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Ronda

Dating a widowed man

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I am supposed to be going out with a widower I meet through online dating.  I am kind of concerned since he says his wife has only been gone for 10 months.  Have any of you dated a widower that was this newly widowed or did any of you men start dating that early?  Will I be able to tell if it is too soon for him to be dating?   What signs should I look for?  Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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I started dating about 6 months after my wife died and it worked out for me. I met a wonderful woman 3 months after I started dating and we were married 18 months after that. That was 9 years ago and things have been terrific. I'm not sure it is useful to put a specific time frame on the whole thing though. Some guys can successfully date rather soon after they were widowed, others, of course, need longer to be at peace with themselves and be available to another woman. It's the same for the women - different time periods for different individuals.

 

But having said that, you'll know if a person isn't ready. Some possible signs in my opinion; constant comparing you to previous spouse, too emotional, a shrine set up in their home to the passed spouse, trying to steer you into hobbies/activities that your date and previous spouse did together, things like that.

 

I do think a more newly widowed person may be a bit more nervous on the first date or two than someone that has some time under their belt, but that will be because they haven't dated in years most likely. They may feel they are "cheating" on their passed spouse. But that should go away quickly if they are ready to date.

 

I found dating to be a blast. Have fun, try to relax and enjoy yourself.

 

Good luck!! Mike

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I met my second husband when I was 6 months out. He was only 2 months out. We married a year later. Our relationship was wonderful. Unfortunately, he died just under 4 years after we met. It has been almost 5 years since he died and I am just now looking into dating again. 

 

Readiness depends on on many factors. Meet, talk, see where things go!

 

Best wishes!

 

Maureen

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I started dating at about 10 months out.  I was ready to date, but still wasn't clear-headed from the grieving process yet.  That didn't come for me until almost two years after my wife passed.  For me, I felt a need to fill that hole of my lost connection at that point, which I don't feel anymore.  I feel more ready to really give of myself now, but don't feel the need to fill that void of lost companionship and intimacy.  I feel more ready to date now than I did at 10 months out, but I agree it is different for each person.  Always a good idea not to rush into anything, take your time to get to know the person, in my humble opinion.

 

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I met the now-father-of-my-only-child when I was two years out and he was six months out.  We were just supposed to be friends, but it got complicated.  He truly wasn't ready even though he pursued, and it was basically a disaster for a long time, but we made it to bluer skies.  Our relationship and the course of it defied a lot of conventional wisdom, so I have little advice to give that can be general.  It's all so subjective and individual and specific to the two people involved.  If he's made the decision to date, he's more likely to be ready than my NG was at the time - where we just kinda fell into circumstances.  It was really hard for me - I found it harder to be with a widower than I found it to be a widow in a new relationship.  My feelings on that seem not to be common though.

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Thank you so much everybody for sharing your experiences with me.  I appreciate all the help I can get.  Dating in your 50's is a lot different than when I was dating in my 20's, although I still feel as geeky and shy on the first dates....LOL.

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Good luck - hope it goes well! I think it depends on so many factors i.e being ready to date at 10-months including things like length of marriage, circumstances of the marriage, just who you meet/match with?! I dated a widower very briefly in his late 40s who had been married 10+ years and his wife passed away after a lengthy illness and he was 6 months out. He had 2 young girls.  I was several years out at that point and was quite smitten but I quickly discovered he just wanted to play the field and wasn't looking for a girlfriend - and that became evident quickly. So I left that one behind very quickly. But that was just one guy and there were certain circumstances here - there are plenty of fish in the sea! 

Edited by Captains wife
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in my experience, it depends on the persons involved, what their baggage is and where they each are emotionally/psychologically.  I "met" a widower on the former iteration of this site.  We started writing to each other when we discovered we had a lot more in common than our shared widowhood.  My husband had only died 10 months before our correspondence started up; his wife had died nearly 7 years before.  His children were nearly grown; my daughter was 7.  We both had careers we were committed to.  We lived on different continents.  It was pretty much set up to fail, but fingers crossed!, so far it hasn't.  We wrote for six months and then finally met when he was in the States for a business meeting (he is British).  We've been together ever since - after three years long distance, he moved here and we were married nearly two years ago.  It all started up five years ago nearly to this day, in fact!  The logistics were (and remain) complicated and so were my emotions early on.  Long distance allowed me to deal with some of my early grief stuff in private (which is how I needed to do it); our shared experience in losing our spouses (both to long illnesses) helped us through some of the tough relationship stuff; now it just feels like we've been together forever, marked by widowhood, able to move through its sneaky occasional resurgences, but it took us some work, some mistakes and yes, some unhappiness to get here but we have stuck together and made it through.  Lest I sound like it has all been drudgery, it hasn't - we have also had a blast and many, many good times both just the two of us and with our children and larger families.  That is our story, but we are just two individuals.  I think the success of any relationship is entirely dependent on both the individuals involved and the logistics (kids, finances, geography, world view, baggage, expectations, etc.)  and how much work, selflessness, love and forgiveness everyone involved is willing to put into it.  I just wanted to tell our story so that you know that it is possible.  Good luck!  

 

Edited by Toosoon2.0
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I went out with a widower when I was 10 months out.

 

He was 6 weeks out. 

 

He was very ready..was actually looking for a wife. We only went out for 2 months-it scared me off. However he immediately met another woman and they were married 6 months later. 

 

My advice..just enjoy yourself and have an open mind-

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I've been dating a widower for 4 months now. He just reached the one year mark, I'm closing in on 7 years. I think the difference in our length of times of being widowed has worked well for us. He can still be overwhelmed by emotion at times, but I have enough distance that it doesn't scare me--been there, done that, I know it gets better--and he's helped me process my own grief in deeper ways than I thought I could or needed to. I'm also very glad that he's in therapy, goes to a grief group once a month, and has close friends, so I'm not his only source of support. That would be overwhelming to me. He's a sensitive person who feels things deeply, as am I, and we understand each other pretty well. I'm the first person he's been with since his wife died, though I think he'd been looking for a few months before we met. I started dating at about a year, slogged through my share of creeps and losers until I met this lovely man. We talked about grief quite a lot in the first month or so, then I think we both got tired of it at the same time, and the subject crops up much less frequently now.

 

We both knew pretty quickly after we met that this was the real deal. The challenge has been to find the right pace of moving forward and not rush too quickly into talk of living together, marriage, etc. Neither of us is at all ready for that, and we're both happiest when we can stay in and appreciate the moment, enjoy what we're feeling now, and not worry too much about the future. I've made it clear that I'm not giving up the life I've struggled to build for myself over these years. I think he still has some work to do on that, which is okay. My son is a grownup, he doesn't have any children, and in many ways we're free to build whatever kind of a relationship that works for us. It's kind of awesome.

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