless ship casting about trying desperately to steer its passengers to whatever version of 'sanity' they can sell by virtue of their 'superior' credentials; which they received from the same committee that can't steer the rudderless ship. It's lunacy. It can only become useful when anchored and ruddered by time tested morals. The author of this article is a prime example of an 'expert' who seems to only see the problem in terms of behavior.

Cognitive or physical. Because modern psychology must practice moral relativity to make itself appealing to those who pay them for their services, they cannot espouse any morals that might conflict with someones personal lack of morals. Morals that are instilled by parents, and self esteem that is earned by humility, by recognizing ones reliance on the divine, and by ACTING according to those principals have a built in immunity to books like Twilight. It's just a teenage vampire story to them.

It's entertainment. I know I'm being harsh here to the author of the article, and it's most likely that she will argue and dispute everything I say, but the very fact that the author wrote such commentary on the Twilight book indicates that she has no such foundation. Her 'foundation' is her 'expertise', the books that she's written, and the credentials she's received from other foundationless 'experts'. When making her arguments she has consistently used this sandy foundation to make her points. Not realizing that to someone with a real foundation her points are nearly pointless.

I mean imagine the ridiculousness of putting something as changing and precarious as modern psychology as the foundation from which you live your life! I can't tar all psychologists with the same brush, very many work with a set of morals as a basis for their treatment. Many I believe, are successful in helping those they work with. The promoters of this 'modern psychology' however are leading the charge to help people search all of their lives for that which they cannot obtain: happiness in doing wickedness.

As someone who had to suffer thru a violent relationship I have to say that the author of the blog has a lot of valid points. I would picture my ex as I read the book, it was that accurate. It also gives girls the hope that their boyfriends will change. Edward changed a bit I guess in the last book I didn't finish it. This was after he completely broke her heart on the second book. Love means being there for the person, no matter what, and accepted the person how they are.

Not coming up with excuses to leave them. Plus you are going to tell me that a year old vampire changed his ways in just a couple of years after living that way for a century? I just found Bella soo repulsive in every sense. Yes, teenagers go thru awkward phases, but we should be teaching these kids that they do not need someone else's approval.

That they can be strong and independent on their own.

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I come from a group of people in which Domestic Violence is the NORM, this just solidifies that there is nothing wrong because simply they have not seen an example of what a good healthy relationship is. They just know that what they see is common, not that it is wrong. Unfortunately this is what gets popular, this and 50 Shades, which is just the same thing again.

I know that there is a such thing as freedom of speech and of one consuming the media one wants to. It is just sad that our society is so into violence. Yes, parents should be teaching their teenagers what is right and wrong. The question is, do they?!?!? Thank you for reading and for posting your views. Congratulations on leaving the violent relationship; I know how hard that can be.

Every person's story is different, so I cannot say that I know how you feel or felt, but I admire your strength. I am currently working on several national initiatives to prevent relationship violence from happening. Maybe if we all work together, we can see positive change. Sadly, I not surprised that "religiously based morality" came into play here--as if the only way one can have some sense of morality is to be religious. And you bring up the fact that "modern psychology" ix problematic because it changes. And you don't think religion does? Take it from someone who has a B.

If you're talking about Christianity, check out the histories of the Councils Nicea, Laodicea, Constantinople, etc , not to mention the canonization of certain books and the exclusion of others. And keep in mind that the author of the Twighlight Series is a Mormon woman, so that points to how "modern religions" change.

Goodfriend's points are only "pointless" if your argument is inherently anti-intellectual--which it is. Psychology is a science. Science is a process of falsification. Meaning, it's not so much a process of finding truth to ideas, but finding inconsistencies within them--even scientific ones. So, of course, "modern" psychology changes. It has to correct itself through critical analysis. Having 'Religiously based morals' and 'being religious' hardly equate to one another.

Of course you can have morals without being a part of an organized religion. Organized religion is all over the map in terms of doctrinal specifics but there are many precepts common to most. Judeo-Christian morals have not changed for 's of years. Don't you really mean morality that is relative to the individual? Or, 'moral relativity'? Morality that is moved with every new study.

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Things are encouraged today by Psychologists that never would have been encouraged 60 years ago, simply because moral relativity dictated that whatever the individual wants is right. Hey, I wanna cheat on my wife, that's good for my marriage, morality achieved! Science is amoral. Yet you and others like you use it as if it is your moral center.

