Dating is complicated. Grief is complicated. Swirl those together and things can get pretty messy. That said, we receive lots of questions in our asking questions related to new relationships after experiencing loss and, over time, we hope to have articles addressing all these concerns. However, after receiving s over the years, we have realized that navigating the world of dating a widow er is more complicated than it seems. As always, at the end of the article, you will find our wild and wonderful comment section, where we welcome your thoughts and experiences. So, you may want to start by checking out these posts about grief and then reading this post on how to support someone grieving.
I am dating a widow who still displays photos of their late partner in their home. Are they ready to date?
Can I ask them to take the photos down? Actually, we do have a post answering this questionbut the conversation bears repeating because this is our most commonly asked question.
A romance with someone who has lost a spouse may progress at a different pace
This is especially true if the deceased person is the parent of children who live in or visit the home. Would you think it odd for someone to have a photo of a deceased grandparent, sibling, or child in the home? People do not cease to care about loved ones simply because they have died so, no, we would not recommend you ask them to take the photos down. Their relationship and love for that person will continue and that is normal and healthy if this is blowing your mind, check out this post on Continuing Bonds Theory.
5 tips for dating a widow or widower
Grief is about continuing to love someone who has died while also making room for new and amazing things in life. Ask yourself: Why am I uncomfortable with the photos? If you are feeling threatened or insecure, you may need to redefine how you understand grief and the relationship deceased loved ones play in the lives of those who mourn them. Above all else, it will help to understand how your ificant other feels about the photos, so consider asking them.
Ask them what the photos mean to them and, if appropriate, share how the photos make you feel. Is this normal? When someone dies, it may be deeply comforting to stay connected with others who also knew and loved them. Sometimes this is simply because a person values the love and support of the family members, and sometimes because they are people you can share memories and stories with.
If you skipped that Continuing Bonds post above, now might be a good time to check it out. Ask yourself: Why are you uncomfortable with the relationship? Do you feel left out? Is it something else altogether? If you are uncomfortable with the relationship, it is reasonable to express your feelings you have a right to your feelings, after all. I am dating a widow er who has children and I am really nervous about meeting them. What can I do to make sure it goes smoothly?
Great question, you thoughtful partner you. Make sure you are both on the same about what the kids have been told and how you are being introduced. What you decide may depend on the age of the children, whether you are the first person the widow er has dated or at least who the kids have metetc. Younger kids are known for testing adults to make sure their stories are consistent, so being on the same with language and information is crucial. Beyond that, be open and take their lead. If there is an opportunity to show your interest in learning about the parent who died, great!
The more you can do to convey your understanding of this to the kids, the better. Finally, read up on the topic of regrief. At each new developmental stage, kids understand the world in new and different ways.
They often start to view their ongoing grief through this new lens and this may also mean revisiting your role in the family. All this is why it is so important to keep an open dialogue with your partner and, if appropriate, their children about their grief.
Am I ready to accept the complicated feelings that might come up for the children? If I mention these days, will I remind them of the pain? Ask yourself: Are you ready to be there for whatever they need the only thing worse than not offering is not following through?
If you are struggling as a partner to a widow erthe biggest question to ask yourself is whether you are truly ready to accept that the person you are dating will, on some level, always love and care about the person who died? Are you able to believe — on an intellectual and emotional level — that their love for the person who died does not take away from the love they have to give to you?
And, if you are gentle and open to learning more, you may find their memories and connections to the person make up another wonderful layer of them that you can get to know through stories and memories. Thoughts, questions, concerns, words of wisdom on this topic? Leave a comment below!
Subscribe to stay up to date on all our posts. Ross Smith September 16, at am Reply. I had been dating a widow for a year and she has just broken it off a second time. This time saying she just needs to be alone with her kids and focus on her. Do I have a chance to get her back one last time because I love her very much?
Dawn September 3, at am Reply. It makes me sad and lonely to feel pushed away when he feels the worst. I give him space.
Mary Sugrue August 28, at pm Reply. I am away from my widowed partner, visiting my family for a few days in advance of starting back to work, should I cut my home visit short to be at the 8th anniversary Mass of my partners deceased wife…tomorrow or should I stay with my family on that day! Any advice greatly. Litsa August 30, at pm Reply. I am so sorry I am just seeing your question and the day has passed. Use this to guide your decision-making.
Anonymous September 26, at pm Reply. He has asked her to stop but she keeps doing it. Litsa October 25, at pm.
It may also help if he explains why he would like her to stop. It may also help if he asks her why it feels so important that she continues to do it despite him asking her not to. A better understanding of reasons and motivations can often help to find a compromise or resolve challenges like these. May the Lord Jesus comfort you. It is a blessing from the lord to have a partner like you explained. It is however good to pray towards the Lord so that He will give you His grace so as to find out the way in how you have to live the rest of your life.
Anna June 28, at am Reply. Hi, My name is Anna. I started talking to this guy during the lockdown last year. It was long distance as just before the lockdown he had moved back to his hometown and I was still in the city. I knew him since before as he is a part of the same music community as my aunt, but I had never spoken to him before.
The day he started chatting with me he told me that his girlfriend whom he dated for 3 years, died the year before.
Five tips from the experts for building a healthy relationship with a widower.
We continued chatting, however he refused to commit to me in the nine months that we were on. This was really a factor for me as after that I kept wondering if he is cheating on me with her. Then during the 2nd lockdown when I tested positive and was alone in quarantine, he left me suddenly saying he feels guilty about cheating on his ex who passed away, with me.
After he left not once did he messg me and ask me how I was… Now 15 days later he texts me saying that the day he left me was around the same date that his ex passed away in I dunno how he changed into this suddenly as the guy I started chatting with was a considerate guy. Joyce June 13, at pm Reply. His wife also was pregnant, therefore killing his only healthy child with herself.
He claims they had a happy 10 year marraige. I encouraged him to share. Yet, he never shares anything real. For example he made me feel heavy while we were walking and stayed his wife would walk faster… just to find out later that she was very heavy at one point, shorter than me, and relied on gastric bypass surgery to lose weight.
Many examples like this. He refused. I was upset but chose to trust him when he said he could still have the photo there and give me his FULL attention.
We got back to a hotel and I said I would stop at the desk to get more towels. I was away for about 10 minutes came back to the room and apparently found the cell phone with a kiss on it before he could wipe the evidence. Do you want one too? My needs matter too. I was really hurt. My boyfriend wants a family and children. Some moments can be mine.