How Long Should a Widow or Widower Wait Before Dating?


For a widow or widower, the thought of dating again after losing your partner will need plenty of consideration. It may be that you and your partner  had made plans for retirement together. Having intimately shared your life with someone, the prospect of someone else can be unsettling.

With this in mind, here are some useful steps to help you to work out whether you’re ready:

Getting Your Life in Order

Immediately following bereavement, you and your family have to make adjustments. This can be a challenging time for a widow or widower and coming to terms with this new life state can be hard.

It is hoped, however, eventually you will come to terms with your situation and having evaluated where your future lies, you might decide you would like to meet other singles. Joining a dating website can open up your life considerably. It’s worth noting that whilst forming lasting relationships is the ideal resolution for some, making platonic friends with those who are empathetic can also be rewarding.

It’s Normal to Have Reservations

It’s understandable and quite normal to have reservations about online dating. In particular, for widows or widowers, some may have shared a safe and secure relationship for many years. Looking for someone to fill the void is nothing to feel embarrassed or awkward about. Wanting to be part of a couple again is perfectly natural. However, dating websites exist to fulfil a need; to bring people together, not only for romance, but for friendship, too.

Everyone’s experience is different and there are no hard and fast criteria to make things happen quickly or more effectively. Sometimes it takes a while for the right person to come along. Taking your time and building a relationship gradually can be a blessing. It also offers the opportunity to get to know someone through exchanging private messages before you commit to meeting up.

You Make Decisions in Your Own Time, So No Pressure!

Because you’re taking this step ‘remotely’, you make decisions in your own time. You have no reason to feel under pressure about who to talk to and who to connect with. You will know when you feel comfortable about meeting up with someone and if you follow the recommended guidelines* about ‘First Dates’, you should be fine. Also, bear in mind the person you’re meeting is likely to be feeling as apprehensive as you are, especially if this is early days for them, too.

If you have a friend who is also widowed, you may want to encourage them to join with you. Sharing experiences is a good way of testing the water and at the very least you can compare notes.

One in Four relationships Start Online

Today, it is statistically proven that one in four relationships start online and this is second only to meeting a partner through friends. Joining an online dating community is accepting you’re ready to move on.

Some people who have used a dating website will tell you to begin with they were unsure about the process, but most will tell you that once you’ve dipped your toe in the water you will wonder why you left it for so long.

*Initially, we always recommend you make arrangements to meet up with someone during day time; for coffee, perhaps; and it goes without saying, always tell a friend or family member where you are and what you’re doing. Never disclose your address or any other personal information on a first date. It is hoped you will know when you’re comfortable enough to do this.