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Dear Webby

Dear Webby,

How long should I wait before asking a new widow out to dinner? Her husband and I were friends, but since he died 3 months ago I've been thinking how nice it would be to have this lady's company.


Dear Lonely,

Webby wishes she had more information. Was the deceased a business acquaintance and you only met her a few times, if ever? Or did you all hang around in a group? Do you know her well, for how long?

Do you have friends in common that could let you know how she is doing and if she is ready for dinner dates?

If you were friends with her, as well as her husband, Webby suggests you call her and see how she is doing and if there is anyway you can be of help to her. Feel out the situation and tell her you will check in again and to feel free to call you.

If you only knew him and just met her recently, say at the funeral, bug off for a while. You could ask mutual friends about her and let them know you are interested in a friendship with her.

Three months is a very short time and she probably is not ready to start "going out." Her relatives and friends probably aren't ready for it either. But that's another story.

There was a time when a widow wore black and went into mourning for a year. Times and customs have changed but everyone grieves and heals differently. Some like to be alone with their memories for a while, others want to get out and keep busy. This does not mean they are cold or care less; it may just be a different way to deal with grief.

So without more information Webby advises you to move slowly and with tact - but go for it. It could be the beginning of a good friendship and less loneliness for both of you (assuming she too is lonely).

Of course, Webby takes it for granted that you are a bachelor or widower yourself.


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