One of my most fatal flaws as a human is my inability to see the world in any sort of spectrum. I spend most of my days thinking, feeling, and living in absolutes. To me, this “black-and-white thinking” provides structure and comfort. It lets me easily discern as everything fits neatly into one of two categories. It either exists or it doesn’t. It’s good, or it’s bad. It’s hot, or it’s cold. That’s all there is to it.

However, this same principle that serves as a security blanket in my mind also gets me into quite a lot of trouble since, despite what I may try to convince myself, most human existence doesn’t belong in one extreme or the other. Instead, we typically find ourselves intermingled within the shades of gray that exist along the spectrum between black and white or both black and white simultaneously. 

And, for better or worse, I find myself in that uncomfortable in between now.

“Never Again”

I remember standing in my college friend’s kitchen, less than a month after my Emily died, lamenting about how my entire life was over at the ripe old age of 35. “I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life,” I said as I held back tears for the hundredth time that day. “I can’t imagine a life with anyone else, and I don’t want to. I don’t see myself ever dating again, and even if I did, no one would want me anyway.”

As the months went on, I held tightly to this notion of “never again.” I rolled my eyes when people told me, “You’ll find love again,” or “You’ll move on when the time is right.” I silently judged people in r/Widowers who would post questions related to “moving on” or dating again after their spouse’s death. I even scoffed and shut my laptop over several posts on this blog that hinted at the notion of happiness after losing a partner.

It didn’t make sense in my “black and white” brain.

How could anyone “move on” from someone you promised to spend forever with? You can’t just disregard your wedding vows because one of you stopped breathing! How is that even remotely fair?

And yet, if I weren’t so stuck in the weeds, I would have been able to see the entire field around me. But grief is often all-encompassing, especially in those first six to twelve months after your partner dies.

“There’s Room For More”

I remember sitting on my best friend’s porch, each of us wrapped in blankets on a chilly early December afternoon. As I regained control over my emotions, I confessed, “I did something really dumb the other night.” 

“Oh?” my friend said, curious for the tea I was about to spill.

“I downloaded a dating app. Actually, I didn’t download just one — there are four on my phone now.”

In the conversation that followed, my friend invited me to picture a world where I still maintained my love for Emily while also inviting someone new into my life. It was a concept I had not previously considered, but one I’ve leaned into a lot over the past few months. A concept that isn’t talked about nearly enough when we discuss grief… the notion that life moves forward while the person you love still exists within your heart. 

The author and podcast host Nora McInerny said it far better during a TED Talk than I ever can. For me, though, it’s not just the notion that I can move forward without moving on but that my heart can maintain space for Emily, who I will always love no matter how many years pass, while also making room for someone new to be a part of my life.

Our hearts aren’t like a bus; there aren’t a finite number of seats and a maximum capacity for whom we share our love. If we want to let a million people into our world and shower them with love, we can do so. And, if I’m honest, that’s a very beautiful thing. 

“I’m Moving Forward, Not Moving On”

On December 5, just two days after the porch conversation, I matched with someone on one of the dating apps I’d impulsively created a profile on. A few days after that, on December 9, this person met for a coffee date that also turned into dinner and hours of talking about everything under the sun. 

I do not know what the future of dating holds for me, but I know that Emily would want me to continue living. 

I know that there will never be a time when I “move on” from Emily. (The love we shared was far too magical for that to be the case.) However, I am beginning to learn that I can put one foot in front of the other and move forward here on Earth while she waits for me in the beyond. And, who knows, maybe someday in some other form of existence, I can introduce Emily to a new partner (if I find one), and they can enjoy each other’s company just as much as I enjoy theirs.


Megan Glosson is a freelance writer and mental health advocate who lives in Nashville, TN. Her life was forever changed on October 19, 2022 when the love of her life, Emily, died suddenly and unexpectedly. Since then, Megan has started a blog called “Because of Emily” to share memories of her beloved and process her grief. She's also shared her grief journey on the podcast "What's Your Story" and through a series of TikTok videos on her personal profile.

You can find Megan's writing on over a dozen websites, including The Mighty, Project Wednesday, Thought Catalog, Unwritten,, Feel & Thrive, and Modern Ratio. When Megan isn't busy creating content, you'll likely find her playing board games with her two children or somewhere out in nature.