Pitfalls of dating a widower
Look, here’s my best advice: know your must have’s, and go into every date looking for at least one thing that is RIGHT about him. It is true that some think they are ready but not (just like after a breakup, right? Don’t assume any specific number of months or years is required until he’s ready. In fact just writing that makes me feel like throwing up.
Then believe him, and pay attention to his actions. Some of you shared your positive experiences and thanked me. I’m happy to say that I’ve never had to experience the grief of losing a spouse.
You're not asking them to forget their memories, you're simply asking whether they are ready to start a new relationship and take the next step in their life.
Abel is far from the only author tackling this subject: in addition to his two books, Dating a Widower and Marrying a Widower, there is Julie Donner Anderson's Past: Perfect! and that knowing how few men under 55 are widowed compared to women (at one time Social Security told me it was 1 man to 7 women) makes me quite skeptical...
In the first emails Tim and I sent each other we mentioned previous relationships – my failed marriage and his wife’s death at 36 from breast cancer – but only in a fact-finding kind of way.
And when we met over a pint in a Hampshire pub, we touched on those subjects again but agreed they weren’t right for a first date.
Perhaps some of them were even a little nuts before they were widowed (we are changed by our losses... I also think that widowers with children still at home (most of the widowers I know fall in this category) are a bit more justified in hanging on to "stuff" from their past lives and sharing family (like in-laws) and memories a bit more actively.
This is a giant set of exceptions that negates, for me, a lot of Abel's advice.