Dating a widower might not be a walk in the park for you. Sometimes it might feel like a rebound or a one-sided interest. Whether you are currently dating a widower or considering dating one, here are some challenges to expect so you won’t be blindsided or caught off guard.
Challenges you Might Encounter When Dating a Widower
1. Mood Swings
Widowers are prone to mood spells, which is a direct consequence of the grief they are dealing with or had to deal with. Your partner will often switch from emotional highs to lows and vice versa. A memory can trigger their grief and send them into a sour or sad mood.
One minute they are happy, and the next, they are struggling to keep their emotions in check. A scene in a movie or a whiff of a familiar perfume can reopen their wounds. These mood spells can occur several years after the loss of a partner, as grief does not work within a timeframe.
The Remedy: Exercise patience and give them space to work out their emotions. Most importantly, be understanding. Don’t get upset when they are vulnerable.
2. The Rebound Factor
You need to tread carefully when getting into a relationship with a widower. The loss of a spouse can leave a gaping void, and a widower might try to fill that void by dating.
This is often a coping mechanism and if you are not careful, you’d be the sacrificial lamb in the grand scheme of things. The last thing you want is to fall prey to a one-sided relationship where your partner is using you to alleviate grief.
The Remedy: pay attention to red flags such as mixed signals and unnatural clinginess, so you won’t fall victim to a rebound relationship. You can also mitigate this circumstance by proving your love and care for them. If you are lucky, your partner will separate fiction from reality and love you for you.
3. You or the Late Spouse?
Some widowers find it difficult to separate their current parter from their late spouse. Everything you do reminds them of their lost loved one. In this case, they will talk about them often and compare your similarities.
This can be naturally upsetting and annoying. You may question your position in their lives and feel like you are in a competition. The truth is, your partner’s late spouse was an important symbol of their lives and so are you.
The Remedy: Try not to take offense. Express your emotions or displeasure and work out a way to tackle the problem together.
4. Cheating but not Cheating
It is not uncommon for widowers to feel like they are cheating on their late spouse when dating another person.
A widower is susceptible to guilt and this may affect their future relationships. It may take time for your partner to let go of the guilt and date you wholeheartedly.
The Remedy: Lend them your ear and support and give them time to detach from the guilt. Subsequently, they will understand that it is not a crime to move on and let love lead.