Dating widowers advice can be tricky. You want to be respectful of his loss and not push too hard, but you also want to be open and honest about your feelings. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at this advice from a widow.
You need to let your loved one know you care
The most important thing is to let your special someone know that you care about them. Tell them how much you care about them in the context of your relationship. Tell them how much you love them or how wonderful they are. Tell them you can’t wait to spend more time with them. Tell them you can’t wait to get more intimate with them. Tell them everything you want to say to let them know how much you care about them.
Let them know you know what they are going through
The biggest mistake that widowers make when they start dating is to keep their emotions bottled up. When you walk into a room, the widower is watching you to see how you react. They may wonder if you are thinking of their late spouse, or if you are remembering how that last argument made you feel. It’s not your fault — it’s just the way they’re coping. If you want to help a widower heal, let them know that you understand what they are going through and that you care. Even if you don’t know how to respond to their emotions, just show them that you care. This will help them feel less isolated and more hopeful about a future with you.
Don’t say you understand
If you were to say, “I understand that you are hurting,” it would be taken as a sign that you don’t empathize with the loss they’ve experienced. And when we’re grieving, it’s natural for us to feel angry, scared, anxious, and even depressed. So, don’t say you understand. Instead, describe your feelings for them and let them know that you care about them.
Be aware of the temptation to use tired, old-fashioned sayings. If you are going to talk about love or marriage, be creative and be yourself and don’t fall back on tired, old sayings. Your new partner is more likely to appreciate a unique way of expressing your love than a tired, old cliché.
Don’t try to fix it
When you’re dating a widower, you may feel like you need to swoop in and fix things. But you don’t. Your partner’s grief journey is theirs alone to navigate. It may be helpful to ask your partner what he or she needs from you, but don’t try to fix it. Your partner may need space as they grieve or reassurance. You can help by showing support and by being there when they’re ready to talk about their feelings.
Don’t expect them to be the same person they were before
You will be dealing with a whole new person—one who has a whole new way of thinking about the world—and that means your expectations may not match up with reality. Just because they were a romantic before doesn’t mean they will be again. It’s important to understand that your loved one’s personality and beliefs will change as they deal with grief, and these shifts may affect your relationship in ways that are both positive and negative.
Whether they live with you or not, kids still need rules, structure, and boundaries
Depending on your relationship with your children before your partner’s passing, you might find that the dynamics of your relationship with them change after they experience the loss of a parent. If they were used to having two parents to look after them, they may now feel more comfortable with only you providing them with guidance and support. While it’s important that they know you’re there for them, it’s also important that they understand that you’re no longer their parent. They still need rules, structure, and boundaries to live within their lives, and you play a key role in setting those boundaries.
Expect your teen to be distracted
Your teen is coping with grief and, understandably, may be struggling to focus on things like schoolwork or extracurricular activities. It can be very tempting for a single parent to step in and help, but that can actually set your teen back and cause them to feel like they’re being “ganged up on.” Let them know how much you love and care about them and that you’re always here to help if they want to talk about what’s going on. You also may want to consider enrolling them in therapy to help them work through their grief.
Be patient with them
Being widowed can be incredibly difficult, and it’s not something that you can expect your partner to move on from right away. They’re dealing with grief, and it takes time to heal. The good news is that they are more likely to be in a better mood than they were before you met, and they’re much more likely to be open to new relationships and to want to date again. But it’s not in their hands—it will take time for them to trust that they can trust again, so be patient with them.
Explain your rules in advance
Don’t be surprised if your new love doesn’t want to talk about the relationship before you get involved. You’ll want to talk about your expectations and what you’re looking for before you even date someone, so be honest with your partner and talk about what you want from the relationship. That will help to keep things from turning sour when you do get involved.
Don’t rush things
The grieving process is different for everyone and you can’t rush someone through it. If you want to be with this man and see where things go, don’t push him to move faster than he is ready. He needs to grieve and move through the process at his own pace. If he pushes you to move faster than you’re ready, you could end up pushing him away.
Don’t rush when you’re trying to have a baby
The topic of having a baby naturally or with a surrogate is one of the most common questions widowers get asked. While it’s important to love your partner enough to want to have a child with them, you also don’t want to rush the process. It can take time to prepare for a birth and to adjust to a new family. If you’re both looking forward to having a child, it may be best to postpone having kids until you’re both more comfortable with the idea.
It’s normal to feel anxious about conception and pregnancy
It’s also normal to feel anxious about how you’ll feel when you see your partner with another woman. You could even worry about what your new partner will think of you. These feelings are normal, and you don’t need to beat yourself up about them. Just realize that these feelings will likely lessen over time.
Talk to your partner
One of the best ways to determine if you are ready to date a widower is to talk to them about what they’re looking for in a potential partner. It’s important for both of you to make the decision together. If you want to be with someone, they need to feel the same way. If you’re not yet ready to date, you shouldn’t be pressuring your partner to change.
