Dating again after the death of a spouse

One thing is certain: As we enter our 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, we don’t have a lot of time to waste in deciding if we’re ready to date or not.

You can go out with women without calling it a date, and without any thoughts of it being romantic or leading to marriage. Sparks are fun, but you may need social time more than romance. Do you want to move to a different part of the country? In Elegy For Iris, John Bayley, the husband of Iris Murdoch, the British novelist and philosopher, writes about how he “fumbled” around with two women after Iris died not knowing what he wanted in a new relationship, or what the women wanted who showed up on his doorstep. Don’t try to be the one in control or pretend that you know everything.Only you will know that.” Another widow said: “After 21 years of marriage, it took me a good two years before I was emotionally ‘whole’ enough to consider another relationship.Up to that point, my incessant talk about my late husband would have made any man run in the opposite direction.” What happens if someone is still grieving and he or she meets someone they think would be a great partner who becomes interested in them? Out of respect for the new person, he should tell her he’s still grieving but feels they could become a loving couple, and, if she would be patient with him, it could work out.For the first year after her husband Mort died of cancer, Mary Childs, now 68, looked mainly to her two sisters and her quilting friends for comfort and a social connection.”I couldn’t do much more than that,” says the Lakewood, CO, retired nurse.”On the one occasion that I attended a couples’ function with friends from our past, I was totally uncomfortable.” Indeed, many people who lose a spouse often feel like when it comes to socializing, it’s a couples’ world.

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