Widower Wednesday: Don’t Assume. Ask.

Widower Wednesday

A couple weeks ago I got an email from a GOW who was upset that her widower she had been dating about six months hadn’t done anything for Valentine’s Day. Instead of the flowers, card, and usual things she was used to on that day, the widower had simply sent her a text message telling her how much he loved and appreciated her. The GOW was upset that he hadn’t been more thoughtful on that day and wanted to know if the widower was ready to move on.

From a man’s point of view, the widower’s behavior seemed rather normal to me. Not every guy in the world is get-the-woman-he-loves-flowers kind of guy. And to be honest, most guys would do away with Valentine’s Day if they could. Not because they don’t like the spirit of what the holiday represents, but because they really don’t like the pressure of feeling like they have to do something.

In addition, adjusting from a married relationship a dating relationship with someone with different expectations doesn’t happen overnight. Maybe the widower and his late wife didn’t do anything on Valentine’s Day and so he wasn’t really thinking about what the new woman expected. I know that most of my relationship mistakes with Marathon Girl were because I was still used to doing things the way the late wife expected them to be done instead of the way Marathon Girl wanted things done.

Anyway, I asked the woman what reason he gave her for not doing what she wanted and that the whole thing sounded like an innocent mistake. A few days later I heard back from her and it turned out the entire thing was a misunderstanding. She hadn’t even brought the subject up with him until reading my email. When she did ask him, he told her he didn’t know what she wanted that day and thought the text message was sufficient.

I share this story because I’m seeing more and more examples in my inbox of something happening in a relationship and the GOW/WOW assuming the widower isn’t ready to move on or start a new relationship with them.

Please don’t assume this unless you have a factual reason for feeling that way. You can avoid a lot stress simply by asking the widower why he made a certain decision or why he said or acted in some way that you didn’t like.  There might be a simple explanation for it or maybe the widower simply didn’t know what you expect of him. We’re not mind readers. Maybe the widower isn’t really ready to move on but at least determine that before assuming that things are a certain way.

Relationships are a wonderful thing but they only last as long as both parties learn to communicate with each other. That can take a lot of work and effort in and of itself. If there are any worries or concerns, bring them up with the widower. It’s not always the easiest thing to do but it can pay big dividends in the long run.