Do’s and Dont’s for Dating a Widower

29th June 2015 7:05 pm

do's and don'ts for dating a widowerIt’s not unusual to feel some apprehension or have concerns about dating a widower. The idea of a man losing his wife is heartbreaking and it can be difficult to know how to get close to someone who has dealt with something so incredibly devastating.

Be patient and most of all be compassionate towards him.  A selfish attitude isn’t a good start in any relationship but especially in one with a widower.

Fears can sometimes influence our decisions in regards to the unknown. Don’t let your fears stop you from pursuing a potentially wonderful relationship with a good man.

To help you with your concerns, here are some important dos and don’ts for dating a widower.

DO know that he’s not afraid of love and commitment…

This is a man who committed himself to another woman and honored the “till death do us part” vow. He knows how to love and is willing to share his heart and life.

DON’T be afraid to ask about his wife…

She was an important part of his life and their relationship and her death are a part of who he is today. Ask him about her and be caring and respectful when bringing her up.

DO be patient…

If he hasn’t yet dated anyone else, he may be hesitant about getting back in the game. Some men deal with feelings of guilt when dating after the death of their spouse because they feel as if they’re being unfaithful. Be patient with him and let him come to you in his own time.

DON’T date him if he’s still grieving…

If his wife has only recently passed or if he shows signs that he is still grieving, then it’s best to step aside. The last thing you want to be is someone’s regret and there’s a good chance you will be if he jumps into a relationship with you just to try to deal with his grief.

DO be confident in your place in the relationship…

You are not competing for his former wife’s love or looking to replace her. Unless he has shown red flags indicating that he is still mourning her, then be self-assured and confident in your place in the relationship and his feelings for you.

DON’T expect him to cut her family out of his life…

Her family was also his family while they were together and the bond over losing someone they loved is a strong one. Don’t be surprised if he is still in touch with his in-laws and don’t let it get to you.

DO be there for him…

Even if he’s had plenty of time to grieve the loss of his wife, there may still be moments in the relationship that are difficult for him. Be there for him and be as comforting as you can. It’s not that he’s unhappy with you or would rather be with her; it’s a new experience for him and being vulnerable isn’t easy for anyone. Let him know that he can come to you and be honest about what he’s feeling. This will translate to all aspects of your relationship.

DON’T expect him to stop loving her…

This wasn’t a relationship that he left by choice; she was taken from him. He will always love her and has no reason not to, including you. His love for her won’t stop him from loving you if he’s ready, so don’t expect him to choose.

DO take your time meeting his children…

If he has children, then move slowly when it comes to meeting them. Even grown children are likely to have a hard time seeing their father move on after their mother has died. It’s important not to take it personally if he holds off on introducing you to his children or if they don’t warm up to you when you do finally meet. It’s new for them and they’ll need time to adjust. You also don’t want to meet them before you’re sure that what you have is real and for the long-haul since the last thing his kids need is to get close to you only to lose you too if things don’t work out.

DON’T be afraid to get professional help…

If you are committed to him and find yourself at a loss as to how to talk to him or handle issues that come up, like residual grief or his commitments to her family, then consider talking to a grief counsellor. A professional can help you to better understand the stages of grief and how to deal with dynamic that you’re not familiar or entirely comfortable with.

DO let him take the lead…

Not pushing or trying to force things along is in your best interest. Not only because it makes you seem less needy or clingy, and far more confident—something that all men find attractive—but it also lets you know how committed he is to dating you. If he wants to spend time with you and is ready for a commitment, then he will lead you that way.

DON’T sleep with him too soon…

Unfortunately, jumping into bed too soon is something that many widowers are guilty of and they do this as a way to try to numb their pain. This could lead to regret for both of you. Enjoy each other’s company and take things slow to know if he’s really ready to move on with you or just looking for a diversion from his grief.

DO treat him like a normal person…

While you want to be sensitive and understanding about what he’s been through, you don’t want to be constantly walking on eggshells. Not only is it exhausting for you, but it can also make him feel like less of a man, not to mention stop you from really getting to know one another. Yes, he lost his wife, which is sad and tragic, but he doesn’t want your pity; he’s a man and wants to be treated as such.

To sum it up…

When you are trying to find a good man don’t overlook the possibility that a widower can fulfill that role.  After all he knows what it means to commit to a relationship and the value of sharing love with someone.  His heart may be broken but the best way to mend a broken heart is with love.  Let these tips for dating a widower, combined with some patience and understanding, help you build something great with a man who is ready and open for you and all you have to offer.

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29th June 2015 7:05 pm No Comments

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