dating a widower

Dating a widower: is there a future?

Life is full of happy and grieving moments. Unfortunately, you never know who you meet next and with whom you will find your next relationship. A remarried widower is not a rare situation. However, not everyone can date a widower and cope with all the challenges of such relationships.  

If you have fears regarding your relationship with a widower, do not know if the game is worth the candles, and have no idea what it is required to overcome for a rebound relationship, keep reading until the very end and learn everything you may need to know about your life with a widower. 

How to date someone who lost his wife?

After someone’s wife has died, it is very difficult for a man to start living his own life. Building a family is not easy after your grief work, yet it is more than possible. No relationships are easy and a serious relationship with a widower isn’t an exception. Yes, you will need to overcome some unique challenges in the process of building your union but once you do that, your new life will be as wonderful as you wanted it. 

Of course, there are some rules in the process of building a relationship with a widower. Your “standard” approach will hardly work here. Not to make the biggest mistakes people usually make, check the rules below and try to analyze your relationship before you go further. See whether you are ready for such “victims” or not. 

dating a widower

Get ready to be patient 

You will face a lot of unique challenges when seeing a widower, so patience is what you need right now. No, it is not because your new crush is special but because everything may be ruined if you are too impatient. Below, you will find more information about it.

Be a good listener

You should communicate even if the process hurts. A widower doesn’t have his own life, he has his story. His past will always be a part of his present. Do not be adamant about his talks about his wife. For now, he just didn’t find anyone who would matter as much as she did. 

Be understanding

From time to time, every widower may be grieving and you should not blame him for that. It will pass over time but you are the one who must give him this time. 

Mood swings are ok 

If you raise certain emotions in your new partner, it’s normal if he has sudden mood changes at times. The more time passes, the fewer swings he will have. 

Do not judge him for being a widower

If someone lost his wife, it is not his fault at all. Thus, you should not see his story like that. His late wife is just a part of it and there will be a new stage. 

Give him a chance

A widower may never overcome his grief. It still doesn’t mean he cannot start enjoying his life again. 

Be open to the discussion

Psychologists, namely Abel Keogh, recommend talk therapy. To reach the desired results, both people need to talk. It is not always easy and in most cases, it is quite difficult to start. You may be ashamed, embarrassed, or not confident, but you must talk about your fears and concerns. Please realize that you cannot change his past but you can have a great future together. 

Even if you are afraid his feelings for his wife will never disappear, realize that it’s possible to love more than one person. If you have adult children and have more kids, you do not stop loving other children, do you? The situation with widowers is the same. He just finds more room in his heart for the two. 

Grieving is not that bad but your talk about your fears and experience with your widower can heal. The only mistake to avoid here is not to compare yourself with his late wife. You are not a substitute for her, you are at a totally new stage in his life. 

The biggest no-no’s when dating a widower

dating a widower

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to treat a relationship with widowers in a very generic way. They need a specific approach and very often, a new relationship comes apart at the seams exactly because a new wife or partner doesn’t realize her tactics are wrong. Dating widowers requires a unique insight. 

Do not become his grief pill 

You should tread lightly. However, some women want marriage so much that they are ready for anything to get a husband. In your battle for a spouse, you may become his magic pill in his loss. Avoid doing it, otherwise, your marriage and family life will not last too long. Dating widowers is possible without any fuss and hurry. If you are pushing too much, trying to please him in everything and make him forget his wife the soonest, the effect may turn to be the opposite. 

A widower, just like a divorced man, needs time. The process hurts but you are not obliged to jump into dating him too soon. Go for dates, be a good listener, talk a lot about your goals and views, and do everything you do when dating other people. He may be interested in you as one of the means to forget his sad memories but nothing more at the moment. Do not allow it. Thus, do not push things too much and take your time. Give him some time as well.

Do not try to become a mother for his children 

If widowers have children, do not hurry to become a mother for them. Widowers often hurry to find someone who would take care of their minor children. While dating, they often rush to find a woman who will be suitable for the role of the mother for his kids. Of course, if he has adult children, this problem can be avoided. 

Your task is not to hurry to substitute for the mother of his kids, even if you have your own. You are looking for a great and suitable husband, but not for a grieving father. Although if you are a good candidate for this role, you have to think of your  interests. Get to know your partner first. Rely on your own experience and not on your feeling of compassion for his loss. 

Pay respect to his late spouse

When you start dating a husband in grief, avoid talking badly about his spouse. Even if his marriage was not so successful, you will hurt his feelings. Please realize that you are not a competitor to his wife who passed away. His spouse is his story and you are a future. Widowers’ memories are always related to their lives with late spouses. They experienced the death of their best partners and you cannot affect or change that, just accept it that widowers often recall their spouse. 

Always watch what you talk about with a widower. If you talk badly about a widower’s wife, beware. No matter how mad or sad you are, avoid doing it. It will only cause negativity and arguments in your relationship.

Warning signs in a relationship with widowers 

Yes, you should pay specific attention to different red flags when entering the dating scene with a widower. Here they are:

  • A widower is talking non-stop about his spouse
  • He tells you his family and friends will never accept you, so it is better not to introduce you to them
  • He is hiding you from his family for a long time 
  • A widower tells you he has strong feelings for his wife
  • When someone suddenly comes to him, a widower is hiding you in another room 
  • A widower tells you he doesn’t want to be married again
  • He keeps telling you that you remind him of his wife who died 

Of course, every widower has his own experience and individual case. However, these red flags are the most frequent and must concern you at once. If you see that instead of dating you and paying attention to your needs, a widower is recalling his wife and keeps telling you everything about her, he is definitely not ready for dating and starting a relationship yet.

