You’ve met an amazing man, he makes your heart flutter, and whenever he’s around, you can’t stop smiling!
You’re developing feelings towards this man and believe he could be “the one.”
So, why does “women dating a widower” freak people out so much? Inevitably, people that have lost the one they love are allowed to eventually find love again, aren’t they?
The main question ringing in your mind is: is this man ready to move on?
Read on to find out what signs you need to look out for to know if your dream man is dating ready or if he needs more time to heal.
What do I need to know about dating a widower?
Dating a widower may seem daunting. You may feel like you can’t compete with their prior spouse and worry about feeling like second best!
When relationships end due to changed feelings or the fact you’ve grown apart, it’s hard, but you learn to move on. That person may have been right for you once-upon-a-time, but they aren’t right for you anymore.
What widowers go though is an entirely different experience. They loved their partner but lost them, and now they’re contemplating life without them in it.
Don’t freak out and think the worst! A widower won’t have taken the decision to start dating again lightly, so don’t discredit them.
Below are my top tips on what you need to know when you start dating a widower. Read on to find out!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Their spouse was a massive part of their lives and helped shape it for the better. Although mentioning former partners comes with a large lump of awkwardness, not mentioning them at all will inevitably lead to added confusion.
Although It’s not advisable to go on a question frenzy- don’t be afraid to talk about their late wife. A few questions show that you understand his situation, and you’re interested in his past.
Learning about each other is vital to finding the right partner for you. Don’t ever be too afraid to ask that question that’s bugging you- as long as you keep it respectful, they should be okay about it.
Don’t rush them
Getting to know someone doesn’t have to be a rushed experience. In this day-and-age people seem in such a hurry to enter into relationships.
For widowers, it’s best to take it slow and allow the relationship to progress at a slow and steady pace. Don’t be disheartened if they seem distracted or emotional, give this man a chance and take your time with them.
If you like them, then it’s best to follow your heart and allow them to follow theirs. The road to relationship happiness doesn’t have to happen in days, weeks, or months.
Instead, you should allow it to develop at a pace that you’re both comfortable with.
The dating world is new and scary for them, so be patient and understanding towards them. Stay calm, keep talking, and remember that slow and steady wins the race!
Give them a chance
They think they’re ready for a relationship, so don’t dismiss them without giving them a chance. We all have baggage, and we all dislike being judged for this.
Death happens, it sucks, but there’s nothing we can do about it. Letting something good go because it’s a bit awkward means you could be missing out on something that has amazing potential!
Love is hard to find, so if you feel a connection between this man, then take the time to see how it develops.
Let them work through the thoughts in their head and, if needed, help them to work through them.
Unless there are some major red flags, then don’t be quick to let them go- you may well live to regret it!
Don’t let jealousy get in the way
You’re not his former spouse, and this is okay. Comparing yourself to a dead person is a sure-fire way to send yourself loopy!
Yes, they will talk about their late wife lovingly- we all have memories that we look back on fondly. So, it’s normal that they’ll bring some of these up.
They must feel comfortable around you to bring up their past- so take it as a compliment.
Don’t let jealousy ruin something great. Their late wife was their past, and he’s never going to forget about her, but the fact he’s dating you means he wants to move on and be happy again.
You’re a new chapter in his life, and although the previous chapters are important, all the chapters are needed to shape the end of the story.
What do you say to a widower?
So, you’ve started talking to a widower, whether it be on a friendly or romantic level, and they want to meet up.
Suddenly, you start to freak out! What on earth do you say to a widower?!
Don’t panic! Instead, take a deep breath and read on to find out what’s acceptable to say to them and what you should avoid saying at all costs!
Be sympathetic and supportive
Showing empathy for people that are widowed is a great trait to have. Losing someone we love can be the loneliest feeling in the world, so just being there for someone can go along way.
Many people show support for a few weeks, but they soon go back to their normal lives, while this person is left in a limbo of grief.
Showing that you care and that you want to support them will be much appreciated.
Don’t pretend to know what they’re going through
One of the most annoying things anyone can ever say to someone grieving is as follows:
“I’ve never lost someone I love, but I can imagine how terrible it must be.”
The longing to tell them to stick their “words” where the sun doesn’t shine is overwhelming. NEVER pretend to know what someone is going through unless you’ve actually been through it yourself!
There is a fine line between being supportive and being patronizing.
