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to ask if you have been widowed how long before you started dating?

(15 Posts)
judybloomno5 Sat 18-Feb-17 22:44:37

Its not for me. My DM became a widow very suddenly last year when my DF died and after me saying 'i'd like you to meet someone else' she has signed up on a dating website and had a date with a very keen man who is still, incredibly keen. They've had 2 dates and she seems bubbly and happy after she's seen him but after the last date she burst into tears telling me that she felt guilty and like she was being unfaithful to my DF. He has been a bit full on and Im concerned its too much too soon so I advised her to slow it down a bit (they had 2 days over 3 days) and he's just gone on holiday now for 2 weeks.

I wondered if anyone could please share their experiences? I'm not sure what to advise her (I was an online dating pro in my 20s) and think that perhaps 11 months is too soon if she's feeling guilty? I don't know.

58NotBothered Sat 18-Feb-17 23:06:46

I have been a widow for just over 13 years. 11 months is really too soon. I actually think you are being rather horrible to your mother in forcing her to do things she may not want or feel comfortable about.
There is no rule that says you have to be in a couple.

categed Sat 18-Feb-17 23:13:44

My dad wasn't ready until 15 years after and even then it's been very slow and more friends x

Somerville Sat 18-Feb-17 23:15:06

There isn't a 'right' answer here. Some widows and widowers get into new relationships within months and others wait years, or never do.

Personally I began dating 16 months after my DH died, when a friendship with a colleague blossomed. (It's now another year on and I'm married to him and pregnant blush)

A few things have struck me:
- 11 months means the anniversary of your DF's death is looming large. It's a potentially very tough time and she might need to take a break from dating - or it might be a nice distraction. It's very individual of course. But in some cases it is after the first year anniversary that people feel more freedom to love again.
- Someone wise (another poster on here actually) pointed out when I wrote about feeling guilty, and wondered if it was too soon, that they thought I'd have those feelings of guilt whenever I had another relationship. That it was about it being the first relationship after DH died, not the actual length of time (16 months). That really rang true for me.
- At the point I met my (now) DH2, I felt like I'd dealt with the worst of my grief and the hardest of my emotions. I knew I'd love and miss DH1 every day of my life, but the sadness was somehow manageable. And then the grief turned from a drip to a massive flood and it floored me. I stopped riding my new boyfriend and stepped back for a week or two. He stayed in the background, with friendly messages but no pressure, until I was feeling a bit stronger. And then I realised I liked him even more. Grief is so up and down, it is not a nice neat trajectory, and I learned to recognise that, and DH2 did too - there are days I'm really sad and go and mope at the cemetery and he gives me a bit of space. I call them bad grief days (like a bad hair day, but worse) and my main rule is that I mustn't make any important decisions on days like that, because I wouldn't be able to make good ones!

And forgive me, but I disagree with the PP. I think you're wonderful for encouraging her to go out looking for romance again. It might be too early for her - she can stop if it is. She might never want to go on another date again - thats fine too. But one of the things that makes a new relationship hard is when family members or friends decide it is too soon and take offence. Thankfully I didn't experience that either, but many do and it's very hard.

Somerville Sat 18-Feb-17 23:16:25

Stopped ringing, not riding!

judybloomno5 Sat 18-Feb-17 23:25:38

No sorry I haven't forced her into anything. It was a comment made 'I just want you to be happy, do what you want' conversation.

She then (without me instigating it) went and joined an online dating site and the rest is all her doing.

judybloomno5 Sat 18-Feb-17 23:29:01

Thank you Somerville, thats what I intended, to support her in whatever she needed to do.

I felt a bit guilty about supporting her with it (she comes here and discusses dates, he's quite forward and I've advised her to take her time to suss him out- she hasn't dated for 40 years) but I am working on that because its not really 'about' me.

Somerville Sat 18-Feb-17 23:38:14

Giving her support and advice on the OLD world, and sensible precautions to take and all of that will be important, I think. When you've been married to someone wonderful it's hard to look out for red flags because you don't know what they are.

Is she having grief counselling? I'd had it for a year, then just stopped when I met (now) DH2. I restarted it for a while as it was a useful outlet to have a place to discuss it all where I didn't have to worry that I was upsetting whoever I was speaking to by being disloyal to DH's memory or whatever. I found it useful to write about it on here for the same reason.

judybloomno5 Sun 19-Feb-17 00:16:45

Thats the thing, in my 20s i went on plenty of awful dates and wanted to help her not make those mistakes. She has form for being quite erm....well my DF described her as a 'bull in a china shop' so I wanted to help her not make the same mistakes I did.

