Etiquette for dating after death of spouse

: so here we are on the other side of the equation with grievers who may feel that they are ready to start dating again.

In a lot of ways there is even more to cover here, but I think it’s best to try and keep it simple.

If there is one issue that can create division, and even anger, in a room full of widows and widowers, it’s the topic of dating after the loss of a spouse.

Of all the subjects in all the groups that I’ve ever facilitated, this may be the most controversial.

For some, just the mention of dating again can cause such a negative and visceral reaction -I’ve seen grievers walk out of presentations where this topic was only one small part of the conversation. Does it a feel like a sense of betrayal to the deceased?

Or of being rushed into something we’re not ready for?

Let’s start with the questions every griever should consider before exploring a new relationship.

In the end, regardless of what side of the “debate” you are on, know that this is a very personal and very difficult decision for any griever to make.

This idea of dating after the loss of a spouse, for most, comes much further along in their grieving process. I don’t want to generalize, just for all those reasons stated already.

And is it fair that a griever has to cope with this tremendous grief while also answering questions from family and friends about whether they plan to date again?

Or is it fair that a griever may face judgement from those who think that they aren’t ready to date or believe they shouldn’t? Just as every person is unique, so is their reaction to the losses they face.

Or a nosey neighbor who says they can’t believe you haven’t married again?

Of course the reaction we feel in each situation could be very different but our response can be the same no matter who is asking or how they say it/ask it. And most importantly try not to let the questions or statements get to you (easier said than done, I know).

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