Redirection

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Dating After Being Widowed

There was a time, not so long go, when you were expected to wait before starting a new relationship after your spouse's death. Of course, nobody suggested that you should spend years in mourning dressed all in black, but a certain amount of time had to pass before it was considered decent to start showing interest in the opposite sex again. Something close to a year, or even more in some cases, which is, I think quite reasonable.

Many older women chose to stay widows for life and busied themselves with their families, children and grandchildren, charity stuff and the like. A young(ish) widow would remarry eventually, though not always. One of my grannies, for instance, was left a widow at 36 with three children and she never remarried and never went to work either, as she preferred to live on her widow pension (her husband had been a colonel of the security forces so that her pension was quite sufficient for her needs).

My other granny was widowed at 55 and never remarried, either. She used to say that she would never be able to find such another man as her late husband and that she wouldn't settle for less. Widowers started new relationships easier than widows, but some preferred to stay that way.

Now I'm not at all against widowed folks dating or marrying again. For a woman, especially the one left with small children and little money it could simply be a matter of survival. The Scriptures also teach us that the younger widows should marry and guide the house, and that for the men it's better to marry than to burn. Considering older folks, how many of them get any amount of attention from their children or grandchildren nowadays? In our bugman society, family is the least important of all things, and the elderly are simply left behind. It's only logical that they turn to company elsewhere.

However, it appears to me that there is a trend of some people rushing into a new relationship way too soon after they lost their spouse, like not even waiting a year or so. Am I the only one who noticed it and do you all think it's normal and I'm too prudish? I mean if you really loved your husband or wife, can you even forget them after like 6 months and rush into someone else's arms? What's your opinion on the matter?

10 comments:

  1. I think it is such an individual matter. Some people simply can't abide being alone, others are more emotionally self-sufficient. I don't think there is a set time for mourning , and it's quite possible that a person who enjoyed being married will want to enter into that state again, sometimes rather quickly. Others, like your granny feel there wouldn't be another they could love and be compatible with, or who would treat them as well, so they stay single. I'm not sure what I would do in that situation.

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  2. Isn't there something like a normal grieving process which means that you need a certain time to come to terms with the loss of your loved one? Eventually most people will start dating again, but I still think there should be some time between the funeral and the wedding, so to say. I mean I know of someone who left with another woman less than a week after his wife's death from cancer and even his own mother condemned him and said that it was a shameful behaviour. Even if you didn't really love your spouse, shouldn't you try to keep up appearances? I prefer to hope my husband wouldn't forget me quite so soon.

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  3. Oh I agree, there should be some appearance of propriety.

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  4. I definitely think loneliness plays a huge part. It used to be that an older widow or widower would be surrounded by their families and a circle of friends while nowadays they are often on their own.

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  5. Housewife OutdoorsJanuary 21, 2019 at 5:55 AM

    I have noticed that quite often men find it hard to be alone. Very often, if their wife has been ill for a longer time, they have a new woman ready when she passes away.

    I do not approve that at all. In my opinion, grown up people should be able to be alone, at least for a while. Who wants to marry a person who cannot be alone at all? You can never be sure wether you are truly loved, or just a handy loneliness-remover.

    I think traditional "mourning times" were there for reason. People cannot make rational decisions in deep grief. I also think that wearing all black was a good thing: people did not expect you to act the same way as always. Everybody understood if you wanted to stay at home etc.

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  6. It's interesting that poor widows were encouraged to remarry as soon as possible, to take the burden off their family. On the other hand, in certain circles a widowed woman and especially a mother was supposed to not have any interest in men, because "decent women" only had sex to have children, if you know what I mean. Once you had you kids and were older, why the heck marry again? A man, on the other hand, was pretty much expected to remarry after a certain time. Of course, it's easier to be romantic when you have the means, so to say. While I was never really close to my paternal grandmother (the widow of the officer) I happen to know that my other granny was positively Victorian in her views on men, sex and marriage.

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  7. I became a widow at 57 yrs old. We had no children. A couple that we went to church with, she passed away 6 months after my husband. Two years after their deaths John asked if I would like to go eat supper. We had done that as couples. 5 years later we are still going out to eat and enjoying our times together. We go to concerts and I go with him to grandkids birthday parties and school functions. We neither onecwant to remarry but dont want to be lonely.

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  8. I'm sorry your husband passed away. I think marriage is different than simply being friends because it has a sexual component to it. Thanks for your comment!

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  9. Dear Sanne and Friends, i am newly widowed, in my early 60s, and so glad to always have been a loner type. As for dating, bleech! Nuthin' out there i want.

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  10. Im so sorry for your loss Sue and Janie

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