Widower Wonders About Dating
Q: I just celebrated the three-year anniversary of my wife's death. It's been a hard three years, and my co-workers are encouraging me to start meeting new people. The thought of meeting someone new is exciting and terrifying. What I find more terrifying is the how my late wife's family will react to this. I am still very close with them, and some of them are still having a hard time with losing her. How do I start dating other people while still honoring my late wife and her family? Do I keep this a secret, even if I were to get into a new relationship? -Carl, 66
Dr. Anna: Each person's journey through grief is different. It sounds like you have been thoughtful and respectful at every turn with them. If you're feeling ready to try dating, don't let worries about how her family might react stop you. As an independent adult, you're entitled to live your own life and keep things private if you feel that would work best. However, if you prefer to keep things in the open, try mentioning the idea casually at first, with something like, "I've been thinking about dating again, but I am nervous about how you'll feel about it." If they love you (and it sounds like they do), they will likely support your next step in moving on with your life.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.