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.