10 dating tips for widows and widowers
When a year-old woman posted on Reddit about the cruel jokes her boyfriend makes about her weight loss, a widower shared some. "Widower," he replied, clear and factual. And that was the first time I'd contemplated that word, in relation to me and my new categorisation in. Months into our relationship, as you told and retold the story, I would identify with your pain so much I cried too. Such a tragedy for a beautiful.
We all process grief in different ways. Only you can decide when is the right time, and testing the water could be the only way of finding out.
This Regret-Filled Widower Has the Most Touching Relationship Advice Ever
Those ready to find love again have a number of websites and apps at hand Credit: Meanwhile, broader popular dating sites such as eHarmony also cater to those who are ready to find love again. We caught up with Abel Keogh, author of Dating a Widowerto seek advice for those returning to the dating world and to hear about his own personal experiences as a widow.
Why did you start writing about dating for widowers?
What I was writing about apparently resonated with readers because I started getting emails from women who were searching for advice about the widowers they were dating. I put my personal experience and recurring issues I saw in the emails into my first book, Dating a Widower.
When I first started dating I was looking for someone who was similar to my late wife both in looks and interests.
A letter to ... a widower I fell in love with
Once I did, the dates went better and it was easier to open my heart to those who were very different.
They view the loss of their spouse as a problem that needs to be fixed and see dating and relationships as the best way to mend their broken hearts. Most get their lives and hearts in order before testing the dating waters.
They tend to experience similar issues and emotions and make the same mistakes. I was widowed in my 20s and I see widowers in their 30s, 40s, 50s and older making the same mistakes I did. That is, we just start dating because we want companionship, not a relationship. A grieving man is fragile. He needs kindness and a listening ear.
But empathy has its limits. After months of listening to him endlessly extol someone who is not you, it's tough to sustain the nurturing spirit that's said to be part of a woman's DNA. It can overwhelm a man who takes on a new relationship when he mistakenly believes he is emotionally ready.
Men who haven't quite reached the ready-to-date stage nevertheless manage to draw companions into their trajectory while they figure things out. Some women spend years orbiting a world of grief that is not their own. Pure grief is not the only reason a widower won't commit. Sometimes it's guilt -- a feeling of being unfaithful to a lost partner.
Sometimes families oppose new ties -- adult children fearing that a new woman will undermine the sanctity of their parents' long marriage. A widower may have to choose between his new romantic interest and offspring who can't get past idealizing their mother.
It's not uncommon for widowers to measure a potential partner against a romanticized version of the woman they've lost.
What's a widower to do?
Psychoanalyst Darian Leader calls this the Rebecca Syndrome, a reference to the Daphne du Maurier novel in which the heroine is terribly haunted by the ghost of her husband's late wife. Leaderthe power of what has gone before will infuse even the most contented new partnerships. Social scientists have found that men look to reconnect because they want what they had before, what they're used to.