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 TWO)

Contributor: Nyle Kardatzke

A few days before my wife died, she said to me, “Don’t get involved with women until I have been gone a year.”

As usual, she was wise in anticipating my feelings after her death. After the shock of her death and the first month of grieving, I sensed I was lonely. I have a wonderful family, and they were as supportive as any family could be, but I longed for close female companionship, maybe even remarriage.

Dating Experience #1: I remained alone and uninvolved with women for about six months.

Then I found myself attracted to a woman who checked out my purchases at a store, and I tried to get a date with her. She was younger than my wife, and her clothing told me she was not the careful lady my wife had been. She turned me down, and I was disappointed until I realized how absurd it would have been to introduce her to my children.

Dating Experience #2: At the end of the first year after my wife’s death, I saw a woman at church and waved a greeting to her. She had married a man I knew, and I had attended his funeral. When I saw her the second time, I quickly arranged to see her, and we began to have dinner together. Our relationship started as a romance, but by the end of one year, we both noticed that we couldn’t commit to steady dating, much less marriage. We remain, friends more than 12 years after our spouses died, and we will likely remain single.

The Moral of these Stories: Don’t leap into a relationship with a woman too soon, but realize that time alone and attraction based on solid values may not suit you. Go forward prepared for love, but possibly not for romance or marriage.

Contributor: Fred Colby

First-Year Dating Positives:

  • It gets you out there
  • A learning opportunity – you may learn how to build relationships again
  • It can be fun and even exciting to meet new women of many backgrounds
  • You may learn new things (e.g., dancing, hiking, going to plays, etc.)
  • You may find someone you enjoy being with, doing things with
  • It forces you to look outside of yourself

First-Year Dating Negatives:

  • Scary and challenging as self-doubts emerge
  • Family and friends may react negatively, especially if you date too soon
  • Risky – some would-be girlfriends are looking to take advantage of you
  • Emotionally you are vulnerable and may make horrible decisions

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