Modern Psychologists say it's good for your marriage to cheat on your wife, so it must be so right? Again lunacy. Psychology itself is pseudo science at best. It is a field with so much bias, and so much diversity of opinion as to be nearly nonsensical; precisely because of the moral relativity that psychologists must extol. Psychiatry, is a different story. I think it is so funny that you responded to my post with mention of your religious credentials.

You and Dr. Goodwin think that all you have to do is mention your credentials and then magically my arguments are 'anti-intellectual', and you're excused from having to argue your points in a way that could possibly make sense. That doesn't point to how modern religions change at all. Are you really calling the Catholic councils that took place nearly years ago modern? What does the fact that the author is a Mormon have to do with it? Do you know anything about Mormons? Oh, but I'm defending religion so I must be anti-intellectual. Best thing you said. I couldn't agree more.

I love science, but the difference between you and I is I know where it is useful and where it is not. It is useless as a moral center, it cannot take the place of divinity. For those who 'sadly' don't believe such things, it usually does take the place of morality. So your center, and your morality change with every new study, or psychological fad. Clearly, we disagree. I'm not going to respond to all of this, because we're operating from two different epistemologies and we'll just spin around in circles.

Plus I don't want to continue to derail the original conversation. The only thing I will say is that there's no such thing as "Judo-Christian" anything. I'm also Jewish. Jews have very different ways of talking about ethics--and that's recorded in the Talmud. In fact, there's a Jewish saying that goes, "Put two Jews in a room and they'll come out with three opinions. I'm sorry, I did not want to derail the original conversation either but I'm just not going to let the person who is putting on intellectual airs get away with being so intellectually lazy.

You have convinced yourself that there is 'no such thing as Judeo-Christian anything', and that 'Jews have very different ways of talking about ethics' precisely so you can maintain your moral relativity. It's an excuse; a lie to yourself that enables you to justify a life lived outside of those ethics. The Judeo-Christian ethic is an incredibly common concept based around the ethics that Jews and Christians have in common. Things that have been common for thousands of years; like the 10 commandments. To suggest this doesn't exist is again intellectually lazy, or dishonest.

Don't feel too bad though you're doing that which is very common among the scientific community--you look for and skew evidence to justify your belief that morality is relative. It is not my friend. It stands as firm as the laws of science, both discovered and undiscovered and you live outside it to your own detriment. I would like to point out several observations, but I'm sure that at least some readers will find them to be biased.

They probably are, admittedly. We all have biases, and to deny them is to make the problem worse. First: Anonymous, you often become personal and insulting in your arguments. This seems inappropriate. Second: I actually agree that science is without morals. That's not to say that scientists are without morals; the argument is that scientific discovery itself has nothing to do with morals or religion.

It is about finding the truth by falsifying untruths. How a black hole forms, or creating the periodic table, or exploring the process of evolution, have nothing to do with morals. If scientists have previous agendas or are viewing results from a moral or religious perspective, their conclusions are bound to be biased. A true scientist should accept the results of a study without personal bias. Third: Anonymous, you consistently argue that I am not an expert. You claim to know a lot about psychology. What are your credentials?

I have been studying psychology for over twenty years. What credentials would you find acceptable as the criteria for expertise? For example, you claim that modern psychology says that cheating on your wife is good for a marriage. Can you please provide some references for this? I have attended literally dozens of conferences and have never heard this hypothesis.

Fourth: I do believe that censorship is wrong, so I would never argue that people should not be reading these books or any other books. We can always learn from books and ideas. As I said before, I also agree that parents are probably a stronger influence on children's beliefs than is media exposure. However, children do model what they see and read, and it would be useful for a parent and child to each read this book or any other book , then have a frank conversation about what can be learned from the common reading.

Finally -- I'm sure that people will disagree with some of these points. Disagreement is good, as it continues the thought process of everyone involved. I would simply like to point out that respectful disagreement will be more enjoyable and intellectually stimulating for all parties. Thanks to both of you for reading and posting. I'm 19 years old and was in an abusive relationship for about 3 years we had a child together.

I read the books before we met and when we would talk on my space he was like my Edward I would tell myself. After he would beat me I would say it again. My mom wanted me to stay away and it made it seem like a romantic love story. But not any more him and his family are trying to take my son away from me and I now live in a homeless shelter. My abuser and I came down here on the back of a truck when we were 17 hoping for a better life but instead it was a nightmare.

Also he new that my mom beat for 16 years and feed off of that as well. Thank you for sharing your story. No one deserves to be treated badly, and you are brave for getting away from your abuser both of them. I'm very sorry to hear that his family is now trying to take custody of your child.

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