Widower and Widow Dating.
How long to wait?
For The Register's South County Weekly Newspapers
April 22, 2004
After the loss of a spouse, how long should widowers
and widows wait before dating? Shell, 47,
Dover, Ohio, a widow of four years, e-mailed: "I've
been dating a 52-year-old widower of only one year.
His children -- ages 24 and 21 -- still live at home
and there are pictures everywhere of his wife. In the
bedroom there is a giant picture of he and his wife on
their wedding day. Plus, on her side of the bed, the
night stand is like this little shrine that has been
Shell enjoys the widower but is concerned because he
wants her to move in. She says she's not jealous but
adds: "I just don't want to live with a ghost."
Marcia, Laguna Beach, says, "How can Shell even
consider moving in? The outcome is predictable. The
man is not done grieving and the children who are
still at home will resent her, and especially will
resent any changes she tries to make to their mother's
Lauren, Rosyln, N.Y., wrote, "I shall
stay away from a widower if it has been under four
years since the passing of his loved one."
Lauren dated a widower of two years. "He wanted
everything in the beginning, was moving very fast, and
then it all fell apart as he went back to grieving
her. He would come out of it now and then, but had his
moments especially on holidays and birthdays."
Roger, Huntington Beach, a widower, disagrees
with Lauren's four-year rule: "Yes, widows and
widowers need time to grieve. Realistically, you'll
grieve the rest of your life. I started dating five
months after my wife's death. Three months later, I
met a beautiful woman with whom I've been in a
relationship for over nine months. Lauren's timetable
is rigid and unfair. She may be missing out on men who
are ready to move on with their life but haven't fit
into her required grieving period.
"My wife's memory will always be with me. I remember
the good times far more than the bad, but having a
shrine, or a lot of pictures and memorabilia around
isn't healthy either.
"Every circumstance is different. We all have to go on
with our lives. My wife's death made me appreciate
life even more. Our time on Earth is so short and
precious nobody should waste it."
Dr. M.P. Wylie, Irvine, a relationship expert, said,
"I have a friend who married a widower of two years.
He waited one year after his wife died before asking
her out and they married a year later on the
anniversary of their first date.
"They moved into his home and redecorated the master
bedroom with a new style and furniture. He added on an
office/quilting room for her. They've been happily
married for two years, traveling the world, playing
golf and have a great time."
How long should widows or widowers wait to date? As
Roger stated, every situation is different. People
need time to grieve and heal before trying to bring a
new person into their lives. How long depends on the
new "Journey to Love" 10-session class begins in
Irvine today. Contact Dr. Mary Pat Wylie at 725-3366
or sign up at
Kathy, 59, widow, Las Vegas:
"Being by yourself is lonely as hell. It's hard to
meet anyone nice in Las Vegas. Most of the men my age
are into the swinging lifestyle. I have told many guys
that HIV is on the upswing with seniors, they don't
seem to care."
Response: You're wise to avoid the
Linda, Orange County:
"I've done Internet dating. The 'scientifically'
matched men didn't even bother to contact me. The men
that did were 'scary' and usually much older."
Response: Internet dating has a