Be there for them
If they need a shoulder to cry on, then be there for them. Understandably, you may struggle to know what to say to them, but sometimes it isn’t about words.
Give them your time because you want to, not because you feel like you have to. No one wants to feel like a burden.
If they choose to talk about their family, feelings, or past, then listen! The world can be a lonely place, and a little kindness can go along way.
Many strong relationships start off as solid friendships first- now, there’s food for thought!
Widowed folk aren’t aliens- they ‘re real, and they’ve been through a lot. They don’t need to be whispered about and gawped at, instead, they want you to treat them like human beings.
How long should a widower wait before dating?
Although there’s no set time limit for when a widower is ready to get back on the dating scene, there are signs you can look out for to get a grasp of if he’s truly prepared or not.
If you see any of these red flags, then he’s probably best to stay clear of him for now. Time is a great healer, but what can take one person a few months to work through in their mind, can make someone else years.
Follow these tips to make sure he’s ready for love and not just in denial that he is- no one wants to be a widowers rebound fling!
The right amount of time has passed
The grieving process has many twists and turns. Some widowers emotional wounds heal quicker than others. For some, they may be ready to date in around a year, while others may take far longer than this.
If he’s had enough time to grieve and he’s adamant that he’s ready to date, then it’s likely that he’s ready to move on.
If it’s only been a few months since his wife passed away, then run for the hills! This man is NOT ready, even if he says he is.
Think about it, if someone you loved died, would you be ready to invest in someone new after just a few months?
He may be a catch, but if he’s still going through the grieving process, then it will only end in tears for you both. Never settle for being anyone’s rebound fling!
He is proud to introduce you to his family and friends
This is the biggie! If he’s pleased to have you on his arm and introduce you to his family and friends, then he sounds like a keeper to me!
How his family and friends react is also a vital sign. If they’re hesitant to meet you, then this could be because they think he’s not ready.
Although they may find it hard seeing him with someone new, real friends will only want him to be happy.
If he’s open to introducing you to them and they’re friendly towards you, then it seems as though you’re headed for a bright future!
If he has children, then it’s natural for him to be more cautious about introducing you to them. Still, If he’s serious about you, then he will discuss his feelings with you and be honest about when he thinks it’s the right time for you to meet his kids.
Widower or not, it’s never okay to be someone’s secret, as you will end up feeling pretty rubbish about this. You deserve to be with someone who lets you shine, not hides you away from his friends and family! As red flags go, this is a big deal!!!
He makes “small” changes
If he makes “small” changes without any prompting, then this is a surefire sign that he’s serious about you.
When a widower is ready to move on with you, then it’s likely he will show this through a series of subconscious actions.
It might be that he mentions his late wife far less than he used to- it’s normal for him to still say her. After all, she was a big part of his life, but she doesn’t play on his mind as much as she once did.
Pictures of him with his late wife don’t take a central place on his walls anymore. You also notice that he’s put his wedding ring safely away in a drawer, rather than making you feel uncomfortable by continuing to wear it.
Look out for these “small” changes, as it’s the little things in life that tend to carry the most meaning behind them.
How to spot if a widower is remarrying for the right reasons?
Marriage is a big deal, they’re openly saying that they want to spend their lives with this person. Yes, they were married before, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t marry again!
If they’re willing to commit to you forever, then chances are they mean it. No widower wants to have his feelings questioned or be told that he’s just on the rebound.
For a widower, marrying again is a big deal, especially if he has kids, as it’s not just his feelings he has to consider.
We all just want to be happy, and chances are that he’s entering into marriage because he’s in love.
There will always be negative opinions or angry words from uncaring onlookers. Unless you genuinely feel in your heart that their names hold merit them ignore them and trust your gut!
He’s excited about your future together
He can’t stop talking about your future plans and the new life you’re planning together.
Yes, he might have a few reflective moments and not want yellow flowers at the wedding, as he had them before, but this is normal. This is a new chapter in his life, but this doesn’t mean he won’t give the occasional thought to his past.
If his face lights up every time he sees you and he’s working hard to make sure you have the wedding of your dreams, then it sounds like he’s ready to commit to you.
Dating a Widower: An Overview
Don’t talk yourself out of dating someone amazing because you’re afraid you can’t compete with his late wife.
It sucks that his wife died, but this doesn’t mean that she wouldn’t have wanted him to move on and find happiness with someone else. Don’t view her as the enemy because she isn’t.
Life is far too short for regrets, so live in the moment and follow your heart!