Widower Wednesday: Dating a Widower 101

I know that there are some people who have been following my blog for a long time while new readers are reading it for the first time. This Widower Wednesday post is for those who are new to this blog and/or dating a widower.  The purpose isn’t to discourage you from dating a widower. Instead, it’s to answer some of the basic questions that come when dating a widower and help you discern those widowers who are ready to start a new life and those who are still grieving. I call it “Dating a Widower 101.”

  • It’s normal for a widower to date weeks or months after his late wife’s death. Most men feel that their lives are broken without that special someone in their life. Dating is their way of “fixing” it. There’s nothing wrong with their desire to date again so quickly. Their timeframe may seem soon to you but it probably feels completely reasonable to them.
  • Just because a widower is dating, doesn’t mean he’s ready to move on or make a long-term commitment to you. Widowers – especially recent widowers – are happy to have someone in their life and will jump into relationships that they normally wouldn’t get involved in. Keep your eyes open for red flags and other warning signs that he’s not ready to move on.
  • Hold widowers to the same standards you expect for single or divorced men. If he treats you anything less than a queen, don’t put up with it. Grief is no excuse for bad behavior. If you tolerate their bad behavior, widowers will take full advantage of it and keep repeating the same behavior over and over again.
  • It’s natural to feel curious about the late wife and their life together. Don’t be afraid to ask him questions about it. Not only will this give you insight into his past and how well he’s moving on, it can also help open up lines of communication that can address other widower issues. Open communication is vital if the relationship is to have any chance of working out.
  • Widowers will get over their grief and move on when they find someone they want to start a new life with. They’ll take down shrines to the late wife, remove her clothes from the closet, sell their home or do whatever else it takes to make you feel like you’re number one in his heart. If he’s not showing signs of moving on, he’s probably not that into you. Consider moving on.
  • The best way to make sure the widower is ready to move on is to take the relationship slow. Widowers who aren’t ready to move on or are just looking for someone to keep them warm at night can only put on a façade for so long. If you’re patient, their true selves will eventually emerge. If they’re not ready you can get out of the relationship with minimal heartache.
  • Don’t be afraid to end the relationship you constantly feel like number two or the widower isn’t moving on. It’s hard to end things with someone you love. However, don’t get sucked into a relationship where you’re doing all the heavy lifting. It takes two people to make a relationship work. Not all widowers are ready to move on. Better to end things sooner rather than wasting months or years of your life with someone who isn’t ready to start a new life with you.
  • Dating a widower isn’t for everyone. If there are issues that come with dating a widower you can’t handle, don’t continue dating one. This doesn’t make you any less of a person. We all have thing that we can or can’t put up with in a relationship. If a dating a widower is you don’t want to deal with, don’t trick yourself into thinking you you’ll adjust. You won’t be able to. Instead your life will quickly become a living hell.
  • If you’re fortunate to date a widower who’s ready to make you number one in his heart, you’re in for a treat. Often this blog tends to focus on the negative aspects but I have received many success stories over the years. Widowers who are ready to start a new life generally don’t take life for granted. They realize how precious each moment in this life is and will make every moment with you special.

For those widowers and women dating widowers who have more experience dating a widower , is there anything else you want to add? Do so in the comments section below.