Love After Loss: Dating A Widow
Updated September 19, 2019
Dating someone new can be exciting, but it can also be tough to understand their needs. This is even more complicated when you have recently started dating a widow. When a woman loses her husband or spouse, it is going to have a huge impact on her life. This can make it tough to move forward at times, and there could be lingering depression issues that stem from losing her past lover. Take a look at these important things you need to know about dating a widow so that you can build a stronger relationship.
You Might Need To Take Things Slowly
Firstly, you need to realize that it's likely that she isn't going to want to move fast. Recovering after such a significant loss is going to take time, and she might want her next relationship to advance slowly so that she can be sure of things. Rushing into a new relationship is likely not a good idea for her, and she might not feel fully comfortable about your relationship right away. Losing someone due to them passing away is much different from getting divorced, and she might even still feel a sense of loyalty to the spouse that she lost.
The woman that you're dating might not have even expected that she would ever date again in her life. This is an unfamiliar thing for her, and she has to get used to the idea of putting herself out there again. Even if it has been several years since her husband or spouse passed, it's still going to be a touchy subject. That doesn't mean that you can't have a very satisfying relationship, though.
It's just important to ensure that she is comfortable with the pace. Let her dictate the pace of advancing the relationship and be very supportive of her decisions. She might not be open to sleeping together right away, and that is just fine. If you care for her, then you need to do things the right way. She will open up to you more as time goes on and you'll be able to cherish the love that she has to offer you.
Ensure That Your Intentions Are Pure
You shouldn't date a widow if you don't have good intentions. If you don't want to be in a committed relationship with her and are simply looking to have fun, then it would be reprehensible to try to pull the wool over her eyes. Some widows are very vulnerable due to the things that they have been through. If she is trusting of you and shows that she has feelings for you, then you should never lead her on. If you don't feel the same way, then you should make that clear early on to avoid hurting her any further.
Of course, your intentions likely are noble if you're looking up articles like this one. Love after loss is certainly possible, and your love can help her to heal. If you care about her a lot, then don't be afraid to show her. Finding new love can help her to move toward a happier time in her life, but it isn't going to be instantaneous. Just be honest with yourself and talk about your expectations so that you can both get on the same page.
Don't Shy Away From Her Past
Her past is something that probably feels like a very touchy subject. On the one hand, the moments that she shared with her spouse are very special, and she would never want to forget them. It's also true that the past is something that can cause her a lot of pain due to reminding her what she lost. Even so, you shouldn't shy away from her past or feel threatened by it. Embracing it would be better because she should be able to hang onto those beautiful times that she shared with her spouse.
Some men feel threatened by the specter of the deceased spouse. It makes them feel like they will never be able to match up to the memory of the man that was. You have to understand that you are never going to fill his place in her heart. Their relationship was unique, and yours is also completely different than what she experienced in the past. Don't feel like you need to compete or compare yourself to her former spouse.
If you wind up successfully dating a widow, you might move into the same house together. When this happens, you might notice that she will want to hang up pictures of her family from the past. It might feel weird to have her deceased husband's pictures on your wall at first, but this is important for her. Respect the past that they shared and allow her to keep that memory alive. It doesn't threaten you in any way, and your being comfortable with it will mean the world to her.
The Subject Of Children Might Be Complicated
Understand that your girlfriend might have a complicated thought process when it comes to thinking about children. There are multiple ways that this could go depending on whether or not she has children from her previous relationship or not. If she has kids, then the relationship is even more complex due to her having to put their needs first. If she doesn't have children, then her desire to have them might be tough for her to come to terms with. If she had plans to start a family with her former husband, then she might feel strange about starting a family with someone else.
This doesn't mean that she can't come around to feeling different about the subject, though. She might need to wait a while to sort out her feelings about having children. Many emotions are wrapped up in her prior relationship, and losing her husband has made things difficult for her. If you want to have kids with her, then do your best to give her time to think. Once you have become comfortable in your relationship, you can sit down to discuss whether this is a possibility.
If she already has kids, then you'll need to allow her to let you into their life slowly. The kids lost their father as well, and they might be suffering, too. This could even lead them to have problems accepting you, and you might feel unwelcome at first. Things don't always work out this way, but it's important to know that it isn't always a smooth transition. Just try to understand things from the perspective of the children and keep an open mind.
Her Friends And Family Might Be Protective
Another common issue that people run into when dating a widow is that her friends and family might be overly protective. When your girlfriend lost her husband, her friends and family had to step up to help her out. She needed emotional support, and they were there for her during that dark period. They are understandably worried about her well-being, and they might be concerned about whether you're a good person or not.
It's important to try not to take this ire personally. Even if her friends or family seem to be very disrespectful to you at first, you need to try to understand what they are all going through. They knew her deceased husband, and it's going to be tough for them to accept that your girlfriend has someone new around. It might not feel right to them, and they will need time to warm up to you. This does place you in a very awkward position, but you're going to be able to get through this if you love the girl.
Dating after the death of a spouse isn't easy, and your girlfriend is trying to move forward in life. She might even avoid taking you around her friends or family at first. Once she does introduce you to these people, it's going to be a big sign that she is taking your relationship seriously. This means that you are important to her and that she sees a potential future together with you.
Let her figure out when the time is right to bring you into her inner circle. Do your best to showcase that you have good intentions and try to be a good boyfriend. It can be tough when you're dating a widow, but it can also be very satisfying. She has a lot of love to give you, and you could potentially build something beautiful together.
Online Couples Counseling Is A Helpful Resource
Online couples counseling can be a helpful resource when you're trying to make a relationship work. You might not have an easy time getting your relationship to the next level without getting some help. Dating a widow can be tough, and she might have issues that need to be worked through. Professional therapists online can help her with that while also helping you to work on strengthening your relationship.
If you have been struggling with your relationship, then this might be the best option for you. This is very convenient, and you're even able to reach out to receive counseling at any time. You'll be able to attend counseling sessions individually or together as a couple. You don't even have to leave the house to get the help that you're looking for. Make contact now if you feel like this would be beneficial for your relationship.