How Soon Is Too Soon?

I love reading the wedding stories in the New York Times. This weekend’s story was especially touching because it dealt with a woman, who was an elite level cyclist who married a cycling buddy of hers that she met when she moved to Tuscon, Arizona. You can read all about it here. What was interesting to me is that the man that she married was a widower who had buried his first wife (who died of breast cancer) in October 2009. The  couple got married last week.

I was talking with one of my sorors about a date she went on last night. The man in question is someone she’s known and been friends with since 1997, when they met at work. He was married and now is divorced because his wife left him for another man, that she is still with. They have 2 daughters together. His divorce was finalized sometime earlier this year. My soror reconnected with her former co-worker via Facebook and they have emailed, chatted on the phone and gone out a couple times.  Understandably, she is excited but somewhat wary and is trying to keep things in perspective in her particular scenario because he is newly divorced. In fact, my general rule (at least when I was single) was to not date men who were “fresh meat” or divorced under a year for fear of being a rebound chick. I’ve seen it happen to women, and it was not very nice. There’s nothing worse than getting into a guy and being dumped because he isn’t ready to move to the next level in a relationship.

So it got me to thinking as I read that article and chatted with my friend, how soon is too soon to move on to another relationship? I admit I gave a slight side-eye to the couple in the NY Times article but really, who am to judge when another human being is ready for companionship. What do you think?


16 thoughts on “How Soon Is Too Soon?

  1. I think it’s up to the person. I mean hey…you know when you’re ready and we don’t know if he was even happily married before. I’m sure I’d be so dang devastated that I would be a wreck for many moons to even be okay enough to speak to another dude let along smile at him.

  2. What onefromphillysaid…..ALL.DAY.

  3. I think it depends on how the person dies…I would raise an eyebrow if it was a sudden death. As long as the divorce papers are signed, I’m good.

  4. it’s entirely personal, i think. after my fiance died, the thought of another man made my stomach bunch up in knots for a good two years – it seemed so impossible, beyond contemplation….but then, one day – i woke up and felt curious about the world out there, and all the people (and men) in it…

    we all do what we can to get through the day – if these people feel they’re ready, go for it! there’s really no prescribed waiting period….

  5. This is a tough one. I met my husband a few weeks after I’d ended a serious 2.5 year relationship. I questioned if I had given myself proper time to “mourn” the end of the previous relationship or if I was dishonoring my ex by moving on so quickly. In fact, I made my husband wait while I took time to clear my head…he respected that which made me love him even more. Relationships are all about timing. You can’t always predict when “the one” will show up. My husband was what I’d been praying for and I decided to go with my heart. Sadly, there’s no formula for how long you should wait. Doesn’t mean that you didn’t care about your ex or your deceased partner because you decide to do what you need to do to be happy.

  6. Good Q – I think it depends on the relationship and how it’s handled. D has a (young) cousin who got a teaching job in Europe lat year. She met some guy & they got married in June. Neither his mother or brother speak english. Out of her enormous family – only about 4 people were able to afford to go, and no one has met this guy (cept for those 4 people that went). Supposedly she’s coming home for Christmas… this should be interesting. LOL

  7. I think it depends on the person. Some marriages are over and settled long before the divorce decree is signed and dated.

  8. Michael and I have talked about this. He told me that he would want me to move on as soon as I felt like it. I told him the same. Why would I want my husband to be lonely, miserable and grieving??? Just because I’m gone, he’s still alive and should be LIVING! There is no number. You do what works for you and what feels right.

  9. Agree with most. It’s a totally personal decision and there are so many variables. I had an uncle die in October of 2002. He and my aunt had been married for 12 years and had 3 daughters. My aunt began dating a friend of the family in June of 2003. They got engaged Xmas of 2003 and wed in August 2004. For some, that was too soon. **shrug** I just wanted her happy and that’s what she’s been ever since.

  10. At the very least the smell of the ex or deceased should be gone. The autopsy report should be back.
    clear him.

    Apparently time alone must be he.ll for some.I don’t get it. I enjoy my husband as the specific person he is.
    I don’t have a general indiscriminate need for male or bed companionship. If he was absent I am done. There
    is no replacement for his role in my life. I’d like him to have companionship- after my kids are grown. They don’t
    need some hungry woman trying to play mommy.

    A man might be ready day 1, but I would not be willing to be the woman holding the tissue while
    he writes thank you for your condolences cards.

    I truly am disgusted by such men. My cousin’s husband had a new bed buddy almost and possibly before
    the funeral. He had the nerve to tell our family we were still grieving after 2 years. It’s easy to
    replace someone you only view as a bedmate. We lost an irreplaceable family member.

    I also know men who got divorced, remarried and went back to the first wife leaving the new wife looking dumb.

  11. It did seem fast but I agree with the others, they have to decide what’s right for them. And there is no timetable or schedule for mourning.

    That said, if I were the dead wife, I would haunt their behinds. Bringing casseroles and inviting him out for coffee to comfort him a month after his wife died? Suuuure, it wasn’t about romance… That heffa probably had her eye on him for years!

  12. When your heart and mind tell you you’re ready, you’re ready.

    I don’t believe in sitting around being lonely or miserable because somebody put an arbitrary number on how long a mourning process (death or break up) should be. My philosophy is: when it’s over it over, cry about it, dry your eyes, find you a new boo! 🙂

  13. I havent read the article, but i say its is definitely a cade by case basis. For example, when I met my husband he was separated and had been for three years. His divorce was finalized a month later. We moved in together 2 months later, and were engaged and married 9 months later. When we first met he was very open and honest about his separation and pending divorce. I never, ever once felt like the rebound girl, and believe me I experienced that before and I knew what it felt like. One thing that has to be taken into account if some one is terminally in for a while, or the marriage has not been good for years people, will emotionally check out if the marriage as defensive mechanism, thus allowing them to not feel guilty about forging an emotional bond with someone else.

  14. It depends on the situation. I have a coworker who took great care of her terminally ill spouse for two years and lost him in October. She is dating again and her kids are hot BUT she was a great wife and fulfilled her vows while her husband was alive so soon isn’t too soon.
    It’s on a case by case basis.

  15. Interesting question. The timing was nowhere near perfect when I met Mister. And I mean nowhere. Talk about not an ideal situation. But we managed to make it 5 years. Now, that says nothing for the current state of things, but I digress, lol.

    I read the story on the cyclist and that just seems eerie. I’ve never had a significant other die so I don’t know what the mourning process is like but that seemed quick.

    I wouldn’t date someone fresh off a marriage or being widowed. I’ve been the rebound chick and I don’t recommend it to friends.

  16. Good question. I guess it depends, on a case by case basis. I’ve seen this happen with older couples a lot. Married for 20-30+ years, spouse passes on. They reconnect with someone they knew before, the familiarity kicks in, next thing you know they are getting married. I think they are just so used to having someone around, they don’t want to be alone anymore.

    The game changes when it’s someone you know (or at least THINK you know), vs. someone you just met. I can’t really say what the “right” answer is. I’ve held people at arm’s length for what I thought was a “required time,” and they still turned out to be jackwagons. I guess you just have to take that chance on your heart. 🙂

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