6 tips on dating a widower

Once you fall in love with somebody, it is natural to start thinking it will last forever. Unfortunately, loss of a spouse is not uncommon. Having gone through such traumatic experience, many decide not to get into relationship again. Fear of losing somebody you are strongly attached to grows from the depth of one’s heart and can be easily understandable.

Others might decide on filling the aching void by jumping straight into new relationships, drowning the grief in new experience. Overwhelming feeling of loneliness, that appears when you are suddenly left alone, is a bothering obstacle that prevents a person from leading their regular life. Being eager to overcome it is quite natural and there is no right way of getting better when you just lost your significant other.

If somebody chooses finding salvation in romance and dating, it should be accepted as a desire to move on. It doesn’t imply forgetting the late spouse. The feelings you once felt can’t easily be removed from your heart and memory. But it shouldn’t be the reason for rejecting any idea of leading a further life.

If you are the woman who happens to commit to a relationship with a widower, you should be aware it is hard for both of you at first. Do not be turned away by this fact, accept a man you are with, be patient and wise.

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Most likely you will face a lot of difficulties, but if it’s a man who truly is your soulmate, dealing with all the hardships will be worth it. First you need to accept the fact that his ex is a perfect woman. The fact is that when a loved one dies, we forget all his shortcomings and flaws, and remember only the good things. Therefore, she passes into the category of women without flaws. He will subconsciously look for a woman who could be like his wife, and compare new women with her. And this will be the first and most important challenge you have to win. There is no place for any competition between you and his former mate who passed away.

To build a relationship with a widower, once again, you need enormous patience and a share of creativity. He will be your first struggle, but his relatives and friends who remember stories and recall memories related to his deceased wife, will be there too. Your call here is to comfort everyone, including yourself, and let no drop of comparison.

We gathered 6 facts that will help you understand, what a widowed man goes through and therefore ease the communication and understanding between you.

1. Sometimes it might not be the right time yet

Grieving is not the process that is easily controlled. There is no time frame for it. Feelings take various shapes and forms, so there is no common way of getting over it. You may meet men who rush to get romantic attachments weeks after they lost their spouse. They might have loved their wives dearly, but turning out to be abandoned all of a sudden makes them accelerate events. On the other hand, some men tend to stay away from serious commitments for years.

Statistics show that men are more likely to force actions. It doesn’t usually take widowers a long time before they get back into dating. Being only a few weeks into their widowhood they are already eager to find a woman who eventually will cure their heartache. This term is not nearly enough to actually be ready for making emotional bonds.

At the same time, men often times decide on starting going on dates due to society pushing them. People around have good intentions advising going on. But nobody else rather than a man himself can judge whether the time has come or not. Sadly, there is no other way to check the waters than going on a date. But feeling of it being to soon may appear right when a woman waves her hand in a greeting sign.

If it comes to you that your new partner might not feel right about dating you, a temporary break is a good idea. Don’t feel guilty, you are not responsible for what the person feels, you can’t force the idea of loving you instantly in somebody’s mind, especially if a man has already experienced strong affection to a woman before. Usually it’s not a new passion who makes mistakes, it’s just the feeling of an overwhelming grief coming back.

Widowers also tend to decide they are cheating on their late wives. They feel they are being disapproved for even thinking about filling the emptiness in their heart with love again. Don’t push it and wait patiently, if you are dating a widower, it will eventually get better, especially if you stick around.

Perfect timing for a relationship with a widowed man is a year or two after the death of his former spouse. Then most of the pain will subside, and you won’t be just a shoulder to cry on. In addition, it is better to share a place together in some other space or area, not where he lived with his ex. You don’t want everything to remind him about the loss.

2. Widowers often prefer widows

Don’t take this idea as a personal offence. Not being widowed doesn’t lower your chance of getting a heart of a widowed man. But there is a valuable reason behind widowers dating widows.

  1. There is nobody who truly understands your issues than people who went through the same trouble themselves. A man and a woman, who both lost their significant other remember what it felt like to live with a trauma of not having your beloved near anymore. They both went through all stages of accepting the inevitable. They know what it takes to get to a point where you are prepared enough to let another person come as close as their late spouse did.
  2. Another thing that makes widows date widowers is insight into the vulnerability. They see sensibility not as a weakness but as a way to let emotions out and get response from the source which has gone through the same loss. A non-widowed woman might react with jealousy when the topic touches the lost wife of her partner. It might be hard to ease into conversations and anecdotes about the relations that your date cannot return. A widow, on the other hand, not only accepts it easily, but also will see it as a chance of finally getting to share the emotions contained inside for a long time with somebody as sensible to the topic. That’s why it’s easier for them to be dating a widower.

