Widower Wednesday: Companionship vs. Relationships

Quick Dating a Widower book update: I received the final manuscript back from the proofreader this morning and final cover art back from the graphic designer a few days ago. All that’s left to be done is to get the type setting done for the paperback version and some uploading and device testing for the eBooks. Assuming that all goes well Dating a Widower should be available within the next two weeks.


A subject that came up on the Dating a Widower Facebook group last week was on was that of widowers who wants relationship vs. widowers who want companionship. I thought it was a great thread and thought I’d share my thoughts on the subject.

If you’re dating a widower, one of the first things you need to know is that not every widower is looking for a relationship. Some are simply looking for companionship. It’s important to realize this distinction because a lot of people assume that just because a widower has a profile on an online dating site or has otherwise entered the dating waters that he’s looking for the same kind of relationship that you are.

So what’s the difference?

Widowers who are looking for companionship just want someone to spend time with. They’ll string a woman along and tell her whatever he thinks she wants to hear just so she won’t leave. They’ll use her for a night, a week, a month, or more until she no longer fills his need then they’ll move on to their next conquest. Widowers looking for companionship are fully aware that they’re using women and stringing them along. They don’t care about the feelings or heart of the woman they’re dating. All they’re concerned about is plugging the big empty hole in their heart with anyone who they can sucker into spending time with them.

When I was dating Jennifer, I never really wanted a relationship with her—just companionship. (Read Room for Two if you don’t know the story.) However, I didn’t care about her feelings or that she thought the relationship was heading toward marriage when I fully knew it would never get that far. All I was concerned about was having someone to talk to and spend time with on occasion because it helped me feel that my life was back to normal. She was filling an emotional need and that’s all I cared about.

Widowers who are looking for a relationship want more than just a one night stand or someone they can use to gratify the big empty feeling in their heart. They actually care about the feelings of the person they’re dating and make that person the top priority in their life. They’re (usually) mentally and emotionally ready to start a new relationship with someone else. Once they fall in love with someone, they don’t have a problem letting their date know what kind of long-term relationship they’re looking for.

When I was dating Marathon Girl, my first concern was for her happiness and well being. Yes, it was nice to spend time with someone and have them at my side. However, it wasn’t my heart that I was concerned about but hers. I knew she had concerns about dating me but I was patient with her while she worked through her issues. More importantly I was willing and able to talk about the relationship I wanted with her. I wasn’t afraid to talk about long-term commitment, marriage, or where I saw the two of us in two months or the next year. I was always trying to find ways to move the relationship forward to the goal we both shared—marriage.

If you want to avoid being strung around by a widower, it’s important that you figure out as early as possible if the guy you’re dating is looking for a relationship or companionship. The best way to do that is to take your time before becoming emotionally or physically involved with him However, patience will pay off in the long run because those who just want companionship will eventually run out of patience and reveal their true intentions. They’ll have difficulty taking the relationship slow because you’re not fulfilling their emotional or physical needs.

Taking things slow can be a hard thing to do at first—especially if the two of you get along really good right off the bat. However, it’s the best way to out those who are just looking companionship. I know if Jennifer had pushed back or wanted to take things slow, I doubt our relationship would have become as serious as it did.

One thing to keep in mind is that even if the widower wants a relationship and is ready to make room in his heart for someone else—that person may not be you. It takes more than simply having the same relationships goals to make things work. Personality, shared interests, physical attractiveness, life goals, and thousands of other little things play into whether or not there’s a long term potential. However, most people can figure those things out on their own. It’s knowing whether a widower is interested in you or himself that takes time.