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Dating a Widower: 5 Things You Should Know

Dating a Widower: 5 Things You Should Know

Dating a widower is not like dating a single man, or even a divorced man, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a rewarding experience. 

When someone loses their partner, they’re thrust into a whole new chapter they were never expecting to experience. Adjusting to this new life takes time.

However, once they’ve processed their grief they may want to find love again.

If you find yourself forming a relationship with a widower, here’s what you should be aware of.

5 Thing You Should Be Aware Of if You’re Dating a Widower

1. He might not be ready to date

As a widower, your potential partner is probably going through a lot, particularly if they lost their spouse recently. 

While there’s no set time for processing grief, it’s important that you don’t begin dating him until he’s had the chance to understand his partner’s death properly. Otherwise, you risk entering a relationship too soon, and that won’t be healthy for either of you.

If you’re worried that he’s rushing into a relationship with you, keep an eye out for signs that he’s not ready.

Maybe he avoids meeting your friends, dodges questions about defining your relationship, and doesn’t want to go on dates in public with you. If you notice these things happening, talk to him about it. 

Be patient, understanding of his relationship anxiety, and give him space to grieve. If it’s meant to be, your paths will cross again in the future.

2. If he’s ready to date, take it slow

If he’s ready to date, it’s still important for you two to pace your relationship. So be patient with each other and take each step in your relationship slowly, from being intimate to introducing him to your friends and family. 

While taking things slow like this may feel frustrating, it’s key when you’re dating a widower. So instead of feeling annoyed at the pace of your courtship, enjoy getting to know each other slowly. 

Many couples rush past the courting stage of dating and jump straight into a serious relationship. 

This means they miss out on the magic moments that happen when you’re dating someone new. Things like holding hands for the first time, feeling first date butterflies, or making each other laugh.

These memories only happen once and treasuring them can be truly fulfilling. So make the most of them instead of racing towards the future. 

3. He might still love his late wife

When you start dating a widower, it’s important to understand that he might still have feelings for his late wife. Studies show that while these feelings may change, they may never go away. 

Of course, he can still move on with someone new, but her memory will always be there, and you need to be ok with that. 

We all have a romantic history and being open with potential partners about our past is important.

It doesn’t mean you don’t care for your new partner, it just means that you’re secure enough in your new relationship to reveal your past. That’s pretty amazing.  

So be patient and try not to be jealous of any attention he pays her. Instead, encourage him to talk about his feelings and share his story.

4. His kids might not be thrilled to meet you

While dating a widower can feel complicated, dating one with kids can feel even more so. 

Children are protective of their parents and it’s only natural for them to be cautious about their parent dating. Try to remember that it’s not about you personally, it’s about what you represent. 

If they’re young, avoid giving them the impression that you want replace their mother. 

If they’re grown up, show them that you care for their father and that you only have good intentions. That way, they won’t worry about him getting hurt. 

Proceed carefully and give it time. If your relationship lasts and you continue to show them that you love their dad, they’ll come around.

5. It’s ok to put your needs first

Dating a widower comes with its own set of challenges, and it’s not for everyone. 

If you’re unhappy, you shouldn’t stay with someone, no matter their history. You need to have your own needs met too.

If you do decide to step away from the partnership, be honest with your partner about your reasons for doing so. 

Explain to him that you need something different than what he’s able to give you right now. Tell him that you understand his position and that you don’t hold any negative feelings towards him. 

If you’re about to start a relationship with a widower, tred carefully, and keep our advice in mind. 

Accept them for who they are, recognize their past, and embrace everything that comes with it. By doing so, you’ll be laying down a fantastic foundation for a new beginning together.

Learning the Dynamics of Dating a Widower

You might meet a man who checks all of your boxes. He’s attractive, secure, smart, witty, and more, but he’s also something else. He’s a widower. What do you need to know about dating this man?

Presuming that the marriage was relatively happy, and even if it wasn’t, he may still be grieving. This does not mean that he’s not ready to date. For many widowers, the grief can last for the rest of their lives, but they know that being alone forever is not an option. Or maybe he has children or other family members encouraging him to get back out there.

The fact of the matter is, he may be trying to date, but he’s really just not ready. Learning how to recognize whether this perfect man is ready to meet you may save you from a painful breakup. Here are some tips for determining whether your widower is ready to date or just testing the waters. 

Making Plans – Widowers who are still grappling with their emotions will have a difficult time committing to plans. They may feel guilty, or they’re second-guessing their decision to date. On the other hand, if they seem excited about meeting you, it may be because they’re ready to make the next move. 

Active Contact – This is general advice for all relationships, but it applies even more so to widowers. If you notice that you’re always making contact and get very little in the way of response, it may be because they aren’t comfortable dating yet. The best thing to do is to back away and reapproach a few days later. This will give them the time to consider what they want from you. 

Just Friends – Many widowers will state in their dating profiles that they are just looking for friendship. They recognize that they aren’t ready for a romantic relationship, but they know that they need to connect with people again. This is a big step for the widower, but it may not be what you’re looking for. 

They’re on a Dating Site – A lot of widowers come to SilverSingles, set up a profile, and don’t open the page again for a while. That’s fine. We understand the grieving process, and joining SilverSingles is a big step. If you’re considering dating a widower that you meet on SilverSingles, understand that the fact that they’ve matched with you is a sign of their readiness. 

It’s perfectly appropriate to ask a widower if they’re sure they’re ready to date, especially if you’re considering them as a romantic interest. Just remember that they might not answer honestly because they may not know themselves. 

How to Navigate Emotions

Losing a spouse will test the strongest person. Some emotions are common, and all widowers feel them. Others are specific to the situation. Here are some of the emotions that grieving spouses feel. 

    Not all emotions are rational or normal for the situation. However, you should assume that they’re genuine and coming from an honest place. If you are dating a widower, it’s important for you to encourage them to deal with their emotions. This may mean attending a support group or seeing a counselor. Remember that you may be a part of a widower’s new life, and you can support them, but you aren’t a cure. Unresolved emotional issues can destroy what would be an otherwise promising relationship. Helping them seek a path to clarity will not only help heal another human being, but it could also help to build your relationship. 

    Honoring the Past While Building a Future

    One of the biggest mistakes a new love can make is to try to erase the memory of the old love. It rarely works and often leads to resentment. If a widower was married for a while, his past is part of who he is. He may be proud of the spouse he had, the home he built, and the children he raised. He has memories that he has the right to keep alive. 

    But it’s also important to focus on the present and future. If you’re serious with a widower, you have the right to build your life together — assuming that he’s ready. As a newer partner, it’s essential that you help them understand how to celebrate the past without jeopardizing their future. You’re also going to need to determine your own comfort level with past memories. It may be that you don’t feel like you can date someone who had a happy past with another person. If you can, it may be worth a discussion as to what you should expect. 

    Keep in mind that dates are often important to a widower. He may ask for space on his departed spouse’s birthday, the date of death, or their anniversary. If it’s just a few days per year, it’s a reasonable request. If it seems too much, find out if there’s room for compromise. 

    Embrace the opportunity and become part of SilverSingles senior dating app today—a cherished platform for seniors seeking love and companionship.

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