So you recently met this guy that’s gorgeous, sweet, and most importantly interested in getting to know you better. But there’s a catch. In one of your early conversations, he mentions that he’s a widower and all your alarms started going off like it’s a robbery. Is he “damaged goods”? Will you ever be able to replace his lost loved one? Is he even emotionally available? These are just some of the red flags that pop up once you imagine dating a widower.

But before you pack your bags and call it quits, we suggest reading this article because it might just change your perspective on the subject. More importantly, reading this article will allow you to relax and ease into a relationship with a healthy and positive attitude.

Why Dating a Widower Is a Good Thing

While you might be of the opinion that dating a widower is a losing proposition, we are here to share some of the advantages that aren’t as obvious at first glance. In fact, we believe that widower dating comes with not one but several perks. First of all, we all know how guys can be reluctant when it comes to making a serious commitment. But here you have a handsome, intelligent, and interesting guy, that also happens to be a widower, meaning he already made the commitment once. 

Secondly, if his spouse passed away after battling with a long illness, he obviously stuck around until the very end, meaning he’s a compassionate and loving individual. It’s also worth noting that people who find themselves in rough emotional situations and are able to overcome them successfully are generally considered to be more mature and caring. 

Lastly, the man is probably longing to belong but won’t settle for anyone to seal the hole in his heart. Assuming he’s not looking for a one-time thing, a widower will search for someone special as his new partner. If he seems interested, know that he has serious intentions.

So know that you know why you should date a widower, let’s find out how to make it a successful endeavor. Here are a couple of tips that will help you start your new relationship.

1. Be Patient and Don’t Get Offended Easily

If this is his first relationship after being widowed, give him some space to adjust and have a little bit of patience. A part of him will always belong to his deceased partner and that’s okay as long as he makes you happy and is committed to moving on. Try and not get offended when he mentions her from time to time. It’s his way of grieving and handling the emotional pain that accompanies the loss of someone close. However, if he does it too often, he might not be ready to put the past behind him and move on.

2. Don’t Look at It Like a Competition

Sure, she was a significant part of his life and she’ll always have a special place in his heart but that doesn’t mean there’s no room left. A relationship is a two-way communication so if there’s something bothering you or you feel threatened, bring it up in a respectful way and talk about it. If you take the necessary steps to promote a healthy communication climate, issues will be resolved much easier and faster.

3. Let Him Talk About Her on His Own Terms

You’re probably curious about what she was like and what made her so special and that’s perfectly normal. However, being too nosy can have a detrimental effect on your relationship. Asking a widower a lot of personal questions and digging up his past is a big “NO” and can easily push him away. Let him share his story at his own pace. You’ll find out everything you want to know sooner or later anyway.

Let Him Talk About Her on His Own Terms

4. Let Him Set the Pace

Often times dating a widower requires a slower pace. Take it slow and let him ease into a new relationship. Just like dating after getting a divorce, dating after the death of a spouse can be challenging on so many levels. It takes time and emotional strength to get back into the game and, more importantly, become emotionally available again. 

5. Respect the Memory

He’ll probably want to continue commemorating anniversaries and birthdays and you should support him in doing so. Remember, the memories of his deceased spouse are something you need to respect and not look at as a threat. It’s very important to understand that just because he honors the memory of his ex-partner, doesn’t mean he cares for you any less.

6. You’re not here to fill a void left by the loss

We mentioned a couple of times that the loss of a spouse can have a profound impact on one’s emotional well-being and is a wound that takes time to heal. That being said, your goal should not be to attempt to fill the gap or be anything like his deceased wife. Being supportive and compassionate is one thing, being a replacement or a rebound is a whole other story you don’t want to be a part of. Have an honest conversation on the topic and decide whether you want to continue the relationship or not.

You're not here to fill a void left by the loss

As you can tell, dating a widower can be challenging but very rewarding. It does require some additional effort but it can also be the most profound and beautiful experience. With a little bit of work, widowers can be an ideal partner and can give you the lasting and loving relationship you’ve been searching for. 

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