If you’re feeling insecure dating a widower you’re not alone.
It’s hard stepping in and dating a widower without feeling like you’re ‘second best’ or being compared to the partner they lost.
But you have to remember that they want to be with you, and I’m sure they like you for who you are.
To help reassure you, here are some tips when dating a widower:
Feeling Insecure Dating a Widower – 10 Tips That’ll Help
1. Appreciate that A Widower May Never ‘Move On’ from Their Partner
Unlike a relationship that ended, a widower finds themselves having to move on from a partner that they didn’t want to lose.
This can make it difficult for them to let go and may make them seem ‘stuck’ in the past to you.
They may never truly move on in the sense of the word, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of being 100% committed to you.
2. It’s Ok to Set Boundaries
If you’re feeling insecure about your relationship with a widower it’s ok to set boundaries that help both you and them.
You shouldn’t have to feel like you’re ‘walking on eggshells’ around them, and they’ll understand if you need some extra reassurance.
If you’re not comfortable about seeing pictures of their ex or hearing about them, you need to tell them that.
They may or may not agree to change, but it’s important you make it clear what you are and aren’t comfortable with.
3. Never Be Afraid to Be Yourself
You’re never going to be the person that their late partner was, and you shouldn’t try to be.
Widowers want someone who is their own person, not a copy of the person they lost.
So be yourself, and don’t try to be someone you’re not.
4. You’re Not Competing with Their Deceased Spouse
Similar to being yourself, it’s also important you don’t try to compete with their deceased spouse in any way.
A widower may always love their late partner, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be with you.
You’re not competing with anyone, and you shouldn’t feel like you have to be ‘better’ than the person they lost.
5. Encourage Them to Get Professional Help If Needed
If a widower is struggling to cope with their grief it’s important you encourage them to get professional help.
There’s no shame in admitting they need help, and it can only be a good thing for both of them and your relationship.
Sometimes a widower or anyone going through some difficulties needs a little help in the right direction, that’s where you come in.
6. Get Support for Yourself If Needed
It’s easy to point all the fingers at the widower, but you shouldn’t forget about your own wellbeing in all this.
If you’re feeling insecure or struggling to cope, make sure you get the support you need too.
7. Don’t Make Yourself Too Vulnerable if They’re Not Ready
If it’s clear that they’re not as ready as you are to be in a committed relationship you should take a step back and reassess things.
It’s not fair to put yourself in a situation where you’re more invested than they are, so be willing to walk away or at least slow things down a lot.
8. Never Say Something You’ll Regret
In the heat of the moment, it can be easy to say something you’ll later regret, and I think in the case of dating a widower you have to be even more careful.
If you’re feeling insecure or upset, try to take a step back and calm down before you say anything.
Matter how frustrated you are, the last thing you want to do is say something about them, their ex, or how you feel they are affecting your relationship.
9. Prioritize Communication
If you’re feeling insecure in your relationship with a widower, one of the best things you can do is communicate with them.
This has a number of benefits, including making sure they know how you feel, giving them a chance to reassure you, and giving them a caring ear to talk to.
It also means you’re more likely to spot any potential problems early on and deal with them before they become too big.
10. If They’re Worth Fighting For, Put in The Effort
If you’re dating a widower and you think they’re worth fighting for, I just wanted to remind you that you should.
You’re facing some challenges not seen in regular relationships and there are going to be some rocky times, I’m sure.
But at the end of the day if you love them and want to be with them, like any relationship you need to take the good with the bad and make it work.
Is It Hard to Date a Widower?
There is no simple one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
Each person is different, and each situation is unique.
However, I will say that widowers often have a lot of baggage (understandably) and may not be as quick to get into a committed relationship.
It’s important you’re aware of this and willing to take things slowly if necessary.
They may also always have feelings for their ex, and you need to be willing to accept that.
It’s not fair to them or to you to try and compete with someone who is no longer alive.
All in all, it can be a bit tricky to date a widower, but it’s certainly not impossible and there is no reason why you can’t have a happily ever after!
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.