Understanding the intentions of a widow or widower
Trying to figure out if a widow or widower is interested in you can be a complex process. Understanding their intentions could provoke some awkward moments and there are likely to be plenty of sensitive concerns you might want to avoid.
Whether or not you’re being compared to your date’s late partner is an obvious thought; and you could both be experiencing these feelings on a subliminal level. The best way to establish this is to talk about it!
They may need some extra time
If someone is showing positive signs of wanting to keep in contact, but equally 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. Weighing up the pros and cons of entering into a new relationship is to be expected.
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 them the space they need to assimilate their feelings is important. This will help to provide a solid foundation on which both of you can build something new. If you sense any kind of reluctance during the process of getting to know each other, it is important you don’t come on too strong – especially in the early stages of the developing friendship. Let things take their own course.
Understanding each other
When dating a widow or widower, there are certain reassurances you will need. Knowing and understanding the best course of action is key.
For example, a widower who is seeking a relationship soon after losing a life-partner could simply be lonely. He may not yet know how to cope with his own company. Someone without a family, or a circle of friends looking out for him, could make for a compromising situation. Putting too much store on a romantic relationship with someone who is not ready could have a disappointing outcome.
Meeting during the daytime or early evening for the first few dates will give you the opportunity to get to know each other, without making too much of a commitment. A video call is another way of connecting in the initial stages. This will help you to see how the friendship is progressing. It will also reveal whether or not he or she is over the grief that would have followed their partner’s death.
By offering a platonic lifeline, this could help a recent widow or widower to come to terms with their loss. It will also highlight the possibility of greater things further down the line for both of you.
Establishing the relationship
Being introduced to their friends is a positive step. Taking things to this level demonstrates they’re keen for the relationship to develop further. This cannot be underestimated. Introducing you to people who would have been acquainted with their previous partner is a good sign.
If they introduce you to their family – their children in particular – this can be an indication 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 might have, will give both of you the chance to express how you’re feeling. Building a mutual 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 may help establish a stronger rapport. If they talk about their late partner constantly, however, you can take this as a sign they’re not yet ready to move on with someone new.
Ultimately, by creating conditions for the widow or widower to feel at ease, they are more likely to want to open up about their current feelings. Any apprehensions they may have could also come to the surface during a conversation of this nature.
Afraid of being hurt
One of the biggest factors preventing widows and widowers from pursuing a relationship is the concern they might get hurt. This is based upon how well adjusted they are to their new life as a widow or widower and is something that cannot be ignored. Understandably, it 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.
As in any relationship, the best measure of how serious somebody is feeling will be exhibited through his or her behaviour. If they seem to be holding back a little, this may be the most comfortable way for them to behave at this moment in time. It may also be an indication they are not yet sure about moving on.
Is it love?
Assessing whether your feelings for each other are based purely on friendship, or whether love is in the air, is a natural development. As a widow or widower, they might, at first, find it difficult to accept loving somebody else. While the love for their late partner may be as strong as it ever was, they need to recognise the potential of entering into a new relationship. Each romantic experience is unique and will hold its own value and significance.
When you feel the time is right, raising questions about where the relationship is headed and whether the feelings you share are mutual, will ensure you are both on the same wavelength.
Knowing when to have this conversation will be based upon your own instinct and how well you have come to know the person you’re dating.
Establishing whether or not a widow or widower is interested in you can take some time. As you get to know each other, you will learn how they deal with certain situations and at what pace.
If you are also widowed, you will be sensitive to their feelings and won’t want to prolong the relationship if it doesn’t feel right. The suffering they experienced is likely to have given them a similar depth of compassion.
Dating someone who has also lost a life partner can bring richer meaning to your relationship, and a desire to make the most of the opportunities life has to offer.
Eventually, it is hoped that dating a widow or widower will lead to a worthwhile relationship that can develop over time. If this is the case, it will be because you have grown to understand each other in a deeper sense. Hopefully, romance will follow and your relationship will have a firm foundation on which to flourish.