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When To Open Up About My Father’s Death


When To Open Up About My Father’s Death



Hi, Miss A,

I have a very serious question which my friends seem to have no real answers to. Nine month ago, my father, the greatest man in the world, passed away suddenly. We were very close and it was a huge shock to everyone. To make a tragic situation even worse, my boyfriend of six months broke-up with me two weeks later because it was “more than he could handle.” I have not talked to him since.

After months of grief counseling to come to terms with the death of my father and the horrible end to my relationship I’ve healed a lot and know I am a stronger person. I know that I am better off without my EX in my life and I know that not all men will abandon me when faced with Real Life. I know my Father would want me to dust myself off and continue living life to the fullest!

Now, after months of taking a break from dating and not even thinking about dating period, I recently hit it off with a friend of a friend and we have gone out on two amazing and lovely dates. We even have a fun group BBQ planned for 4th of July weekend that I am really looking forward to.

My question is, when do you think it is appropriate to tell him about the death of my father and my ex-boyfriend. I haven’t told him yet because it has not come up in conversation but if things continue to progress as I would like, I know I need to tell him eventually. I’m torn because I don’t want him to think I have serious baggage or that I am damaged goods with crazy issues but I also don’t want to wait too long and seem as if I am hiding anything or I don’t trust him.

This is something very serious and emotional for me. I want to be able to open-up and share my life story with him, but I am afraid of how he might view me afterwards. There is a possibility he could run away too. When and how do you think I should tell him?

Thanks so much, I’d really appreciate your advice!

Dating, Dads and Death

Dear Dating, Dads and Death,

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I can’t even imagine how hard that must be, especially while you are still so young and should have had so much more time with him. I appreciate your writing in, and I agree that this is something you should be able to share with the man in your life.

It’s hard to give a precise time when you should be able to tell the guy you’re seeing about losing your father. Just as you wouldn’t necessarily tell every new friend (male or female) the details of your loss and grief until a solid friendship was established, I don’t think you should delve into something that serious and personal until he opens up to you and you develop some trust and have seen some caring from him.

As for the part about your ex-boyfriend not being able to hang in there and support you through the grief, I think you’d be better off leaving that part out. Leave your ex in the past where he belongs. This has no bearing on your current situation. Certainly, it’s a disappointment that your ex left you in a time of need, but that just shows that there were deeper underlying issues in your relationship which you may or may not have been aware of, or he would have stuck around. 

This new man is not your exboyfriend. Likely if you were to tell him, he’d say the requisite “That’s awful. I would never do that to you,” but really, what does that mean? Nothing. Actions speak louder than words. In time, you’ll see if this new guy is supportive and understanding. Don’t bring it up, and make him apologize for what another guy did to hurt you. It’s not fair, and again, time will tell.

I wish you the best. Please write in again, and let me know if this advice was helpful.

– Miss A


In 2008, I launched AskMissA.com which grew from my personal blog into a site with 700 writers, covering the intersection of charity & lifestyle in 20 U.S. cities. With Charity + Life, I am going back to a personal blog where I can share my favorite things, and continue to shine a light on nonprofits, and cause marketing campaigns to inspire others to give as they live.

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