My mom passed away a year ago, after a rather long illness. My dad was her constant caregiver, and almost never left her side.
Shockingly, he has already started dating. I am not sure that I am comfortable with him starting the dating scene. I feel that he is being disloyal to Mom’s memory.
To make matters worse, I can’t stand his new girlfriend. She is way too young for him, and dresses like a tramp.
She has tried to be nice to me, I’ll admit, but I have nothing to say to her. What is there to possibly talk about?
How do I tell him that I don’t like the fact that he is dating? Or, if I grit my teeth and handle him dating at all, how do I let him know that I don’t approve of this new girl?
I guess it goes without saying that I really love him, and I want the best for him, and for him to be happy.
Signed, Concerned Daughter
Dear Concerned Daughter,
Your feelings are understandable. However, I am really glad that you wrote, because it will give you a chance to view this situation from a different perspective.
First of all, your dad has probably been very sad and lonely for a while. He is hoping that he can be happy and have fun again.
If you try to look at it from that perspective, it may be easier for you to handle the idea of him dating. Truly, it is not being disloyal to your mom for him to desire to go out again.
Now, as far as his choice of women, that one may be a bit tougher for you to handle. But this is really his decision and not yours. You should do your best to be nice to whoever he dates, as long as she treats your dad well.
As for the current date, you talk about the same things that you talk to any new acquaintance about. You can talk about your jobs, or your pets, or where you both lived when you grew up, for example.
Once you relax, you will find the conversations will flow much more easily.
As you noted, what you really want is for your dad to be happy. So, cut him some slack, and let him have a good time without having to worry about you and your hurt feelings.
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