Thats a good idea, I might suggest that to her. I don't mind listening to her, though it might be easier for her if it was someone who wasn't also grieving too. You are right about it not being a straight line, some days I feel 'ok' and others ......

I am very sorry to hear you lost your DH1 and delighted to hear that you have managed to find love again and move forward (I hate saying moving on, as for me, it implies leaving something behind when you don't, memories last forever) Congratulations and good luck with your baby.

Spickle Sun 19-Feb-17 00:19:31

I met my now DH2 approximately 20 months after my DH1 died. I'd also had a few dates prior to meeting DH2 but they were fairly light and casual. DH2 seemed really keen and wanted our relationship to move to a more serious level quite quickly. That threw me into panic mode. I felt pressured and tried to explain that I wasn't ready for anything serious and was happy to continue dating once or twice weekly but wasn't ready for the whole introduction to my children and our wider family and our world. We ended having a break for a couple of months before getting back together when I felt ready. and realised how much I missed him. We've been married now for 18 months and couldn't be happier.

I don't think the guilt ever really goes away totally. My late husband's family has found it difficult to see me with someone else. Also my children love DH2, but they need to keep alive the memories they have of their dad.

I think your mum does want to date otherwise she wouldn't have joined an OLD site, but is now nervous of getting too involved with someone and what that might lead to. A casual night out with someone you meet online is acceptable and fun and perhaps helps with the loneliness, getting into a proper relationship with someone and seeing them a lot, brings a lot more issues and guilt into the mix. Give it time, this man may not be patient enough to wait and take things at your mum's pace, but that's his loss. Definitely sounds as though your mum is trying to get out and about and socialise and move on in her next chapter of life, but there will be wobbles along the way.

Somerville Sun 19-Feb-17 00:23:54

Yes, never moving on, just keeping on keeping on. smile

Is your DM on one of the specialist widowed dating sites? (I know there are some but no more than that.) Quite a few people who are widowed later in life seem to enjoy friendships or romances with other people in the same situations. It cuts through some of the difficulties that new partners can find with jealousy of their love for the late spouse.

Sorry about your dad. flowers

UnbornMortificado Sun 19-Feb-17 00:38:51

Judy I'm sorry about your Dad. I don't think there should be any official amount of time, if your mams ready she should try and find some happiness.

Somer congratulations flowers(there's something up with your inbox, a blank box keeps popping up)

Somerville Sun 19-Feb-17 01:16:09

Thanks unborn for the congratulations but even more for the the baby making magic you blew in my direction.

(I have no idea about my inbox...I'm getting some other PM's? Weird. I'll investigate.)

judybloomno5 Sun 19-Feb-17 17:23:19

Thank you, I think you are right that she would feel guilty whenever she did it and yes, we are keeping this quiet because other family members will be upset by it- probably worried she will go and spend their inheritance but oh well.

Miss my DF so painfully. Welling up writing this and secretly well up when my DC do anything new- DC1 was 18 months and there when he died and DC2 was born 4 months after his death. Just want my DM to be happy and try to help her as best as i can. Its her birthday in a couple of days - another '1st' thing to get through.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 19-Feb-17 18:14:22

First have to say wow @somerville and congrats. Last time we spoke you weren't preg - so happy for you !!!!!

There is no right or wrong time. It varies on different people - saying 11mths is too soon is wrong - justvas some would say never or not for years

Guilt plays a huge part in it. I had major worries and guilt when I met my partner after dh died

I don't think it matters if 3/6mths - almost a year - or a few years. There will always be an element of guilt

Plus other people making you feel bad - they may have lost a relative or friend but their lives carry on with their own partners and children

We have lost a husband /wife /partner

I met someone 9ths after dh died. Wasn't looking or even thinking about dating -was a friend of a friend and started as friends - even said he wasn't my type - and then after wine ........ kissed and felt right

Tho still had guilt. And cold feet and how could I like him when my husband hadn't been dead a year etc .....

Anyway long story short. I went across the world to oz. all planned. Found missed him which brought on more guilt but he made me happy. The first time in almost a year

Came home. Started dating. Took things slowly but knew we had something. Went on holiday and 6mths later moved in together and spoke about ttc tho I had infertility problems with dh

3yrs later got engaged and after 5 private ivf attempts finally got preg and 34w

My mum died almost 3yrs ag and I sympathise with how my dad feels He sees a lady friend now and then. They are friends but if more developed I would be happy as she makes him happy

My brother finds it harder if they did become more then friends.

He hasn't been where dad and I have

Anyway coming up to the first year anni is hard and may be why mum is feeling the way she is

Saying that the man shouldn't prsssure her

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