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Thread: Dating after becoming a widow... Too soon?

  1. #1
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    Dating after becoming a widow... Too soon?

    Background... known this guy for 9 years. He was a former boss but we no longer work together. We keep in touch and would do lunch and things from time to time. He was married. Wife got ill and after 18 months she passed away in July. They have 2 children together. We went out a few times in a group setting, no big deal and had a good time. He went out with my friends and I a few weeks ago and wound up kissing me at the end of the night. The next day he kept saying he hoped he didn't ruin our friendship or make things awkward between us etc. I assured him no worries and let it go. We saw each other again this past weekend and well.... It became more. We were both drinking etc but he definitely wants to continue having more of a relationship with me than friendship. I adore this guy. He's a great person. I am attracted to him etc but I'm afraid it's too soon after his wife's passing to really become anything... He keeps telling me not to worry about it blah blah blah. I don't want to scare him off by harping on this. I want to let it go but either need reassuring it isn't too soon and is ok or someone to tell me to put the brakes on now and give him more time to cope with the death of his wife. I don't want to just be filling a void in his life temporarily etc. Help!!!

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    July is really soon and he has kids. There are some cases where a spouse has been a caregiver to someone with cancer for years and years or another terminal illness and grieved while their spouse was still alive, and were prepared for it. But if his wife got sick more suddenly, i would steer far away. I would explain to him that its too soon for YOU after his wife died (like is say, unless she was bed ridden for years), and tread carefully. You started things too quickly. I would ease up. don't see the kids (its possible you have met them just from working with him of course, and that's fine) - if he wants to go to the movies now and then, fine, but cool it. At least that's my opinion. I don't see this going over well with the kids - i mean its not even been 12 weeks yet!!

    I can't help but think you saw a vulnerable man and struck so to speak

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    Way way too soon. Give it another year and a half at least. She just died, Jesus. Let the body cool down first.

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    I have not instigated anything whatsoever. I keep saying it's too soon. His wife was sick for 18 months before she passed. And that's what he tells me. He said he lost her 18 months ago. He said he knew she was terminal and he prayed for acceptance, not for her to heal. At the funeral home I made the comment I was worried about him holding it all in because he seemed to be handling it so well. He made fun of me (jokingly) for being concerned like that. He says he is ok. He said he misses her but he's ok with it.

    I do know his children. I have a daughter the same age as his oldest. They have played etc. and I totally agree with not being around the children etc.

    I have been distant but I do think about him a lot. I have a very busy schedule and we likely wouldn't see each other again for literally over a month. So time to let things chill and that's my plan for now.

    Thank you for responding.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    It sounds like it's too soon—for you.

    Whatever the situation, it's a fool's errand to ask another person for assurance that it's not too soon. They'll say whatever they say, and they'll mean it. Do they mean it for only the next week? The next decade? Ultimately, that's kind of always the gamble. And we make that gamble when we meet someone who, for whatever reasons, we trust the time is right to explore the connection without too much angst.

    That said, I totally understand why you're angsty. Two kids, wife died in July: that is some inconceivable life stuff to me. I'd struggle to hear those simple facts and not see someone in a world of hurt, no matter how the appeared before me.

    But here he is, before you, engaging with you, not weeping in a forest. So who knows? People deal with big life things differently. Some are legit ready to date a few months after a divorce, while others take 5 years to recover from a 6 month relationship. Being widowed is probably similar: a thing everyone moves forward form differently, at different paces.

    But you kind of have to go with your gut, rather than ask someone what your gut should feel.

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    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    You're the one I'm worried about, Op: You already seem well smitten far too soon. Best thing you could do for yourself is dial it back a bit. He seems ready for action. What's not clear is if he's ready to emotionally commit or only just date you as well as others. I suspect its clear to him that you are a sure thing so it is easy for him to just jump into it with you.

    Bottom line, YOU take your time and see what he is ready to be in the same thing you want to be in. What is that you want to be in with him btw, do you know?

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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Being widowed is probably similar: a thing everyone moves forward form differently, at different paces.

    But you kind of have to go with your gut, rather than ask someone what your gut should feel.
    Among the widows/widowers in my family and friend circle, there may be an initial time in their grief process where they are craving that kind of companionship, but then its common to back very far off - a little fling starts to cross with the reality of the day to day -- the first Halloween they are not dressing the kids up together, the first Thanksgiving she is not sharing it with him, the first Christmas without her and navigating things with his family an his in-laws. He SHOULD go to see them all without a girlfriend - figure out his relationships with all of them - family dynamics can often change . Things start to hit you, and the new flame sometimes gets pushed away, or takes the brunt.




    Originally Posted by Helpmesavethis
    I have not instigated anything whatsoever. I keep saying it's too soon. His wife was sick for 18 months before she passed. And that's what he tells me. He said he lost her 18 months ago. He said he knew she was terminal and he prayed for acceptance, not for her to heal. At the funeral home I made the comment I was worried about him holding it all in because he seemed to be handling it so well. He made fun of me (jokingly) for being concerned like that. He says he is ok. He said he misses her but he's ok with it.

    I do know his children. I have a daughter the same age as his oldest. They have played etc. and I totally agree with not being around the children etc.

    I have been distant but I do think about him a lot. I have a very busy schedule and we likely wouldn't see each other again for literally over a month. So time to let things chill and that's my plan for now.

    Thank you for responding.
    The time to say "too soon" is when he made the first pass at you before he kissed you --- not when you had already slept with him and now are "afraid of scaring him off" If you were worried about two soon, you would have seen him as a group and not lingered, and if he wished to see you, you would have suggested daytime coffee (which could end up being an act of friendship or might grow to something in due time at the appropriate time).

    He probably is not going to say no to sex.


    You can make it clear that you respect him and you aren't disappearing -- if you really are into this guy you have to play the long game - dial back to "friends" for now. Let the holidays play out. Let the anniversary of her death play out if you are serious

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    I honestly don't know, I love him as a person and have for a long time. I haven't ever thought of it being any more than friends.
    He's been a great friend for the last 9 years. I knew his wife, not closely but knew her. I feel guilty. Maybe guilty isn't the right word but it's what comes out. Ha After the kiss I let it go, no big deal. He apparently didn't. He is really a great guy and I think I'm more concerned about him jumping in too quick and making it something it's not really... If that make sense. So confusing. 🤦

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    Super Moderator HeartGoesOn's Avatar
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    Although there is no one size fits all in regards to the length of time it takes to grieve, I would be skeptical of anyone willing to nose dive into another relationship after a mere two months.

    It's your call, yet I'd wait until he can experience life without his late wife.

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    All everyone did is reassure me that I am right... I'm not going anywhere. I'll be here for him etc. but as friends like I always have been... Down the road maybe it'll turn into more, maybe not. I appreciate the response. Unfortunately what's happened has happened and I can't take it back but I have control over what happens next on my end. Thanks!!!

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