Dating isn’t easy for anyone. Most people come with emotional baggage. Maybe they’re unlucky finding a partner, are recently going through a divorce, or are widowed. And although all these situations are emotionally heavy, dating after the loss of a spouse comes with its specific challenges. No one thinks widow dating will be easy, but what relationship is? As long as you know some of the challenges you’ll be facing, you’ll be able to overcome them and have a healthy and positive relationship.
If you’re not the patient type, this will be a big challenge for you. After someone loses their partner, it can take months, even years, until the person is ready to move on. So, you’ll need to have patience and compassion for your partner. That said, if she looks like she isn’t ready to date, you’ll need to know when to step back and give her space.
Taking things slow
In general, everyone is different when it comes to relationships. Some people will jump into a new relationship, while others will take their time. As a widow, she may not be interested in rushing into things, and this means you’ll need to take the relationship slowly. Even though you may really like her, and want to take the next step, chances are she won’t be on the same page as you. But, good things happen to those who wait.
Not communicating how you feel
Giving a widow space to grieve in a relationship is healthy, but you have feelings as well. Expressing your emotions is going to be crucial. It’s not easy talking about your desires and needs when someone is going through the stages of grief. But they need to know where you emotionally stand as well. A relationship is a two-way street, and though she’s grieving the loss of her spouse, this doesn’t mean your feelings should be ignored.
Joining her family
If you two are dating, you’re bound to meet her kids at some point. Since she’s a widow, this means her children also lost a parent. Depending on the family, your welcome could either be a positive one or one with animosity. Many children will have their defenses up because they fear you’ll try to replace their parent. In this case, pull back, and focus on being their friend.
Ending up as a rebound
Some people go into dating when they’re not ready. What happens is that you end up being a rebound for them. This isn’t a good feeling to experience, especially if you’re ready to find a partner. Some widows start dating to fill a void. If they lost their spouse within the last year, be cautious, and take it slowly. You don’t want to get your heart crushed.
You’ll hear about their late spouse
Of course, this depends on when you two start dating. If you two begin dating during the stages of grief, expect to hear them talk about their late spouse. You may not be in the mood to hear it, but you cannot expect them to compartmentalize their life. This may be difficult for you because you won’t feel like you’re a priority. But you shouldn’t look at it like that. She’s working through her grief, so you can be her priority. Though, if you notice she’s unable to move on, perhaps she’s not ready to date yet, and this is something you need to talk about with her.
As you can see, dating a widow comes with its own set of challenges. But that doesn’t mean your relationship won’t be healthy and loving. By knowing the challenges, you’ll be able to take the right steps and build a healthy and supportive relationship.
This content is sponsored by Stefan Simonovic.