Quick Hitters are brief responses to questions from author Fred Colby to his fellow WSN contributors. They offer a variety of perspectives on some of the most challenging questions facing new widowers. Enjoy.
Quick Hitter Question: When can I start dating again? (PART 1)
Contributor: Jesse Brisendine
You can start dating whenever you want. The question to ask yourself is, what is my intention behind dating? The hard truth is that most men rush into dating because it reduces their pain. The new person/friend distracts and delays the healing process. If your desire to date is to form a loving relationship, wait until you have healed. You will know you have arrived when your excitement to see the other person is pure excitement for that person, not because they will give you a reprieve from your pain.
Contributor: Jim Winner
It is: OK to start dating when you’re entirely comfortable with being by yourself. OK, to start dating when you realize you don’t need to date, you choose to date… you don’t need companionship; you choose companionship.
Contributor: Christine Baumgartner
I believe everyone ‘knows’ when it’s time to begin dating. I’ve learned (personally and professionally that everyone has their own pacing when it comes to grief. A few of the ways you can tell when you’re ready are:
- You desire companionship to begin life again with another person (not because you’re lonely).
- You’ve allowed yourself to grieve (completely felt all the terrible, awful, hurtful feelings associated with the grief journey).
- Often a year is a ‘time marker’ to revisit where you are in your grief journey.
Contributor: Abel Keough
There’s no time frame for one to start dating again. Some widowers start dating days after their late wife’s death, while others take years. Rather than focusing on a dating timeframe, it’s better to focus on what you want the second chapter of your life to look like. What qualities are you looking for? How serious of a relationship do you want? What are your dealbreakers? Knowing what you want will help avoid a lot of heartache.
Contributor: Morris Isara
Before losing my wife, I counseled men and women who lost their spouses. I always advised them to wait one year to establish a level of normalcy. Now that I have experienced the loss, I found waiting one year applicable. It has been 15 months, and though I am not actively pursuing a relationship, I feel ready should God bring someone into my life.
Contributor: Michael K. Burroughs:
It would be best if you started dating again when you are “called” to do so because you have met someone with whom you sense a mutual attraction. You should not rush this process. People will enter your life when you least expect it. Follow your heart, not your libido.
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