Remarriage: How Soon Is Too Soon?
People often remarry after divorce or the death of a spouse. At one time, widows and widowers were expected to wait through a mourning period before accepting suitors. The mourning period was typically one year. It was considered inappropriate to remarry too soon. However, times have changed, and there is no prescribed amount of time to wait before finding a new love interest. Still, some people feel that it is inappropriate to jump right into another relationship or marriage. How soon is considered too early?
It depends on the individual and the circumstances. Divorced people often jump right back into the dating pool, sometimes before the divorce is even final. Some divorced couples also make a competition out of it to see who can find a new mate the quickest. The first to the finish line may even gloat over the still single ex-spouse. Unfortunately, this type of behavior often leads to bad relationship choices which leads to more separation and divorce. Therefore, the single ex may find that he is the one who has reason to gloat. Relationships are not a contest, and there is no reason to rush into one. Finding the right person can take a lifetime, but in the long run, it may be worth it.
Widows and widowers may exercise a little more caution when it comes to a new relationship, but not always. A key factor that seems to play an important role in how soon the widowed seeks a new relationship is age. Older people who have lost their spouse through death seem to take more time before entering a new relationship. In many cases, they do not remarry or engage in a romantic relationship at all. They are more likely to remain single the rest of their lives.
Those who are widowed at a younger age, especially with children are more likely to become involved in another relationship soon after the loss of their spouse. Most often they are seeking out comfort and consolation. They may also seek another spouse because they do not want their children to grow up without a mother or father. This is especially true in cases where the children are quite young.
So, how soon is too soon? It depends on whom you ask. Some people will say six months, others will say six weeks, and some will still prescribe to the year of mourning. It all depends on the individual. Although there is no set amount of time for a person to wait following divorce or spousal death before engaging in a new relationship, it is best to use discretion. If a person jumps into another relationship too quickly, especially in the case of spousal death, it may look as though they didn’t care about their spouse. Friends, relatives, and in-laws are often the first to question a person’s decision to begin dating again. However, it is not wise to judge someone regarding their relationship decisions. People heal at different rates and may see the decision to move on as being in their best interest.
It is often said that a deceased spouse would want their remaining partner to get on with their lives and not mourn. Whether the separation has occurred through death or divorce it is best to grieve and then move forward. Whether a person chooses to do so solely or with a new partner is ultimately their choice.