Widower Wednesday: Let’s Be Friends!

Two emails with a common theme in this week’s Widower Wednesday Column. Here’s the first.

Hi Abel,

The widower I was dating for 6 months recently broke things off. Needless to say I was heartbroken. A few days after the breakup he called me up and asked if we could just be friends. Is it possible to just be friends with a widower or is this only going to lead to more heartache?


Hi N.,

When a widower wants to “just be friends” he’s looking for someone who can be there for emotional support, a booty call, or someone to hang around with occasionally without having to put in any effort on his part. He’s looking out for his needs—not yours. If that’s the kind of relationship you want, then go ahead and be “friends” with him. But if you’re looking for a relationship where you’re treated like a queen, it’s time to move on.

And here’s the second one:


I’m a recent widower who’s become friends with a recent widow. We’re in the friendship stage of things and that seems to suit us both just fine. Do you think it’s possible to maintain a platonic relationships as long as you consistently reaffirm boundaries or is it bound to lead to something more serious down the road.



It’s possible to just remain friends with someone of the opposite sex but it’s very difficult—especially if you’re spending a lot of time with that person and sharing a lot of personal information. At some point hormones and emotions kick in and someone will start to view the other person as something more than friends.

So a lot of it depends on how often you and the widow are seeing and communicating with each other. If you see each other each other once a week like at a support group, then you’re more likely to remain friends. However, if you’re texting/emailing/calling/seeing each other every day or several times a week, at some point something one or both of you are going to start see the relationship as something else.

Having a friendship turn into something more serious isn’t a bad thing (unless one or both of you are married to someone else). Just don’t trick yourself into thinking that it’s possible to maintain a platonic relationship if you spend a lot of time together.