How soon is too soon?

by Dating Goddess on January 3, 2011

General wisdom is to take some time to be alone after any relationship ends.

The shorter the time in the relationship, the less time it takes to recover. I once heard that most people need 25%-50% of a relationship’s duration before being ready to have another relationship.

After talking for two weeks, a man disclosed that the reason he listed himself on a dating site is that his partner of 7 years died — two months ago.

My first reaction was, whoa — that’s way too soon to be dating. But in discussing his situation he seemed very grounded about it. And since grieving is unique to every person, it wasn’t up to me to decide what was right or proper for him.

He said her sudden death made him realize that life is short, not to take anything for granted, and that he didn’t want to languish in self-pity. He had honored her every day of their relationship so he doesn’t think dating now is in any way dishonoring her. She’d want him to move on in his life and be happy.

However, he knew he was currently not looking for a replacement relationship. He’d like companionship and someone to enjoy.

Generally, I’d shy away from pursuing anything with anyone in this situation as I wouldn’t want to be a rebound sweetie. That usually means heartache.

Have you dated a recent widow? What did you learn that you think would be useful to other daters? Are these recent mourners too wounded to try to establish a sustainable relationship? Or is companionship just what was needed?

Want to know more about what you may encounter as you get back into dating? Download your copy of Dipping Your Toe in the Dating Pool: Dive In Without Belly Flopping.

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