Responses to how long should a widowed person wait to date

Part One – Follow up from our Champs: how long widows and widowers should wait to date 

Part Two – Beware of a new email phishing scam
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Part One – Recently, (February 2, 2018), the topic of this newsletter was how long should a widow or widower wait to date after the death of a spouse.

We had some brilliant comments from our Champs. Of course, there is no right answer to this question, but it’s valuable information even for people who are not married but have a significant other with whom they’ve shared a life. Their loss of a mate can be equally as devastating.

I am sharing the responses to that newsletter while the topic is fresh in our minds.

The comments are in four simple categories.

1. It’s strictly up to the widow or widower

Dating and relationship coach Christine Baumgartner (www.theperfectcatch.com) said, “I’m a widow and I also coach many widows/widowers as well as belong to a widows/widowers social group and a couple of Facebook groups dedicated to widows and widowers.

This subject comes up often in each of these groups. I completely agree the only person who gets to have an opinion about how soon a widow/widower should start dating is that specific person and only that person.

I’ve sadly heard of too many widows/widowers who pass up love because their kids/relatives/neighbors thought they needed to wait longer or even worse, never date. So sad to hear how other people’s opinions could keep someone from finding love again.

2. Two men say children should be a consideration

Wayne, “Good article. Key element that might be discussed: Effect on children. I have a friend who dated immediately after his wife died from a two-to-three-year battle with cancer. My friend had a serious girlfriend who moved into his home within months of his wife’s death. Both kids, especially the daughter, REALLY struggled with it. The buddy is early 70’s. I’m not sure there’s a perfect answer but sensitivity to your kids should be considered.

Russell -not a widower, but a man whose opinion I respect. Russel has been married 47 years. He said, “If something happened to my wife, I might never date again. For me, my daughters and grandkids would play a huge role in my decision. I would be very concerned about their reaction.”

3. A widow shares her vast knowledge on how long widows and widowers should wait to date and is a strong advocate of healing first. Her response is long, but she presents a wealth of valuable information that could be helpful to new widows and widowers and others who have suffered a loss of a loved one. Her initials are I. M.

I.M., wrote, “I know how tempting it is to become involved with someone who offers comfort immediately after a partner’s death, but I haven’t seen many of those bonds turn out to be what either of the parties expected or wanted.

“The bottom line for me on this subject is to ask myself: If I give my heart to this man and we share a life, but I die, how fast will he be looking for a replacement? If you don’t care, then jump. If you do care, take some time. Our generation didn’t hop on the ‘instant gratification’ train as a rule.

“I disagree that it’s nobody’s business except the partner left behind on when he decides to date.  If he’s putting himself out there, it’s the business of the new person he meets to be presented with all the facts.

I used to hesitate asking how long it had been since a widower had lost his wife, not wanting to intrude or appear pushy. I stopped hesitating when I discovered on my second date in two weeks with a man that he had buried his wife of fifty+ years less than a month before. Considering we had been emailing for two weeks prior to the first date, I felt quite angry.  And I shared that with him.

He excused his rapid re-entrance into the singles scene by saying she had experienced a long illness leading up to her death and that he had ‘done all his grieving’ during her illness. His revelation came about in a restaurant at dinner after he asked how long I had been alone – which was 3 years.  When I began to mentally examine the timeline, I realized she may have still been alive when he started looking for a replacement. I still feel very bad about that.

“My point is: In the immediate days, weeks and months following the loss of a spouse (bad marriage, long illness, whatever) you just don’t know what you don’t know and to quickly include another unsuspecting or trusting person in that situation can be a recipe for failure.

“Even bad marriages had good moments and long illnesses carry their own set of high and very low moments. Emotional healing from the trauma of a close death isn’t instantaneous. Most people are looking for comfort and escape from the pain or stress of such a loss but are not capable of being honest with themselves or anyone else about their emotional stability.

“The gentleman I referenced is still single (three years later), has engaged in serial relationships that end (by his description) with the women being hurt and angry and left behind because this man cannot commit. He can’t be alone, but he can’t commit to monogamy either. He never gives himself time to be alone and process his loss. He calls several times a year just to check in and ask if I’ll go out with him. No, I won’t.

“Last year, I began seeing a widower of two years whom I had known through business and who later became a casual friend. This emotionally healthy guy – by his own admission – spent a year grieving with the support of family and friends, then began to realize he felt well and whole enough to include a nice woman in his life. And we chose each other.

“We speak openly and lovingly of our spouses, but not obsessively. So, although nobody has the right to dictate how long another person should grieve, I think women should be very careful about allowing themselves to fall in love with new widowers.

“One more point – the families of those new widowers are much more likely to happily accept a new woman into the fold if some time has passed since their mother or sister has died. Even grown children sometimes find it difficult to understand dear old dad is moving on. They feel guilty on behalf of their mother. Quite a balancing act.”

4. Some wait to date for other reasons, or, decide to never date again

Linda, “The latest article about dating was very interesting. Here is what I feel/think – I have been a widow for almost four years. There are other reasons some people don’t move on. I for one am in the process of getting back on my feet financially as my husband didn’t leave me with any financial support when he passed.

“Another reason for not moving on is that in my past, I didn’t make the best decisions in choosing a partner, first husband was physically abusive and the second husband was emotionally controlling. At this point I’m a little gun shy in moving on. I’m 70 and working two part-time jobs, I’m thankful that I am healthy enough to be able to do this.”

Sid,  “Great eNewsletter today on widows/widowers and their dating. My wife died in 2010 and I have gone on a date a couple of times. I teach fitness and am around many females daily and at age 74 am in good condition. I have lady friends and we do a lot of group activities together, but no one has peaked my interest yet and I am ok with that. No need to rush, if it happens or not my life goes on. Please keep up the good work, you provide a needed service to us folks.”

Jackie, “This was a fun article to read (2/2/18). A friend told me when her mother-in-law died, there were women from the church bringing food with invitations of every kind to her father-in-law the next day.

“My advice for widows about how long should you wait to date? Until you get the first good invitation. Men can take their time and go when they want to. Women don’t typically have that luxury.”

How long to wait to date. Don’t wait centuries. Age affects us all:

How long to wait to date. Centuries maybe

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Part 2 – Beware of this phishing scam

I received an email from ConsumerAffairs warning of a new phishing scam that targets Netflix customers. But, it could target any company. The subject line will be something like “Payment declined.”

The email will say that your credit card no longer works and you need to update your credit card info to continue receiving Netflix. The scam is called “brandjacking.”

Mark Huffman, a ConsumerAffairs news reporter, writes, “Brandjacking is an increasingly common tactic used in phishing cams. The email is designed to look like it’s coming from a well-known institution. It might be a major bank or a utility company—and at first glance appears to be the real thing.”

The email has a credit card “Update Payment” button to help you scam yourself. Whether it is from Netflix or any other company, don’t update your card via that button.

Huffman says, “There is a safer course of action. Should you receive one of these emails, type the Netflix URL into your browser and log into your account.”

You will determine there if your account needs updating—safely.

Remember, it’s not just Netflix, it could be any company.

Author: tpblake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published four books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at TravelAfter55.com.

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