Dating a Widow - Aspects to Consider When you're Dating Someone Who has Lost a Spouse
Dating a woman who has recently lost a spouse requires more tact and sensitivity than when dating other women. While on one hand, it is wonderful to be able to make someone feel happy and cherished again, your date may still be struggling with feelings of loneliness, despair and conflicted loyalties. So if it is hard for a widow to re-enter the dating scene, it may be equally difficult for the person dating her. Here are a few things to keep in mind when dating a woman who has lost a spouse.
Very often men like to take the upper hand in a relationship and because of this they can seem to come on too strong when dating a woman. However where a bereaved woman is concerned, you have to more sensitive of the situation. Understand that she is not playing hard-to-get like other women but merely taking time to start feeling normal again and get on with her life.
See if she has gone through the grieving process
If you are dating a widow, find out whether she has given herself enough time to grieve over the loss of her spouse. This means fully feeling and then letting out the emotions of anger, fear and sorrow caused by the loss. If she tries to move on too quickly, there may be a bottling up of emotions which may eventually become unmanageable and harmful. Every person should go through the grieving process in order to open up to newer possibilities in life and relationships.
Consider if you want a relationship or just a date
A woman who has lost her spouse may be looking for someone to fill the void in her life whereas you may be dating simply to meet an interesting woman. If you are not yet ready to enter a relationship, make sure she understands this. A widow is already coping with feelings of sorrow and loss and it would be unfair for her hope where none lies. On the other hand, if you do want a relationship with her, go ahead but with patience and understanding. Remember that you are getting into a situation that will require more tact and forethought than a normal relationship.
Let her take the lead
When you are dating a widow, keep in mind that she has gone through a traumatic experience and may be still emotionally vulnerable. So take things slow and let her set the pace of your relationship. Also be prepared for ups and downs as you get to know each other. She may want to draw back for some time for no apparent reason. This is likely to be the result of mixed feelings on her part. As a woman she may want to seek out your company but as a former spouse, she may still be battling feelings of guilt over dating other men.
Don’t try to replace her husband
If you really like the woman you are dating, you may be tempted to step in her husband’s shoes in order to offer her emotional and practical support. However this would be an unwise thing to do since you will be setting up yourself for constant comparisons to the deceased person. The widow, in fact, may need reassurance that you are not trying to be a replacement for her lost spouse. Rather be yourself and let her enjoy your company.
Don’t push for intimacy
Women need to feel emotionally connected to a man before she can enjoy a sexual relationship with him. But considering that the woman you are dating has lost a spouse, she may be not yet be ready to take your relationship to an intimate level. Even if her heart has healed, she may say, “no for now”. Understand that she needs to be comfortable with her own feelings and the new relationship. Only when she feels the time is right, will she be able to enjoy sex – with or without the possibility of commitment.
Consider complications if you want to continue
Dating a widow is not the same as a normal relationship. She may have kids who are not yet ready to find their mother dating somebody. Children need to take their own time to heal from the loss of a father and may be jealous if they see their mom entering a new relationship. But if they share a healthy relationship with her, eventually they are sure to like someone who makes their mom happy. Also consider how your date is financially placed after the death of her husband. Take your time in the relationship if you find she sees you merely as a provider of comforts and luxuries which she may not be able to afford anymore now that she has lost her husband.
Fluctuations in moods
Even though the woman you are dating may be trying to put her loss behind her, understand that there may be moments when she may relapse into sorrow. A perfectly romantic moment between you two may suddenly be ruined by a memory or an object having past associations. Again special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries may be particularly difficult times to go through – both for you and your date. Make sure you enter the relationship with a healthy self-esteem or else you may find yourself feeling jealous of the deceased person and impatient with your date to move on.
Above all, be someone she can have a good time with. Help your date to forget that she is widow even if it is just for a couple of hours. Make her feel special like any other woman out on a date. Have fun and do something exciting together. However if she wishes to talk of her loss, let her but move on to another topic when she is ready.
Dating a widow can seem a slow and precarious process. But if done with patience and sensitivity, it can be as rewarding as any other relationship where you know you have met a soul-mate. It is important to keep in mind your date’s past and be understanding about her emotions. But then go on to treat her as any other woman since that is the very reason she has started dating again.