From the inbox (shared with permission):
Last month I called things off with my widower I’d been dating for a year (his wife has been gone two-and-a-half years) because I was tired of feeling like I was never as good as his dead wife. Today, out of the blue, I got a text from him saying he wants to talk about getting back together. I still have feelings for this man but am really conflicted about whether I should even respond to his text. I believe in giving people second chances but I’ve read enough horror stories on your blog and other sites that I don’t want to become his “Go To” girl just because he’s lonely or wanting sex. I only want to get back to him if he’s serious about making me number one in his life. How do I know if he’s serious? Should I respond to his text or just ignore it? Please help!
As you know, I caution against getting back together with widowers after the relationship ends because in most cases the widowers don’t want to change. In most cases, they’re just looking for some companionship to help ease the pain and pass the time.
So how can you know if a widower is serious about making you numero uno or hoping to snare you back in his web?
If a widower is halfway serious about getting back together, he’d do more than just text. Yes, I know that texting is a convenient method of communication but it’s also lazy and impersonal—especially when he’s asking to talk about getting back together. You deserve more than a couple of sentences sent to your phone. I would think that someone who halfway serious would at least call, send flowers, or get on his hands and knees and ask for a second chance.
But say he calls or send you a dozen roses and act serious about wanting to get back together. What then? Well, I’d take things really slow and see if his words and actions align. If there were photos of her up on the wall, they better be down next time you go home. If her clothes are in the closet, they better be gone next time you’re in his bedroom. If he can’t stop talking about her or verbally comparing you with her, they better stop the next time he talks to you. Otherwise, he’s just taking you for a ride of the Dating a Widower Rollercoaster.
That being said, the only reason Marathon Girl and I are together was because she gave me a second chance. (And, no, I didn’t text her and ask for a second chance. It was done face to face.) But that second chance came with a lot of strings attached. I was told in no uncertain terms that if I screwed up again, she was walking away from our relationship and there was never going to be another date, returned phone call, or even a polite acknowledgement if our paths were ever to cross. Since I wanted to have a serious relationship with her, I did everything I could to let her know through actions and words that I was serious about moving forward with her.
In the end whether or not to give him a second chance is something that you’re going to have to decide. Based on what I know of your situation, I’d wait for more than a text before even engaging him in conversation. Be strong and wait for a sign that he’s serious. If he really wants you back, he’ll have to do more than simply type on his phone and hit the Send button.