6 tips on dating a widower

Though many widowers can’t fully heal from their trauma for a long time, it’s usually time for them to move forward at some point. If you are interested in dating a widower, then you might already know that it’s not simple: there are lots of topics you should avoid and lots of things you should learn to cope with. To date a widower, you should understand him completely and be aware of what a relationship with a traumatized man can be like.

Once you fall in love with somebody, it is natural to start thinking it will last forever. Unfortunately, the loss of a spouse is not uncommon. Having gone through such a traumatic experience, many decide not to get into a 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 a new experience. The overwhelming feeling of loneliness that appears when you are suddenly left alone, is a bothersome 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 to find 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. 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

a young woman taking a selfie while hugging a sad man

Grieving is not a 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 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 to go on a date. But the feeling of it being too 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 that makes mistakes, it’s just the feeling of overwhelming grief coming back.

Widowers also tend to decide they are cheating on their late wives. They feel they are being disapproved of 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.

2. Widowers often prefer widows

Don’t take this idea as a personal offence. Not being widowed doesn’t lower your chance of getting the 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 the 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 an insight into the vulnerability. They see sensibility not as a weakness but as a way to let emotions out and get a 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 communicating early in life and then if 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. They have not been dating apps back in 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 a 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 a desire for a long-term commitment. Here widowed men dating over 30 show themselves from two drastically different sides. On one hand, a loss of significant other influences the will of avoiding being alone for too long. When your beloved who you 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 neither necessarily the perfect match for him, nor may he 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

a couple on a date at the restaurant

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 they 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 get 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.

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 the 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 that listen.

Especially if you are the first person dating a widower after his loss, he might share a lot of his feelings 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, which will lead the topic away from dwelling in memories.

6. Discuss the future

a couple having a beautiful date on a beautiful background

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 at that point you can understand you don’t actually suit each other.

If your idea is to be 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 a 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 a romantic commitment with. Remember, that having a child can affect future plans and take them into consideration.

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