If you are dating for some time and a widower is afraid to introduce his family, you should consider it one of the warning signs. If a widower sees his friend and is ashamed that he is with you, doesn’t even show you are having a date, you should be concerned. If widowers tell you directly that they do not want to be married again, they will always love a spouse, and his family and friends, as well as their adult children, will never accept you in their lives, it is also not a healthy sign. 

If widowers talk about how much you remind them of a wife who died, you should not be happy. It only means that this widower is looking for a substitute for his late partner and doesn’t recognize you as a personality. Wait when dating such widowers. Do not hurry and maybe, you need another partner to date. 

dating a widower

Find a delicate balance

When dating a widower, you will need to find a delicate balance in your relationship or marriage. It means that you should always pay attention to the “peculiarities” of your partner. Do not be too instructive when dating widowers. You should give a widower some personal space. 

For instance, you should find out about his significant dates, such as the day his woman died, her birthday, the day of their marriage, etc. Leave your partner alone these days. Do not be too annoying but softly ask if you can help somehow. Widowers dating others deserve some time for their memories. 

Don’t make him feel torn

Dating a widower can be tough but it also requires you to be very delicate in a relationship. Do not make him feel torn, try to avoid giving him the feeling of guilt when a widower doesn’t spend all his time with you. If you are dating a widower who is a single father, keep in mind that his life doesn’t belong only to him. 

If widowers have adult children, they are a family still. Even a remarried widower must spend time with his family and sometimes, even the family of his spouse who died. If you just start dating your widower, do not insist on a second date. Once again, give your partner some time, don’t force your relationship, if something gives you red flags, pay attention to it. 

Conclusion

It may happen that you meet a partner in grief who experienced the death of his spouse. If you plan to date a partner whose woman died, build a successful relationship with him, and start a family with a widower, and wonder if there is a future for such a relationship, the answer is “yes.”

When planning to be married to widowers, a woman should be a good listener, be a very patient partner, and learn that such a relationship and marriage are to some extent special. Living with the feeling of guilt after the death of your partner is not easy. Dating widowers isn’t easy as well. 

However, your patience and unique insight will help you rebound relationships and make everything happen. Marriage and relationships with widowers can be absolutely happy and normal. Together, you will build new memories, become best friends, and come into a serious relationship where each partner is equal. 

FAQ

Is it worth it to start dating a widower?

This question is rather rhetorical. There is no single answer to this question because every case is unique. Naturally, if you meet a decent person, why not try to build relationships? However, you should realize that dating a widower will not be as smooth as dating other men. We all have a certain past behind us.

However, starting a new relationship after having your deceased spouse in mind is more complicated than after a divorce or breakup, especially if a widower has children. You will need to be patient, be able to wait and accept many things that you would not have to bear in relationships with other people.  If your potential date is a worthy person, it is definitely worth it to start a serious relationship. Just give your partner and yourself some time.

How soon should widowers enter a dating game again?

This is quite a rhetorical question. Every case is individual. Of course, no one can start dating right after his wife died. Everyone needs time to heal this pain. Someone needs a year, other people will not recover even in several years. This time is very specific for everyone and depends on many factors.

However, for sure, to start a serious relationship, a lot of time must pass. Painful memories about one’s deceased spouse must fully disappear. A man should fully realize that this grief is a past and it’s time to start a normal life again. According to relationship coach Abel Keogh, “losing a spouse is harder for men than it is for women” (Source: https://www.abelkeogh.com/dating-a-widower). It means that every man should work harder on his emotions and feelings before even thinking of starting a new relationship. 

This aspect also depends on what kind of relationship this man had with his deceased wife. Someone had amazing love and will suffer much longer than a man who was not really happy in marriage. Some spouses may have long-lasting and complicated illnesses for many years while their partners take care of them. In this case, a husband may feel a sort of relief after his wife’s death although it may sound cruel. Everything depends on a particular situation and whether it was a healthy and loving relationship or not. 

Why do some widowers start a relationship immediately?

According to psychologists, widowers find losing a partner much more difficult than widows.  This could be one of the reasons why they rush to start dating again as soon as possible. Indeed, some men do not even manage to bury their wives before asking someone out again. Of course, this is not normal.

Waiting at least a year after your late wife passes away is a general rule. During this time, you should escape your painful and destructive relationship with your deceased wife. Starting a new relationship immediately is a totally bad idea. However, a few people do that. That doesn’t mean they are bad though. Their mind tries to block unpleasant memories and cope with stress this way.

Naturally, such a relationship will never end well. Nothing good will work out of such dating and this man will only suffer more in the future. It is better to use this time for self-development and work with a psychologist or a relationship coach. Losing a husband or a wife is always traumatic regardless of what kind of relationship they had. No one can do the grief work in a day or two. 

Why is dating a widower more complicated than a divorced man?

Divorced men also suffer when breaking up. However, they can do it for their own will, as well as for the will of their wives. Divorce is hard, especially when people spend many years together and have children. No divorce can be compared to a wife’s death though. Having widower relationships requires more time to recover from stress and grief. 

Plenty of people go through a divorce but not many lose their best partners. It is a serious emotional pain and barrier, especially if it was a loving relationship. Widowers just need more time to start something new, so you have to be patient if you plan to date someone who lost his spouse. 

Red flags to pay attention to when dating a widower

You should pay attention to various red flags in any dating game. When having widower relationships,  you should be even more careful with details. For instance, talking about his late wife all the time is one of the warning signs. If your widower doesn’t introduce you to his family for years and says it’s because they will never accept his new wife, this is also not a good sign. 

If your new date hides you from his friends, doesn’t want anyone to see you together in public places, or has photos of his wife all over his house even if you are already in a long-term relationship, you should also consider these very bad signs. 

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