10 Tips For Dating Widows

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by Dawgelene "Dr Dawj" Sangster- You meet this beautiful woman, strike up a conversation, love her energy and personality and decide you want to take her out. During the conversation she tells you she is a widow and you bypass that quickly because you want to get this lady on a romantic date and show her how great of a guy you are! You take her out a few times and never really talk about her being a "widow" because you are having such a great time in her company. One month into your fairytale encounter and beautiful dates, she disappears without a trace and stops returning your calls. When you finally connect with her, she tells you that she thinks you are wonderful but she needs time to regroup and maybe you are moving too fast. You are upset and don't understand why she just can't get into you.  STOP! Before you get upset with the next widow you meet and want to date, please consider the following list on things to consider when you find out someone is a widow, and be sure to ASK more questions in the beginning.

  1. How recent was the death?- You do not want to find yourself in a situation with someone who has just lost a spouse, and might only be looking for someone to talk with and get companionship from rather than a relationship. Or, someone who is looking to fill an immediate void before healing, which may cause them to "run for cover" when reality settles in.
  2. Are there children involved?- The children may not take too well to the mom/dad dating someone aside from the parent they shared their life with. With most older/adult children (from experience), they will be the "gate keepers" of the widowed parent and may run some serious interference when trying to call the house and visit. You may even get a pop in visit at a restaurant you take the widow to.
  3. Did they have a business together?-  This is very important because the deceased spouse will potentially always remain an important part of the business and the widowed person's life. Are you prepared to hear customers mention the spouse or see/hear the widow speak/act in a very positive way about their spouse for years to come? My husband and I did photography and marriage mentoring together, so many people knew us as a team. I still do the photography and ministry work helping married couples and women to respect their men. I use the relationship I had with him as an example of how strong love can be, and how it can withstand challenges until death parts you.
  4. Are you comfortable visiting the house they shared together?- Would you sit on the couch, sleep in the same bed or eat at the same table? These are all things to consider. My hubby and I shared our home for 12 years. 6 months after he died, I moved out because I could not stand to wake up there emotionally. I lived in an apartment for a while until I was ready to move back. I am back now and I have conversations with potential dates on whether they would be comfortable coming to dinner at my house?
  5. They may still cry at the drop of a hat- Please try to understand that it is NOT you or something you did. I don't do this as often but I still cry sometimes when I get overwhelmed because my hubby was my true rock, best friend and we were hardly ever apart for 15 years. I depended on him for daily direction, love, support, and just being there to support my every dream and plans. I thank God daily for new angels sent to give me the assistance I need to press forward.
  6. Watch out for shrines- I know this may be a bit on the "crazy" side of things, but widows can miss spouses so much that they build a shrine to remember them. I found myself having items around my bed, a shrine in the corner of my apartment (hence the odd looks from the maintenance men after repairing my cabinet); and I stopped short of having a stuffed life-sized doll image of him with his face taped to it in the back seat of my car ( call me weirdo!). My daughters and friends had to talk me out of it. I felt like I needed that to feel safe when driving in his absence (he was a police officer ya know).
  7. Marriage may never be an option- Okay, this is not how I personally feel but I have heard some widows be very adamant about never getting married again. I don't think that falling in love again should be closed off, but it is not unusual in the beginning for a widow to not ever want to think about being married to someone else. I believe in love and marriage and so did my husband, so I know marriage will find its way in my life again just not at this immediate time.
  8. Holidays may be odd- Holidays, birthdays and other family-centered" days may be odd especially if you start seriously dating and go around the widow's family! Please understand that you may or may not receive a "warm" and "fuzzy" reception so don't be offended. The person may or may not want to celebrate the holiday with you. They may just want to be around the family in the beginning so don't be offended.
  9. They are starting over- Life is really beginning again as far as potentially sharing it with someone. They may move, get a job, take up a new hobby, lose weight, travel or whatever they feel the need to do. Don't take offense to this new freedom they are enjoying, which may cause them to not necessarily lock into a new relationship.
  10. Don't Assume- This is a very WIDE area to cover so I will make it brief. Don't assume you know how they feel, how they will act, think, react, love or even respond to anything that is different from what they were accustomed to for probably many years.

This is my list in a nutshell but I will say that it requires patience and willingness to step into the life of a widow. What has been your experience in dating a widow? If you are a widow, what has been your experience in dating again?

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  • This article was very helpful to me. Addressed a lot of questions and concerns I have. Thank you!

  • In reply to GurlLou:

    You are totally welcome!

  • In reply to GurlLou:

    You are totally welcome GuruLou!

  • I'm in no doubt coming back again to read these articles and blogs.
    Get more about Bryophyter

  • Thanks to share these details it’s truly nice. Joshnardo Media Articles

  • Your working is truly appreciative, it sounds good to read your blogs thanks a lot guys! BE

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    Very helpful reading this. Went on a date back in October with someone that is widowed, still currently talking and it's definitely a matter of patients, which I have a lot of fortunately. I'll do what I gotta do...

  • Hi Tim!

    Thanks so much for responding. It's still a healing journey for me and my hubby has been deceased for almost 4 years now. It takes someone that is sincerely interested in being with the widow to understand and wait. We go through the back and forth, holiday stuff, etc. Thanks for hanging in there man! All the best!

    Cheers!

    Dawj!

