Dear Gems from Jen,

I was fixed up with an adorable guy who just lost his wife 6 months before.  We date and sleep together but he constantly talks about his wife.  For three Saturdays in a row, we didn’t go out.  First Saturday, he had a family reunion, second Saturday, it was Valentine’s Day, which was a special holiday with his wife and the third Saturday, he said he had work to do for a play he was producing.  Instead of allowing him to break up with me, I broke up with him in a message over the phone.  I miss him – what should I do?  Forget him or call him?  We haven’t talked for 3 months.

Dear Still Mourning His Wife,

Mourning a loved one’s death is different for each person.  There are no hard and fast rules; however, there are stages people tend to go through until they get to a place most commonly known as acceptance.  The man you were involved with seems to have not yet reached the acceptance stage.  Why do I say that? Let me explain. You acknowledged that he was constantly talking about his wife.  He also was not able to spend Valentine’s Day with you because it was a day that was filled with memories of his late wife.

What is it you miss about him? If you knew this man was a widower, you believed he was going to break up with you, and the death of his wife occurred just months before you began dating him, what was it that you expected from this relationship? What would you like from him now, only a few months later? 

It sounds to me as if you were competing with an ingrained memory. I question if he could be fully invested in a relationship with you, after such a brief and incomplete period of mourning. I wonder how he feels about being told you no longer were interested in dating him via a phone message. This man has lost his wife and has now had another relationship end without any choice or input from him, all in less than a year.

My best suggestion would be to move forward and leave him in the past. Find someone who is emotionally available and can become invested 100 percent in a relationship with you. Everyone has memories, but some are harder to let go of than others.

Gems from Jen