Widower Wednesday: Testing the Water

Marrying a Widower update: I’ve gone through and selected the stories I’m using for the book but haven’t sent out any notifications emails because I’m in the process of editing a few of them. So if you haven’t heard back from me, don’t worry. You should have the email about your story this weekend.

Also, I got the bloodied manuscript back from the editor on Monday. I’ll finish up rewriting the manuscript based on her suggestions tonight then send it off to a handful of beta readers (who are all married to widowers) for their input. The book is still on track for publication sometime in April.


The other day I got an email from a GOW whose widower just asked her to move in with him. Though she loved the man and wanted the relationship to move forward, she was hesitant to start living with him because of the way the widower made the request. He said living together would be a good test to see how compatible they really were. The fact that the widower felt the need to test out living together instead of using it as a stepping stone toward marriage made the GOW pause. She asked if his desire to test things out was a red flag she should be concerned about.

You can’t test a lifelong commitment or try out unconditional love. Either people know the relationship is going to work or they don’t. And it doesn’t take living together for months or years to figure it out if two people are compatible. I knew within a few weeks of dating Krista that I could be happy spending the rest of my life with her. With Marathon Girl I knew on the second or third date that she was the one for me. I never had the desire to “test” the relationships because I knew that I could be happy spending my life with either of them. Maybe others don’t know that fast, but a good chunk of my married friends (male and female) knew they could be happy with their eventual spouses within two or three months of dating. They may not have rushed to get married after that realization but there wasn’t any doubt in their minds that that had found someone they could be happy with for the rest of their lives. Of my friends who choose to live together before tying the knot did it more out of convenience or to spend more time together—not because they weren’t sure if things were going to work out.

Widowers who want to live together as some sort of test drive are expressing their true doubts and concerns about the long-term potential of the relationship. If you’re going to start living together there shouldn’t be any doubt in either of your minds that you can see yourself spending the rest of your lives together. Love and commitment don’t need to be tested. They’re either part of a relationship or they aren’t. So unless you have your own misgivings about the relationship, moving in with a widower as a test drive isn’t a good idea.