Dear Dr. Romance:

Incomparable? I was in a beautiful meaningful relationship that led to a too brief but wonderful marriage until tragedy struck and my husband died two years ago. I rejoined the dating world nine months ago
and am having a difficult time finding someone who can measure up to my standards. My late husband was handsome, funny, sensitive, romantic, trusting honest, caring, and was my best friend. It is because of him that I know what true love feels like. Counseling has taught me not to compare others to him. What would you suggest?

Dear Reader: 

I'm glad you've learned not to compare others to him. It's too easy to bestow sainthood on a person who has passed, and no real human can live up to it. You're just coming out of your grief and emotional shock, so take your time. Focus on making friends and getting to know new people -- not on finding a "replacement" for the person you lost. He'll never be replaced, but you can try a whole new thing with a different person. In Dr. Romance's Guide to Finding Love Today  I recommend having a "beginner's mind" (a Zen Buddhist concept), which means being willing to start from scratch, allow yourself to feel awkward and new at this.  Seek to learn, to experience, and regard it as a new adventure. Don't compare it to anything you've done before. You've been through a life-changing experience, and you're a whole new person now, so approach it that way. You'll learn about yourself as well as others, and eventually you'll find happiness. The article "Surviving Loss and Thriving Again" will help you understand the grief process you're going through and what it's like to come out on the other side.

  Dr. Romance's Guide to Finding Love

For low-cost counseling, email me at

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.