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Q. My husband died 8 months ago of a lengthy illness.  I’m feeling guilty because I am attracted to a widower in our community.  When is the right time to consider dating after the death of a spouse?

Dr. Connie Bowes says: Losing a mate is a very sorrowful and challenging time for most people; however, our needs for companionship, intimacy, and yes, even attraction to another, are still there, maybe deep beneath our grief. These feeligns are important to be aware of.  No one has the same feelings after the death of a loved one. Coping with a partner’s illness for long periods of time can drain us of our vital life energy. There is no “right” time to stop grieving and start dating. Usually, we feel many emotions at the same time, and while we may still miss our partner desperately, the human body and spirit also needs nourishment. Allow yourself the wide range of emotions that you may be feeling and don’t be hard on yourself. Perhaps there is a close friend, or even a counselor, that you may be able to share your feelings with at this time.

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