Dating again after becoming a widow
People did not relinquish love, and love even enabled some of them to survive the horror and death around them.
I cried on the phone to impassive health insurance bureaucrats.
The question comes up a lot among widowed and those who are interested in dating them – how soon after the death of a spouse is it considered appropriate to begin dating/or pursuing? Other widowed people like to trot out the tired cliché – It’s such a circular and unhelpful answer that I’d like to ban the phrase from the grief lexicon because given the minefield of rules and expectations surrounding widowhood, asking is the only way to clarify whether the signals you are receiving from your peers, family and friends are about your welfare or their self-interest. Scarlett knew the rules on widowed decorum because society at that time spelled it out. It may have sucked, but everyone was clear on the time frame and waited (while perhaps discreetly lining up suitors for once the deadline had passed). Younger widowed date and remarry sooner, and at higher rates, than older ones.
Attempted to look resolute and somber, smiling wanly as you sat out your “black-shirted” year on the wallflower bench. Whereas the newly broken up or divorced are free to take the field again as soon as they like, the widowed must navigate religious, family and community rules on the subject, and they vary. But, having children or not, being younger or older and your general state of resiliency in the face of tragedy plays into this as well.
Yet intimacy is a necessary and fundamental part of the human condition, a need that never really goes away.
Not with time, not with age, and certainly not because of widowhood.Here, we excerpt a chapter of the book where she addresses one of the most common topics widows struggle with: getting intimate with someone new after a loved one passes.