Dating a widowed man advice
Avoid the urge to fix it
Your job is to support your partner and not try to fix them. Remember, you can’t fix broken people, it’s not your job. Instead, show your partner love and be there as a shoulder to cry on when needed. Be willing to listen to them and help them talk through their feelings. Don’t judge them or try to change them. That’s their job. Your job is to love them. It’s that simple.
Don’t assume the problem is fixable
Widower grief is a process. It’s not something that just gets better. It takes time for your partner to grieve and come to terms with their loss. You could spend your time trying to fix the hole in their heart, but this is something they need to do on their own. It’s important that you don’t try to fix the widower grief, because it will only make it worse.
Avoid the “fix it” mentality
You can’t fix a widower’s grief by offering to fix his problems for him. It’s not your job to fix his grief. He needs to figure it out for himself. He may come to understand that his grief is normal, that it will ease over time, or he may continue to struggle with it for the rest of his life. Whatever his journey is, he needs to figure it out on his own. If you see someone who is grieving, it’s tempting to try to help them fix their problems. But the best thing you can do for them is encourage and support them as they work through their grief. Even if they don’t want help, you can remind them that they are loved and that they are not alone in their grief.
If you can’t solve the problem, or it’s too hard, let it go and move on to something else
Some things are just too hard, and no matter how much we want to fix them, it’s not worth it. You don’t want to stress out about something you can’t control. And you definitely don’t want to take on more responsibility than you can handle.
Remember, it’s not your job
You can’t fix a broken heart, and you certainly shouldn’t try. A widower’s grief is his to grieve, and he’s the only one who can decide how he deals with it. He does not owe you a report card on how he’s doing or how he’s coping—and neither do you owe him one. It’s perfectly fine if he doesn’t want to talk about it, and it’s not your job to force him to. Widowers are usually very good at masking their feelings, so don’t assume you know what’s going on just because you haven’t heard him speak about his loss lately.
Don’t assume he’s ready to date
It can be really tempting to try and fix a relationship that’s over, but it’s best not to rush a widower into a relationship. Not only is it unfair to expect the relationship to move at the same pace as it did before, but it can also cause the widower to feel smothered and overwhelmed—things he wasn’t feeling while with his partner. Try to let your widower grieve for as long as it takes and help him understand that moving too fast could have devastating results.
He may be uncomfortable with the idea of dating
You may notice that he doesn’t want to talk about his feelings regarding your relationship, or that he even seems to avoid the subject entirely. If so, this may help explain why he hasn’t been interested in pursuing other relationships. The idea of being intimate with anyone other than your partner may be incredibly difficult for him. While it’s not your responsibility to help him move past his grief, you can be supportive of his journey. Reassure him that you’re there to help whenever he’s ready to talk about his feelings.
He may be nervous about initiating the first date
If your new relationship is just beginning, you may notice that he’s not exactly comfortable with the idea of being intimate yet. He may be afraid that you will think he’s not ready for a relationship or that he won’t be able to please you sexually. When widowers feel anxious about being intimate, it’s important to reassure them that you love them and that you are here to support them as they begin to heal emotionally and physically.
He may be worried about his appearance or finances
When we’re in a relationship, attraction is partly based on how our partners look. After the loss of a loved one, that loss can sometimes be so great that it causes a person to feel physically unattractive. This is especially true if a person loses a partner due to illness or an accident that affects their appearance. If you notice your widower acting withdrawn or depressed, this is a good place to start to gauge his mood. If you notice these signs, ask him if he’s feeling anxious about his appearance or finances. If he says yes, this is a good time to start helping him feel more confident.
Don’t rush things
Being the one to take the lead in the relationship doesn’t mean that you’re in control of the relationship. If you rush things, you put your partner in a position where they feel as if they have to compete with you. In this case, they’re going to feel hesitant to express their feelings and put you in the position of having to guess what they’re thinking. When you date a widower, it’s important to let them take the lead while letting them know that you’re willing to wait for them.
Whether you’re applying to college or job interviews, it can be easy to develop anxiety about making the right impression
If you’re looking for a relationship with this man, it’s important to realize that grief can sometimes cause widowers to struggle with anxiety and depression. It’s a normal reaction, and one he may struggle with for a long time. If he seems withdrawn or depressed, be patient and supportive. He’ll come around eventually, and when he does, you’ll be the one to make him feel special.
But don’t worry so much about impressing your interviewer
Your date is likely to be a little preoccupied with other things, like figuring out how he’s going to pay the bills. But you don’t want to make the mistake of prioritizing your interview over your relationship. If you’re truly interested in a relationship with this widower, don’t let his grief stand in the way of it.
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare
If you can, learn about grief before you get involved with a widower. Visit a grief counselor to talk about what you’re feeling and how you can best support your partner during this time. Take some time to learn about the grieving process and how to recognize when your partner is feeling down, or even when they’re in denial.
Don’t be a replacement
Just because you feel a connection to a widower doesn’t mean you can replace his partner. No matter how much you love him, his pain is unique. He didn’t just lose a romantic partner, he lost his whole life. And the grief he’s going through is an entirely different kind of grief than you experienced when your parents divorced. It’s not fair for you to put your own needs first and expect him to do the same. He needs to grieve the loss of his entire life, and that will take time.
Do what you do best
You need to understand your partner’s personality before you can make any assumptions about how he will react to the devastating loss you’ve both gone through. It’s not your job to change how he’s feeling or to help him forget his grief so you can get a chance with him. Your role is to love and support him in any way that you can and to be there for him as he continues to work through his grief and loss. Don’t try to replace his deceased spouse or make it your job to fix his grief or your relationship.
Be a different kind of professional
Widowers often struggle with feelings of career frustration, and a widower’s grief can make it even harder to find a new job. Be sensitive to his feelings about work, and be willing to consider career changes or a less stressful way of supporting his family.
Know what you’re worth
If you’re thinking about moving in with a widower, it’s important to know what he’s worth and what you’re worth. A widower who is still recovering from grief may not be thinking rationally about the future, and it’s important to leave the door open for them to change their mind or for you to change your mind before it’s too late.
Sometimes widowers need more time and attention than a relationship can provide. This is especially true if they’re struggling with grief or have health issues. It’s important that you allow them to express their feelings however they want and let them know that you love and care for them even if they’re not ready to date. Being a replacement can cause widower anxiety and make them feel like you’re trying to replace what they lost.
In conclusion, if you are dating a widowed man, it is important to be understanding and patient with his grief. It is also important to be supportive and understanding of his situation. If you are feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable, it is perfectly normal to ask for help from a friend or family member.