Dating is overwhelming regardless of the circumstances.
It’s nerve-wracking, exciting, and confusing!
We’ve all been there, worrying if you wore the right dress, said the right things, or talked a little too much on a first date.
Okay, so you’ve met someone; you’ve been talking for a while now.
He’s tall, handsome, educated, and kind… but he’s a widower.
Now what? You’ve never experienced anything like this before.
You’ve dealt with men healing from heartbreak, men with toxic exes, but not a man who has lost his wife.
Of course, getting back into dating after losing a loved one comes with its own obstacles.
Dating a widower can be an emotionally draining experience for you if he’s not ready to truly move on and be with someone new.
Sometimes widowers are looking for a casual fling to help them heal from the heartbreak or provide a distraction from their grieving.
Other times, widowers have healed and are ready to find love again with someone new.
There are a few things you can look for when you first start dating a widower to see if he’s truly interested in building a future with you.
Here are the 6 signs that a widower is serious about pursuing a relationship with you:
1. It won’t feel like a one-night stand or a short fling
Widowers might get back into dating to distract themselves from healing, to help them move on, or just to fulfill their physical needs.
Although understandably, widowers might have a tough time getting back into a serious relationship, you need to find a man who treats you the way you desire.
As a woman looking for a serious relationship instead of a fling, you should figure out right away if he’s looking for the same thing.
One obvious choice is to ask about his intentions; some men are happy being honest about what they’re looking for and whether they are interested in a relationship.
This way, if you communicate that you aren’t looking for a casual relationship, he can decide whether or not to continue pursuing you.
Some men won’t be upfront about what they’re looking for, or they might genuinely not be sure.
If this is the case, look for signs as to whether he is treating you like a fling:
Does he leave you on read for days at a time without a text back?
Does he call and check in on you throughout the day?
Does he send you good morning messages?
If you’re having a tough week, is he the first one to comfort you or surprise you with a gift, date, or homecooked meal?
It’s often easy to see if a man is interested in you as more than just a one-night stand.
If every conversation is short, casual, and related to sex, you’ll begin to know where you stand with him.
On the other hand, if he consistently pursues you, supports you, and works to make you happy, he is probably interested in courting you and beginning to build a real relationship with you.
2. His grief won’t get in the way of strengthening your relationship
Yes, losing someone you love is emotionally taxing.
It might take some time to truly heal and be in a mental state to build a relationship with someone new.
Many people who have lost loved ones choose to do therapy or find professionals to help them heal productively and holistically.
So, first and foremost, if this widower is right in the thick of his grief, it probably isn’t the right time to fall in love with someone new.
It’s definitely not ideal to ask, but you might be able to know if the widower you’re dating has gone through enough of the healing process and is ready for a new relationship.
If he is constantly talking about his late wife, bringing up their old jokes and experiences, or reminding you of how differently you do things than his previous partner, then he is probably not ready to wholeheartedly move on and be with someone new.
Along with that, if you walk into his apartment after a date and notice he has a “shrine” of his previous partner, that might be a sign he’s not in a place to commit.
I’m not talking about a picture or two of them on a trip; I’m talking he still has her clothes, her face is everywhere, and he has two toothbrushes beside his bathroom sink.
Pay close attention to whether or not he seems to be at a point in his life where he has grieved effectively, healed, and is ready to welcome new love into his life.
3. You develop a distinct relationship that reflects your common interests
You and your man should be able to build a relationship that reflects the two of you – not his past relationship.
If he works to make things feel just like his past, he might just be using you as a placeholder for his previous relationship.
Do you go to brunch every Sunday at the same restaurant he used to visit with his late wife, or have you found new places that you both love?
Does he want the furniture and apartment to stay the same as it was before, or does he let you add your creativity to the space?
If he is trying to make your relationship resemble his past, he’s probably not in a space to embrace a new relationship just yet.
He should love who you are and not want you to fit into a mould that is comfortable for him.
Remember, if he’s serious about you, he should be comfortable learning about things you enjoy and welcoming change in his life!
4. He talks about a future with you
This one is relatively easy to determine.
You’ll know a man is serious about you if he speaks about you as part of his future.
If he doesn’t, he won’t share questions, concerns, or decisions with you that might affect your lives down the road.
Does he speak about you like you’ll be in his life in the next year?
Great, what about the next five years? 20 years?
If it’s been a few months and he still only speaks to you about casual things like his week at work, issues with coworkers, and his next travel destination, he might not be thinking very long-term.
On the other hand, if he brings up plans for trips together, or dates to meet his family and friends, that’s a great sign that things are heading towards a relationship.
If you are looking for something serious with this man, make sure he sees the same kind of future with you.
It might be hard at first for him to imagine his future with someone new, but once he grows to care about you he should want to envision a life with you!
5. He introduces you to friends and family
This is a big step for a widower.
He has lost a partner who was probably well-known and cared for by his loved ones.
Regardless, if he’s in a space to start a serious relationship, this should be non-negotiable.
Once a man decides that he is serious about you, it seems natural and exciting to bring you up around (and introduce you to) the people he loves most.
If it’s been months and he hasn’t introduced you to anyone else in his life or at least made plans to, that’s not a great sign.
Be wary of men who say, “I’m ready to move on, but my family is still grieving.”
If he is truly ready to move on, he should be able to talk to his family about his new relationship as well.
These are often excuses because he doesn’t want to make serious commitments just yet; we all know that taking the step to introduce your partner to your loved ones is often intimidating.
If he cares about a future with you, this step will be an obvious choice, no matter what challenges lay ahead.
6. Your connection feels more intimate every day
Of course, if you’re going to be starting a relationship with a widower, you will need to be empathetic, patient, and supportive.
If you and your partner can’t have open, honest, and emotional conversations with one another, it will be hard to strengthen your communication and trust.
A widower needs to feel safe enough with his new partner to bring up his worries, apprehensions, and feelings.
He should be comfortable speaking with you about his past and your future together.
If you don’t feel as though your connection is growing stronger and closer every single day, then the relationship probably isn’t going to get much more intimate than it is now.
A widower will show you he wants to take the next steps by opening up to you (it will obviously be different depending on each man).
For many, this is one of the most intimidating steps of all.
Disagreements, discussions, and conversations will always be difficult, but they should remain respectful.
Dating a widower comes with its own distinct challenges and experiences.
Widowers have had to overcome pain and heartbreak and go through tremendous healing to prepare their hearts for something new!
Just remember, as important as it is to be kind and caring to the widower you’re dating, you need to put yourself first as well.
If he isn’t looking for a real future with you, don’t waste your time taking care of someone who is only looking for a casual hook-up.
You deserve to be loved the way you want and to give love to those who truly deserve it.
I hope these 6 signs help you decide whether he’s Mr. Right or just Mr. Right Now!