If you have been thinking about dating a widower, it can difficult to decide when the individual is ready to move on and begin dating again. You need to be patient and respect the grieving process of your potential partner before attempting to make the first move. Read on to distinguish the signs that indicate when to approach them for dating.
More than a year: Normally, most widowers, think about getting back in the dating game after a year as it is the average time that they grieve. If only a few months have passed since his partner passed away, it would not be the right time to begin dating,
Walks the talk: Men that follow through on their words are dependable to date. This is more so in the case of a widower as his actions will match his words if he is ready to get back to dating.
Does not bring up her name frequently: One of the most telling signs that the individual has not got over his loss is he will constantly bring up his wife in conversations. This is an obvious sign that he is still in grief. This is not the time to consider dating him as he is still not ready. However, if he rarely brings up her name in conversations without constantly talking all about her, he is ready to move on.
He has a few photographs around the house: If he was married for a long while, he is sure to have a lot of photographs of his wife around the place. E.g., Having a photograph by the bedside is perfectly understandable. However, if the walls across the home are littered with photographs and mementos of her, he is not ready to start dating. He needs to get over the grieving process that is part of healing and must not be hurried.
He shows interest and always tries to remain in touch: If he consistently calls and messages you regularly and goes on dates every week or fortnight, you can be sure that he is interested and have moved on from his loss. In the case of a widower sporadically contacting you, it would be natural to enjoy a female company. But when he wants to meet up weekly and is constantly pursuing you, it is a positive sign of his interest in you.
Not concerned about the family's approval: If you plan a date a widower with a family and he is concerned about the reaction of his children, then he is not in dating mode. It is when he does not show concern about his family's reaction to the both of you dating, you can be sure he has moved on.
Gets you to meet everyone: When a widower attempts to introduce you as his partner to friends and family, you can be sure he has got over his loss and possibly considers you a potential long-term partner.
The signs that a widow is ready to jump back into the dating game are about the same as that mentioned of a widower. There is not much difference with the average mourning period for a widow, also being about twelve months, before she considers dating someone again.
Tips for dating a widow/widower:
Do not feel insecure: When you date a person that has recently lost their partner, they are bound to refer to them during their conversation. They might even draw a comparison with you and place them on a pedestal. This is perfectly fine and natural, so do feel any insecurity about them saying so.
Never pry about their spouse: the last thing to do is ask too many questions about their deceased spouse. Whatever information they voluntarily share about them is fine. You should not ask too many personal questions or try to dig for information when they are not comfortable discussing anything. Learn to be a good listener instead.
Move forward slowly: Start things slowly until you are sure the person is ready to once again be in a relationship. Every person is different, and it takes some longer to step out and consider getting into a new relationship after they lose their spouse. So, take it a step at a time and do not push them into a relationship if they seem emotionally unprepared to commit at the initial stages.
Respect their partner: Irrespective of the number of times they may refer to their partner, you need to respect their memory. Be respectful when sharing your views and opinions about the deceased partner whenever the topic is brought up.
Be prepared to be ignored: If they have grown up kids, relatives, or in-laws, there may be instances when you will be ignored by them or even pace hostility. Be mentally prepared for such behavior from other people in your partner's life. Do not try to supplant the deceased person, and in case of children, try to be their friend instead of being a mother.
Do not have high expectations: When you date someone that has lost their partner, there always is the risk that they have not been able to come to terms completely with their loss. So do not keep your expectations too high or expect them to commit at once. Build a strong friendship that will be the bedrock of your relationship and takes things from there slow and steady.
Be careful of dating on the rebound: The last thing to get into is a relationship where the individual is dating on the rebound with the hope of finding someone to fill the vacuum in their life. This is especially for those that begin to date shortly after they lose their spouse.
Dating someone that has lost a spouse needs patience and perseverance. While initially, things may take off slowly once you have developed a rapport with each other, and the person is ready to move into a committed relationship, things could not go better.