How long should you wait?

How long should a grieving widow or widower wait before seriously dating again? Today I learned that the husband of my best friend (who died in June) has been steadily seeing one woman for a few months.

Halt the presses, my mind screamed when I heard this news. Too soon! Too soon! I felt sick for Leslie, whose life had revolved around him and her boys.

I felt like calling him and telling him to give her the respect she deserves and to mourn her fully before turning to the first person within sniffing distance for solace! Worse, this person was Leslie's good friend.
Frankly, I don't care how horny or lonely he is, after 25 years of marriage my friend deserved more than a half year of mourning before her husband began to date one person exclusively.
My other friends were very forgiving. Well, you know, said one, he needs a woman. My ass.
Now that I've had a few hours to cool off, my question to you is this: How long is a long enough wait? Inquiring minds want to know. Here's your chance to leave some input without writing a comment. Am I the only person to think that my friend deserves a longer period of mourning, or am I out of touch with the rest of the world?

After 25 years of marriage, how long should a widow or widower wait before embarking on a serious new relationship?
Right away
3 months
6 months
One year
Never. They should wear sack cloth and ashes for the rest of their lives.
Never. They should commit hari kiri on the funeral pyre.
Why are you asking this question? None of your business.
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FI0NA said...

I think maybe its something that should be negotiated between the couple themselves. My aunt who has been happily married to my uncle for 50 years tells him not to waste any time if she dies before him. I think she's given him a sort of green card!

CJ said...

For those people who have had strong, healthy relationships, it's natural to want to have that again when it's been lost. I think it's up to the individual to decide when the time it right, and the friends should hold their tongues unless they can clearly see that grief is causing their widowed friend to act irrationally.

And, if you want to follow "etiquette" in this, Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette says that it is proper for a widow/widower to begin calling on members of the opposite sex after 3 months, as long as they are not flamboyant about it.