Dating a widower relationships
And my answer may surprise you: widowers are some of they best, most eligible, grownup men out there. Well, for starters, a man who had a good, long marriage can be a great catch! But they developed great communication and worked through them. You don’t know the situation – maybe she was sick a long time which often means he’s ready to start new…learn his story, don’t make assumptions. I can’t even imagine the agony of living through that at any time of one’s life; certainly any time before, say, our 80s.
One of the most important things I help women with is becoming good pickers – you know, being able to spot the gems even when they’re not the obvious, shiny ones. He probably knows how to love, communicate, commit, work through problems and misses being married. I dated several widowers in my single decades and had an extended relationship with one.
Having a good picker means not only that you learn how to spot and avoid the jerks, but even more importantly, that you don’t miss the really good guys. When a man is in a happy relationship he pours himself into it. We’ve experienced a lot: love, heartbreak, successes, failures – and having lost a spouse is a very real possibility. I have also spent the past 8 years closely observing many women as they dated Ws.
And when it’s gone, he’s left with the kids (maybe) and his job (maybe). So if he knows what he wants and is ready for love again, he takes his search for a new partner seriously – and that’s the gem of dating a widower. But, as with all of those other big life experiences, being widowed isn’t the end of the story. Together they are traveling the world and running marathons. And it’s not like she had to ‘make him’ do it – he loved adding that to his life! Some have remained in great relationships with them (like Karen above).
Look, here’s my best advice: know your must have’s, and go into every date looking for at least one thing that is RIGHT about him. It is true that some think they are ready but not (just like after a breakup, right? Don’t assume any specific number of months or years is required until he’s ready. In fact just writing that makes me feel like throwing up.
Then believe him, and pay attention to his actions. Some of you shared your positive experiences and thanked me. I’m happy to say that I’ve never had to experience the grief of losing a spouse.
If you’re in early dating, don’t hesitate to have a grownup, direct conversation about his readiness to feel deep connection with another woman. And I want to thank and honor you all for sharing so thoughtfully and honestly.
But I would like to dig just a little deeper than I did with my initial writing.
(Meaning a relationship with HER.) It is to This Man — the one who knows how to love and is ready to do it again — that I advise a woman to extend kindness, patience and empathy.If he makes her happy in countless wonderful ways, I advise that she try to understand that there can be a piece of him that still loves and honors his late wife.I admit that as a coach who teaches women to date like a grownup, I assumed that it would be taken for granted that it is never okay to stick around and accept bad behavior or be treated like a doormat.(Yah, I know about the assume thing.) Many of you spoke of excesses: droning on and on, posting on Facebook how much he misses her, baking her birthday cakes every year and hanging her pictures on the wall…absolutely these are all likely deal-breakers.I advised to have a conversation with him and if he persists…he’s not ready. In the end, my advice is that if a Good Man can give you 95% of himself, but still needs to save 5% for a dead woman with whom he shared decades and probably raised a family, you might be able to give him the gift of letting him remember her fondly…without guilt or shame.
Again, I truly DO love and appreciate hearing from you. What you share here is meaningful to me and also helps inform the thousands of women who are reading these posts.