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Dear Webby
When to Date after Wife's Death

Dear Webby,

My wife died 5 months ago. When is a good time to start dating again?

New Widower

Dear New Widower,

Your question was short and to the point but it left Webby also confused and with many questions.

Is it a generic questions or is someone giving you a hard time? Is there someone in particular you are interested in or maybe a friend from before or are you talking in general?

What is your definition of dating? In today's world it means different things to different people.

If you are talking about "moving in type stuff" Webby says it is too soon. Dating is ok - commitments not ok in Webby's view.

Everyone is different, as are their circumstances. There is no right or wrong; no certain date or period of time that is appropriate.

Webby is happy you are ready to get back into living again. Granted, many will think it's too soon, and that's their opinion which they are entitled to. You should not run your life by the standards of others.

If you were planning on getting married after only five months Webby would strongly suggest you give it more time. Just going out and having some companionship and fun sounds like just what the doctor ordered.

If you have young children still at home you have to be very careful of their feelings. If they are grown and out on their own that is a whole different ballgame.

Often children and siblings of the deceased will never be happy seeing you date someone else. They feel it is disloyal. They can never replace their mother, sister etc. You must explain to them that you are not replacing her and will always love her but you are lonely and would like to get out and meet people and have some fun.

Webby assumes you are not going to flaunt some floozy around town, or bring a date to places she would not be welcome at this time for everyone's sake. Everyone grieves in their own time and some may not be ready to see you with someone else.

Webby also hopes if you have someone in mind that they are not a person the deceased and rest of family did not like. That would present some problems.

However taking someone to dinner or a movie, Webby thinks would be just fine.

But don't quote Webby if there is more to this question than meets the eye.

Good luck,


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