Ask Amy: Widower ponders the ticktock of moving on
Dear Amy: It’s been four months since losing my wife of 40 years.
She made me promise to move on with life.
To keep that promise, I have removed my wedding ring. I have started dating.
I am moving slowly, wanting to develop a friendship before a serious relationship. My family thinks I am moving too fast.
What do you think?
Dear Widower: No other person gets to set a timer on when you should start to move on with your life.
However, if you have children and other family members who were attached to your wife, they are not living the same experience as you are. Any moves you make might seem too fast for them. They may try to weigh in out of concern for you, and you should listen respectfully – and then do what you want to do, but with the awareness that your choices matter to other people.
If you are actually dating in order to satisfy a promise you made to your late wife, then be aware that this is not the optimal way to approach a new relationship. Nor do you need to justify your desire to date by framing it as keeping a promise.
Counselors often suggest not making any huge or life-altering decisions during the first year after the death of a loved one. So yes, take things slowly.