Widower Wednesday: Traveling with a Widower

Just a reminder to anyone who wants their dating a widower story to be considered in my upcoming book, you have until May 13 to submit a story. I’ve received a bunch of great entries so far and think that your additions will really take this book to the next level. I’ve read through all of them so far and will be making final decisions before June.


An issue I’m seeing more and more often in my inbox deals with traveling with a widower. A woman recently emailed me and expressed her frustration that the widower wanted to take her on a week-long trip to Europe. The problem wasn’t that the widower wanted to take her on a trip overseas but that they’d be staying in the same hotels and visiting a lot of the same places that the W and the LW regularly visited together. The fact that they’d be doing so many things that the W and LW did that the woman felt like it wasn’t going to be “their” trip but a trip to relive times with the late wife. For the most part this woman felt like the W did a good job of making her #1 but felt that trip was making her feel more and more like a third wheel. She wanted a trip where they could create new memories that could be theirs alone.

When MG and I were first dating, I ended up taking her to places that the LW and I frequented. The reason I chose these places wasn’t because I was trying to relive the past, but because I knew the place well enough that I could ensure that we could have a good time, food, etc. there. After we got more comfortable with each other we started exploring new places to visit and restaurants to eat at.

When I read these stories, I wonder if the widower is doing this for similar reasons. My gut tells me most widowers may just be comfortable visiting the places he’s visiting. It’s much easier to travel when you already know the good hotels to stay, places to visit, and restaurants to eat at. The only thing that might raise my eyebrows is if the widower’s trying to take you to the place he scattered the LW’s ashes, was married or honeymooned with the late wife, or other emotionally significant event. If’s it’s a regular vacation or business destination, I wouldn’t be as concerned.

So what’s the best way to handle this?

My suggestion is to tell the widower how you feel about making the trip just like the one he and the LW and suggest maybe he change things up a little. For example are there different cities you could visit or different hotels to stay at or restaurants to eat. Maybe even do some research before hand and give him some suggestions so it doesn’t appear that you’re whining but excited to take a trip with him. I’m not saying the entire trip has to be different but add enough new elements that it feels like you’re exploring or staying at places for the first time together.

Most widowers who are ready to start a new life should understand your feelings and be open to making some changes. After all, starting a new life means creating new memories. Hopefully he’s not so stuck in his ways that a different experience is something he’d be open to.