How to Tell if a Widow or Widower is Interested in You?

Knowing if a widow or widower is interested in you when you’re venturing back into the world of dating can be a daunting prospect. Establishing the motives of this virtual stranger could invite some awkward moments and there are bound to be plenty of sensitive concerns you might want to avoid. However, there could also be important relationship issues you want to confront before getting further involved.

Whether or not you’re being compared to your date’s bereaved partner, is an obvious thought, and one your date could be experiencing on a subliminal level. The best way to establish this is to talk about the issue; sharing one another’s feelings with regard to the prospect of a relationship with someone new.

If someone is showing positive signs of wanting to keep in contact, but at the same time choosing to be slightly non-committal, it could be they want to take things at a slower pace. They may need some time to become accustomed to the new feelings they’re experiencing and weighing up the pros and cons of entering into a new relationship.

If you feel a strong attraction towards this person, it’s important you communicate you’re happy for them to be taking their time. Allowing the space they need to assimilate their feelings is important. This will help to provide a solid foundation on which both of you, as a widow and widower, can build something new.

Being introduced to their friends is a positive step and taking things to this level is a significant sign they’re keen for the relationship to develop further. This cannot be underestimated, especially as they could be introducing you to people who would have been acquainted with their previous partner.

If they introduce you to their family – their children in particular – this can be regarded as a sign they see a future with you and want to move the relationship on.

Letting them know you’re willing to talk about any concerns they have will give both of you the chance to express how you’re feeling. Building a sense of care and understanding will potentially give rise to a greater openness and trust between you.

Asking them if they want to talk about their previous partner and the life they shared together may help to create a better insight of the life they had before they were bereaved. However, if they talk about this constantly, you can take this as a positive indication they’re not ready for someone new.

If they’re happy to talk about where the relationship is headed and if you’re in the habit of making regular arrangements with one another, this is a clear sign they want the relationship to continue.

For both widows and widowers, one of the biggest factors preventing them from pursuing a serious relationship, is the concern they might get hurt and experience the dire feelings of loss all over again. Obviously, a lot of this is based upon how well adjusted they are to their new life as a widow or a widower. This is something that cannot be ignored and has to be met with a huge amount of respect and sensitivity.

Of course, some people move on more quickly than others; but there will always be the need for a degree of patience.

Ultimately, as in any relationship, the best measure of how serious somebody is feeling will be exhibited through their behaviour. If they’re showing signs of wanting to keep in touch, but are slow with regard to the speed with which the relationship is progressing, this may be the best way for them, and you have to accept that they need to take their time.

The widow or widower you’re dating is likely to be sensitive to your feelings and won’t want to string you along if they feel the friendship isn’t right. The suffering they would have been through when losing their previous partner would have most likely given them a greater depth of emotion and self-awareness and consequently consideration for your feelings.

When dating a widow or widower you might be presented with a set of unique challenges, which only patience and compassion can truly help you to understand. Dating someone who has also lost a life partner can bring a richer meaning to your friendship, and a desire to make the most of the opportunities life has to offer.

How Long Should a Widow or Widower Wait Before Remarrying?

‘How long should a widow or widower wait before remarrying’, is a frequently asked question, bringing with it many other important reasons to be introspect.

Before the prospect of marriage is even brought into the equation, you have to be sure you have sufficiently grieved for your previous partner. While it might be easy to convince yourself you’re adequately healed and ready for somebody new, the reality of being in another serious relationship can stir feelings that may lie deeper and which you have yet to confront.

Waiting until you’ve reached a place of balance and relative peace within your head and heart is a much better platform on which to consider dating again. Asking yourself what you want out of the next phase of your life is an important step, and you will need to give an honest appraisal about what your immediate needs and priorities are. If you rush into a new relationship without having grieved, you may make choices that are not a true reflection of what you’re really looking for.

As author and speaker Carole Brody Fleet touches upon in her book ‘Happily Even After’, “It is possible to create a new life without forgetting about your past. Treasuring the memories you shared with your previous partner and carrying their legacy forward into the next phase of your life will ultimately lead to richer and more meaningful relations.”

To remarry out of a desire to fill a void left by your partner, will most likely lead to confusion and suffering further down the line, both for yourself and your new partner. Spending time discussing the prospect of marriage and the changes it may involve will help create a clearer picture of what might be in store.

Obviously, if you feel your partner is forcing you, or there is pressure from friends and family to move-on and remarry, you need to speak-up and express any concerns you may have. It can be easy to get carried away and to convince yourself something is right for you, when deep down your heart may be telling you something else. Asking to be given space to work through these feelings is crucial to ensuring you don’t make the mistake of entering into a long-term commitment against your will.

This being said, finding somebody with whom you feel connected and who understands your loss, is certainly somebody to hold on to! If they give you the space you need when significant anniversaries or dates come up, then you can be sure you’re involving yourself with somebody who genuinely loves and cares about you.

This could also mean, if you have children, especially young children, your new partner can potentially fill the parental space (to a certain degree) left by your previous partner. While they won’t be able to completely fill the space left by a father or mother, there’s definitely something to be said about the benefits and stability this can bring. A second marriage to someone who genuinely loves you and embraces all aspects of your life is definitely something to nurture and which you can feel confident about.

When a widow or widower remarries, there are also important questions to be made about any financial assets you may have. As much as this is an area that should never get in the way of genuine love and connection, it’s important to approach this side of your life squarely to ensure you protect anything of lasting value to you and your family’s long-term security. Your partner’s future security is equally important and must also be considered.

Remarriage after becoming widowed is definitely not about forgetting your previous partner. Making sure you have grieved and asking yourself what you want for the next period of your life, as well as considering any practical needs crucial to your well-being, will allow you to come to a decision reflecting the best interests of yourself and your previous partner.