(Leslie Beth) Wish is a psychologist and social worker. She has been a speaker for non-profit, corporate and university organizations. Wish offers sound, research-based relationship advice that makes sense — specializing in issues such as smart dating, women’s relationship advice, career coaching, healthy families, sexual dysfunction, and leadership training. Here are the three top questions of many widows and widowers. Women tend to wait until approximately the ninth month. The range of time is much greater—some people never date again and others date by the third month. Few of us want to be alone in our later years, yet anyone who is married or in a long-term committed relationship knows that the chance of facing widowhood is high—especially for women who live slightly longer. Several studies indicate that widowers begin to date by around the sixth month.If the new love is very different in personality from the deceased spouse, the adult children might have especial difficulties accepting the new person.A widowed partner who comes from a mutually satisfying relationship tends to take longer to find love.That person knows what it takes to sustain fulfillment and growth. Studies also reveal that the degree of happiness in the relationship can affect how soon a person feels comfortable dating or falling in love again. But time plays only one part in the decision of when to date.
The good news is that the surviving spouse should NOT heed the family’s warnings. That spouse should begin by valuing all input—but also keeping an eye on why the children are not supportive.Children, especially grown ones, might have difficulty “changing emotional gears.” They might not be able to imagine anyone else living in the family home or kissing the parent.And don’t forget that wildcard pair of luck and timing.Just because you stumble across someone who is right for you soon after widowhood doesn’t mean you weren’t happy previously. Take your time to get to know the person, date as friends first and don’t lend any money. What do I do if my grown kids don’t like my new partner—or even the idea of my dating?Losing a spouse is difficult enough, and when grown children cannot accept parental dating and new love, the surviving spouse feels as though he or she is losing the entire family.
The bad news is that the surviving spouse should heed the family’s warnings.