  • Thank you Dawj,

    I am sorry about your husband. Reading your article multiple things rang true to me and helped to alleviate some confusion.

    I met the most special and beautiful lady several weeks ago. She lost her husband a few years ago. Since meeting her I have always endeavored to be very patient with her. We have shared a lot of meaningful conversations and quality time. I really think highly of this woman and care about her very much, but she has a strong wall of protection around her and seems unable to let me in.

  • Hi there tjnc!

    Thanks so much for responding and for your kind words regarding my husband. It is still a long journey to being in another relationship for me, which may be the same for your lady-friend. My husband was my best friend and I talked to him about things people would probably cringe at me talking to a husband about instead of a best girlfriend. We just had that type of relationship where I could trust him with my everything. It may be the case for your new friend. It is so hard to learn to trust again and to entrust your heart with someone new. Who wants to deal with starting over after you wanted something to last a lifetime and it didn't?

    As we get older, we usually want to stick with one partner and totally grow older together for the remainder of our lives However, when that notion is interrupted, it becomes daunting to even use energy in getting to know someone again because so many questions arise. Can I trust them? Can I depend on them? Can we be truly happy emotionally, physically and financially? How will my family and friends feel about this person? For a while I felt like I was "cheating" on my deceased hubby just by talking to another man. I pull back every single time and it's been almost 4 years.

    Another thing to think about is if there are children involved (younger or older), it is another area that will cause us to pull back. My son returned from the military and I totally freaked out and wanted no parts in him seeing me with another man because that last time he was living at home, hubby was alive. So various things can cause that shift in pulling back, to include holidays, anniversaries, etc. Some men/women are just not willing to put their lives on hold waiting for the person to "come around" and heal, because it truly takes time for us to heal enough where we feel comfortable moving forward with our lives and with someone else.

    One last thing to note; if she was able to rely on him for certain things and you say or do something that seems like a failure to her, it may also cause her to pull back and another wall will be added. It isn't that we don't necessarily want to allow someone in, it is just extremely difficult for some of us especially if we feel like what we had was perfect for that time in our lives. I have that fortress wall made of steel, bricks and army tanks myself. I am assuming that like me, it will take someone extremely special, patient and caring to get her to just open the door, instead of blowing a hole in the wall for entry!

    All the best and if you have any questions regarding the process and how to cope, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

    Cheers!

    Dawj

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    After five and a half years of marriage, my friends husband passed away from cancer. At first, she didn’t know what to do or how to act. To her, their lives together were just beginning. Couple of years later I suggested her dating site I’ve heard about. Everyone wants to fall in love and have their fairytale come true and there is nothing wrong with that or dating a widower and with this service that was possible, but as a newcomer I told her you need to make sure to manage your expectations – meaning that you state what you want and know what the other wants as well, leaving very little room for disappointment.

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    In reply to Hailey Cooper:

    this is very helpful for me - thank you Hailey. My husband passed from cancer 18 mo ago after 26 years together. There has been so much involved with "getting things in order", especially for my children, and growing a new aspect to my business as well, that I have had no time for myself. My husband was such a kind and caring man and I miss having that in my life, and although I knew someday I would be open to reopening my heart... I have a three important criteria in my head. I was unexpectantly asked out by a man who knew of me this week, and am not sure I am ready for this. I am glad to see it is okay to have a list of expectations. I fear this person may want to move much more quickly than I am ready for.

  • fb_avatar

    After five and a half years of marriage, my friends husband passed away from cancer. At first, she didn’t know what to do or how to act. To her, their lives together were just beginning. Couple of years later I suggested her dating site I’ve heard about. Everyone wants to fall in love and have their fairytale come true and there is nothing wrong with that or dating a widower and with this service that was possible, but as a newcomer I told her you need to make sure to manage your expectations – meaning that you state what you want and know what the other wants as well, leaving very little room for disappointment.

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    I lost my husband on June 12th 2016, he had congestive heart failure and diabetes we were married 21 years it would of been 22 years on July 15th 2016, but he didn't make it that far, I told my family I wasn't going to get married again, it is too hard to imagine with me with someone else, but I know my husband would not want me to be unhappy I live with my 95 year old Dad, he is a good Father to my 1 brother and 2 sisters, one of my sisters lost her husband in 2007 so we have that in common now also my Aunt lost her husband too my Dad's youngest brother. I would like to seek friendship for others but I am kind of shy when it comes to meeting new people, just trying to start a new life without my husband but not forget him at all.

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    I just wanted to add we had a wonderful son he is 23 years old and I have wonderful in-laws too, they will always be a part of my life forever also.

  • In reply to Elizabeth Castello:

    Hi there Elizabeth!

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I know all too well how the partnership and companionship is missed. It is wonderful that you have in-laws for support. Unfortunately my in-laws faded away and I am left with fond memories of my husband. You mentioned starting the life anew, which can be so scary and uncertain. This year marked 6 years since his death from brain cancer. I still miss him often. I tried dating but I get to a certain point and pull away.

    This is truly a new journey of discovery for me, you, your aunt, and your sister. Girl I have the craziest "dating" and, "he said what to you?" stories. I will be writing a follow-up blog and may do meet and greet in Chicago for widows. If you are interested in attending, send me an email. I would love to connect, share memories and laughter among amazing individuals.

    Cheers!

    Dawj
    xoxoxo

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