Don’t pressure yourself
Just as a single person shouldn’t pressure a single person that they’re interested in into a relationship, a widower shouldn’t pressure a woman they’re interested in into a relationship. A single person can wait a long time to date, and a widower can wait even longer, so don’t assume that you have all the time in the world. The same goes for a single woman—she may not rush a widower into a relationship for the exact same reason. It’s important to not rush things in the context of dating a widower, because rushing can cause a breakup and create unnecessary feelings of regret.
Try to relax
One of the biggest challenges for anyone who has gone through a loss is learning how to relax, especially after years of focusing on work and other responsibilities. It often takes time for your brain to shift into a state of being calm and relaxed, and that’s okay. Just be patient with yourself and don’t rush things in the context of dating a widower.
Take care of yourself
It can be incredibly tempting to put your own needs last when you’re grieving for your late spouse. After all, you’re busy just trying to get through each day. But if you’re not paying attention to your own needs, you’re more likely to make bad decisions that will cause you more grief in the long run. While it’s not selfish to put your needs first, prioritizing your mental and physical health is incredibly important. After all, the better you feel, the better you’re able to deal with the stress you’re facing. Put yourself on the top of your to-do list and make time to exercise and eat healthy foods. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel and how much more energy you have.
Get enough sleep
Just as we need the right amount of sleep for our health, we need the same amount of rest for our hearts. Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and lack of sleep has been shown to contribute to that risk. Sleep deprivation leads to increased levels of stress hormones that can contribute to high blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as making us feel tired and less motivated. Heart disease is a condition that can develop over time, so the more we take care of ourselves, the better. Getting enough sleep can improve your mood and your health, and it can help you date a widower.
Being in a relationship is a great excuse to get more exercise! And if you’re the type who needs a little push, a widower can be just the person to help motivate you. Try scheduling a date night on Saturday morning to go for a walk. Challenge yourself to go a little farther every week. You’ll find yourself feeling fit and energetic, and you’ll be able to show your partner just how much you care about them.
Eat healthy food
Your appetite might be reduced after going through a loss. It is important to eat a well-balanced diet but avoid comfort foods. Focus on foods that will help you feel satisfied. Try to eat foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, salt, or fat.
The grieving process is different for every person. But, no matter how long you’ve grieved, it’s important to learn how to manage your stress. One good way to do this is by scheduling some alone time. You can go for a short walk, go for a jog, or take a bike ride. Try to do something that gets your mind off of the loss you’re coping with, and it will help you manage your stress.
Sometimes the idea of dating can feel intimidating, especially after a loss. Whether it’s because you don’t know what to expect or you’re afraid you won’t be able to find love again, it’s important to remember that you deserve to have fun. After all, life is way too short to be serious all the time! When you’re looking for a partner, don’t forget the importance of being yourself and having a good time. After all, you’re more likely to attract someone who likes you for who you are rather than who you’re pretending to be.
Don’t assume they’re ready for a relationship
A widower may assume that he’s ready to date, but he could have a lot of fears and insecurities about love and commitment. He may worry that he’ll be hurt by another person or that he’ll lose his best friend. He may not have been in a romantic relationship before his spouse passed away, so he might not know how to handle the feelings he has for another person.
They may not even be in a relationship
Even if your partner was with someone before their spouse passed away, you don’t know whether they’re still with that person. It’s entirely possible that they’re already over it. They might feel like they’ve already grieved the end of their relationship but still miss them and still need to be with them in some way. It might be that they’re still dealing with the grief of their loss but are trying to move on and are dating someone to help them do that. It’s possible that they’re just interested in sex and are looking for a partner to help them get that.
The two of you are not sexually compatible
If you’ve been married for a while, you may have developed a comfort level in the bedroom that you simply don’t share with your new partner. After all, you’ve been with your spouse for years, and you may have different sexual preferences or even sex-related dysfunctions. While your partner may be willing to try to work with you to resolve these differences, it’s not fair to expect them to do so right away in the context of a new relationship.
They may be looking for something else
It’s completely possible that the reason you’re interested in your widower is because you’re looking for a relationship, and he or she isn’t. Maybe you’re looking for someone to take care of you or to pay the bills. Maybe you’re looking for someone to talk to or just to have around. However, if he or she is interested in a relationship with you, they should let you know that. It will help you to know where you stand. And it will spare you a lot of heartache down the road.
They’re not interested in dating
Not all widowers are interested in looking for love again. Some are content to live out the rest of their lives alone. Others may be so hurt from their previous relationship that they don’t want to risk being hurt again.
They don’t know how to talk to you
It’s possible that widowers have spent so long focusing on their grief that they’re not very good at socializing. This can lead them to have a difficult time opening up to others, which makes it incredibly hard for you to get to know them on an intimate level. It’s important to be patient and patient with your new partner, and let them know that you’re willing to help them get to know you.
In conclusion, if you are dating a widower, remember to take things slowly, be patient, and be understanding. Most importantly, communicate with each other. Talk about your expectations, your fears, and your hopes. This will help you both to understand each other better and to build a strong foundation for a lasting relationship.