People who have experienced bereavement should wait 22 months before embarking on a new relationship, according to participants in a new survey.
Support and advice charity Relate commissioned a poll of people who use Gransnet, a social networking site for the over 50s. Users were asked when they considered it appropriate to begin a new relationship after events such as bereavement and divorce.
Although participants believed 22 months was an acceptable amount of time before they moved on, those who had actually experienced bereavement waited much longer. In fact the average time taken before they began a new relationship was 44 months, twice the interval most considered appropriate.
Moving on after a divorce or separation was a different matter. On average, participants said someone in that situation should only wait 11 months before finding a new partner.
Gransnet users also worried about what their children would think. One in eight said they thought their children would rather they were alone than in a new relationship. Of those who started a new romance, 31 per cent said their children disapproved and a third of those said they had ended the relationship as a result.
Relate counsellor Christine Northam said the survey had given the charity “a very interesting insight into the challenges people face moving on romantically in later life”. Despite people’s attitudes, “every person and couple is unique, and that there are no fixed rules about how long it takes to get over things” she explained.