3. Don’t expect too much

By the time you start dating a widower, he might be out of the dating scene for decades. Building a new relationship is not the ability that comes naturally, you get used to romantically communicate early in life and then, if a marriage happens, you don’t practice this previously achieved skill.

At the same time the world around changes, so do women and their expectations from men. What was acceptable and common before might not be the case now. When you are out of the game for years, it’s natural not to follow new tendencies. Their have not been dating apps back into those days, people used to meet each other on social occasions and get close by real conversation.

Now that the internet has taken over the dating industry a man may be willing to try the source that hasn’t been available ever before. 

But single desire to join dating doesn’t imply understanding how to use it. Especially a person who is not used to internet associations might not get it right straight away.

Not expecting too much also implies to desire of long-term commitment. Here widowed men show themselves from two drastically different sides. On one hand, losing a significant other influences the will of avoiding being alone for too long. When your beloved who you are used to be around with is no longer near, it’s not surprising to decide you need a replacement. This should be a red flag both for the widower and the woman he’s dating because it warns about not being ready for a contribution to a new love. It’s just the wish to get what you are used to again.

At the same time, if the grief is still strong, a serious commitment might be too much. It’s normal for a man to try filling the time dating without any serious intentions, because it allows a feeling of being needed and less lonely. But you are not necessarily the perfect match for him, neither he may be for you. Keeping on looking is normal and wandering around for a while until actually finding interest in somebody is necessary, that’s why if you are dating a widower, do not expect marriage to be the only consequence of your relations.

4. Expect being compared

It is definitely not the easiest part about dating a widower. You are going to be constantly compared to the late spouse, especially if they lived together for long and had a common child. It is not made out of necessity or bad will. It’s just that they have already had an example of a perfect match near them and now the wish to find a woman as good is subconsciously getting out.

Your task is not being equally good in every matter. Be yourself, show your best sides and qualities, it is generally enough to attract a man. Being fake and pretending you are somebody else can not last forever. At some point you will get tired of a mask you have to wear. Same as it will not be pleasant for a man to find out you have been acting like his late spouse just for the sake of getting him.

The red flag, though, is the moment you realise that a widower attempts on changing you and getting rid of parts of your identity in order to make you look and act as his wife. You should be loved the way you are as you are not the imitation of somebody else. If a man is trying hard to change parts of you, maybe, going on is still not an option for him and a break can solve this problem. If this doesn’t help at all, remember, you are not guilty of not having a man like you. There are still options for you to look at.

Also, prepare yourself to the problems with children if he has any. After losing their mother, children always suffer the most, because it is impossible to replace such an important figure in their lives. A bright image of mother remains with them forever, but they can accept another woman and feel attached to her. Still, it takes a lot of time and work.

The biggest problem awaits you if there are teenagers in the family, especially the eldest daughter. She already understands everything and for her a new father’s relationship are seen as a betrayal of a mother and her memory. In addition, if she was sick before death the daughter surely takes the position of the housekeeper after her loss. She begins to take care of younger children or father. You need to have patience and understanding, be careful and gentle. If you're dating a widower, you almost always come into the already structured family. Sometimes it takes time to deal with all the troubles and misunderstandings, but with enough compassion you will definitely succeed.

5. Don’t be your date’s psychologist

People often tend to use their significant other as a person they share all joys and sorrows with. Such was a wife of your current date, so you might get overwhelmed by the amount of information a widower gives you. Maybe he actually had nobody to come to with problems occurring, so you just happen to be the only ears which listen.

Especially if you are the first person dating a widower after his loss, he might share a lot of his feeling of guilt. It should go away soon, after a date or two, as a man is getting used to a new status. Be confident, show that you are comfortable being around, it will help accept the situation faster.

On the other hand, it is an issue if your date talks about his past relationship all the time you are together.

  • You are not supposed to serve as a therapist, even if you are a good listener and understand a need to share;
  • You are building something new, so your meetings are a chance of getting to know each other better, find out how much you have in common or how well you fit each other;
  • Focus on yourself, ask more questions about your date personally, that will lead the topic away from dwelling in memories.

6. Discuss the future

It as well is a good way to get to know each other better. It doesn’t imply discussing the common future you want to see, because your relationship might not have got to the page yet where it is acceptable to plan things together. But it’s perfectly normal to learn more about each other’s intentions, as even on that point you can understand you don’t actually suite each other.

If your idea is in being active, travel, learn new things and your partner is a home-lover, who doesn’t like being away for long, you are not matching.

This is just one example to give a general idea of what is meant and other things are of great value depending on your personal state of mind. But seeing eye to eye in terms of the future is a crucial part of building serious relationship, while the lack of it can ruin even the deepest feelings. Be honest and ask your date for honesty - it’s the best policy to start romantic commitment with. Remember, that having a child can affect future plans and take it into consideration.