When a widowed parent starts dating

Reminisce with your adult children about the old days when your original family was intact.

This subtly reinforces the sense that your search for a new relationship does not invalidate the family unit of their youth. It is surprisingly common for parents to share details about their revitalized sex lives with their adult children when they return to the dating scene.

That difference in perspective virtually ensures that they will struggle to see eye to eye.

To reduce the odds that a new romantic relationship will damage your parent/child relationship…

This gives the adult children an additional reason to find fault with the parent’s return to romantic life.

Reassure your adult children that your money is safe.

Also: Dissuade your new partner from pushing too hard to form close bonds with your adult children when they do meet.

Your partner should be pleasant and polite but should let your adult children take the lead in these relationships.

Offer the option of waiting to see whether the relationship lasts a while longer before agreeing to meet.

Here’s what parent and child should do—and not do—to protect their relationship during these emotionally difficult times…

Parents often cannot understand why their adult children have a negative emotional response to the news that they are dating or in a new relationship.

Divorced or widowed parents might feel excitement or hope when they return to the dating world after decades away.

But their adult children might feel anxiety about the parent’s safety and financial security (and their own inheritance)…renewed grief over the loss of the family unit…or discomfort at seeing the parent behave in a nonparental way.

Telling your adult child to “grow up” or asking, “Don’t you want me to be happy?

You must have an account to comment. Please register or login here!