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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.