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Hi ellaluna,

I am in a similar place in my life as your friend, though I am a bit older at 55. My wife died almost 5 months ago of pancreatic cancer, and we too lived with that reality for a few years.

I'm not sure what type of "social club" you met at, but if he is going there to meet people, he must have at least said to himself that he is ready to start socializing. Which may or may not be the first step toward dating and a more serious relationship. I have started struggling with the thought of doing something along those lines, but haven't yet. Our church has a monthly meeting of widows/widowers which they expressly say is for people "ready to start socializing" again. Seems like a safe place to start, but I'm just not ready yet.

I read the whole thread on the singles board, and perhaps missed it, but did not see any mention of children. Does he have any? How about his wife's family (parents, brothers, sisters). Depending on the specific situation, he may also be thinking of them and their reaction. When I'm ready, (and I hope to be some day), I intend to discuss my "readiness" with my children first, and my mother-in-law second. Not that they will get a "vote", but out of respect for how they may feel, and to give them an opportunity to discuss their feelings, and to make sure I get a chance to express mine. I have an excellent (even loving) relationship with my in-laws, and given the right discussion, would not anticipate a problem. On the other hand, since my wife was an only child and I now stand to inherit a pretty sizable chunk of change from her parents, I have to recognize that they do in fact have a "financial" vote of sorts. I doubt they would want any newcomers or newcomers children laying a claim to what they had always hoped would go to their daughter and her family eventually.

Overall, based on what I read here and on the other board, you seem from my perspective to be giving your friend the space he needs, while leaving the door open. I suspect "dating" someone is going to be very uncomfortable for me, if and when it ever happens. I was married and faithful to my wife for 33+ years. Reasonable or not, I would still feel like I'm cheating on her at this point. I hope that will change, because I really don't look forward to growing old alone. I hate being alone.

Good luck, and please let us know how it works out.


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