'My wife died and I’m ready to move on – but I don’t know how'

It’s time once again for our weekly Sex Column, our regular series where experts advise struggling daters on navigating the sticky world of romance.

Last week, we helped someone who worried their partner no longer finds them attractive.

This week we hear from a widower who wants to move on but is scared of hurting his daughters’ feelings. They are worried he will marry the wrong person and their mum will be forgotten.

Should he never marry again? Or should he start to date but not tell them until there’s something serious?

Let’s see if there’s a solution…

The problem:

My wife died three years ago and even though friends keep telling me to get someone else in my life, I’m finding it really hard to move on.

I’m not yet 50 so I’d like to think I still have a few years to offer someone and (so friends tell me) I’m a presentable, personable bloke.

I’m embarrassed to admit it but I’ve used escorts occasionally, just to fulfil my sexual needs. I’m ashamed of myself each time but it feels amazing to be with someone, even if only for an hour.

While I long for something more permanent, I have two daughters, aged 25 and 23, and I know they aren’t keen on the idea of me meeting another woman who might replace their mother in my affections.

They’re worried some young “floozy” will get hold of me and take away their inheritance, even though I’ve told them that will never happen. They’re no longer at home but visit regularly.

I still work and play golf at the weekends, so I fill as much time as I can. But nothing can beat the feeling of making love and waking up next to someone.

‘Friends offer to fix me up but I put them off. I’m torn this way and that by people who offer me different advice and I don’t want to upset the girls.

What the expert says:

Of course you deserve to love and be loved but don’t overthink things – you haven’t even had a date yet, never mind had time to fall in love, get married and disinherit your children.

For now, let your friends fix you up or join a dating site, and just enjoy the company of women.

As for escorts, paid-for sex is rarely fulfilling long term and you owe it to yourself to meet someone who genuinely cares about you.

Try to be sympathetic to your daughters’ feelings, which are only human nature. The right woman will understand how they feel and, over time, hopefully become a friend to them but never a replacement for their mum, who will always hold a special place.

With regard to your estate, speak to a lawyer about drawing up a will that makes sure your girls are provided for.

And remember, marriage automatically revokes any existing will, so in the event of a serious relationship developing, it’s important to make a will ‘in contemplation of marriage’, or that post any marriage, you rewrite your will to ensure your intentions stay the same.

Reassure your daughters that you will do this but be firm with them both – they have their own lives and you must have yours.

As you say, you have much to offer and I’m absolutely sure your late wife would want you to be happy.

Laura Collins is a counsellor and columnist.

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