So, you’re dating a widower. He’s a little older and calmer and seems more ‘settled’ and sure of himself than a lot of other men you’ve been with. And yet, you’re still looking for a sign, or 5 signs, a widower is serious about your relationship.
You’re constantly asking questions like how do you know if a widower loves you, and how long does it take for a widower to fall in love? Is the behavior of a widower a sign that he is serious about you and the relationship? What do you even look out for?
We’ll be honest with you. No matter how old you are or how much life you’ve lived, there are no easy answers when it comes to relationships. In fact, if you’re looking for 5 signs a widower is serious about your relationship, you might have even more of your work cut out for you.
Not to scare you off, but a widower has way more emotional baggage to work through than someone who’s never lost a partner or spouse. But, don’t lose heart. We’re here to dig deep and help you figure out 5 signs that a widower is serious about your relationship.
How Do You Know If A Widower Loves You?
How to tell if anyone loves you is a pretty loaded question. After all, everyone has a different way of saying and showing how they feel about you. There’s no singular way to show love and commitment. Some people make grand romantic gestures, shower you with gifts and roses and then, after love-bombing you, might disappear.
And, others prefer smaller, more intimate gestures such as remembering your favorite flavor of popcorn when you go to the movies. Maybe they’ll let you pick the music during a road trip, or always text you to ensure you reached home safely. That’s not to say those making big gestures are always the sort who gaslight you later; it’s just that it’s always different depending on the level of trust and comfort.
The behavior of a widower could go a long way in telling you that he is slowly but surely becoming serious about you and wants to build a healthy relationship. Maybe he introduces you to his children, maybe he starts opening up to you more. Perhaps one day you’ll notice he’s got a photo of you in his wallet. You’ll have to look more carefully than usual, to figure out the 5 signs a widower is serious about your relationship.
5 Signs A Widower Is Serious About Your Relationship
We’ve talked about how widowers will probably take some time to open up and get serious about a new romantic relationship, especially if it’s the first time he’s seeing someone since losing his partner. But let’s get down to business and talk about specific signs that he’s deeply invested in you and committed to building a relationship that will last.
Again, we reiterate that dating a widower is no piece of cake. You’ll have to put in some work as well in order to build trust in the relationship and so on. Let’s look at 5 signs that a widower is serious about your relationship, and your hard work has paid off:
Related Reading: Top 9 Tips To Build Trust In Relationships
1. He’s open to talking about the future
This is a pretty basic tenet for any romantic relationship but more so when you’re dealing with a man who has loved and lost a partner. If you’re planning on marrying a widower and living in his house, do plenty of checks to make sure he’s on the same page as you are.
“I was dating a man who had lost his wife a year ago. I wasn’t the first person he had dated, and I thought he was getting serious about the relationship,” says Pamela, “He seemed genuinely interested in me and I thought we could make it work.
“But I soon realized that the minute I brought up the future, he would clam up and become vague. Maybe he just wasn’t ready, or maybe he just wanted a no-strings-attached relationship. Either way, it didn’t work out, because we wanted different things.”
Now, it’s true that any relationship hits a snag when you want different things. But with a widower, it’s possible he just doesn’t want anything serious because planning for the future terrifies him. He’s lost someone so close and so dear to him and they had plans for the future too. So, if he’s not talking about future vacations, moving in together and so on, or refuses to engage in that conversation at all, maybe it’s time to figure out how to move on.
There is a chance you could change his mind, and how wonderful if you could. But, don’t spend too much time on a man who doesn’t want the same things as you do. As someone once said, trying to change a man is like walking through molasses – a lot of effort for very little result.
2. He talks about his wife and grieving, but doesn’t let it affect your relationship
A former partner looming large could spell doom for any relationship. But, when it’s a partner who passed away, there’s a lot of emotional baggage that both you and your widower partner will need to work through. As we’ve said, the best of relationships can come with baggage, but this needs a special kind of patience.
One of the 5 signs a widower is serious about your relationship is that while he remembers his wife with affection, he’s not so hung up on his grief and loss that he is unable to form a healthy attachment to you and your relationship. There’s respect and love for the partner he had, but he’s genuinely ready to share his heart and his hearth with you.
Mind you, if he’s constantly saying nasty things about his wife, that’s definitely a relationship red flag. Sure, on the surface, we like to hear some rude things about a partner’s ex, but to run down a woman who is no more doesn’t sound like the kind of man you’d want to be with long term.
How long does it take a widower to fall in love is a tricky question. On your end, respect that he has memories and maybe children that he shared with another woman. Remember that somewhere, a piece of him is perhaps tethered to hers forever. Maybe he can only give you his whole self, bit by bit with time. But you can see real effort on his part to love you the way you deserve.
When a widower talks about his late wife, pay attention to what he says, how he says it, and how often he brings her up. Be gentle, give him time, and maybe encourage individual and couples counseling if you think it is needed. Don’t pressure him to do anything he might not be ready, but some gentle suggestion won’t hurt.
Remember, there’s no harm in talking to a professional to work your way through what could be a challenging time and relationship for both of you. And, if professional help is what you seek, remember, Bonobology’s panel of experienced therapists is just a click away.
3. He introduces you to his family
“I’ve been dating a widower for over a year now,” says Charlie, “We met on a dating app, and while we did hit it off instantly, he was a little wary of getting too involved. He had lost his partner after a prolonged illness and wanted to focus on being there for their two young daughters.
“He’s not one for grand gestures; again, I think he fears that over-the-top love might not last and he’ll be left alone again. But his daughters mean everything to him and I knew that if he included me in their lives, it meant he was serious about me.”
Related Reading: 21 Dos And Don’ts When Dating A Widower
It took nearly a year, but finally, Charlie was introduced to the two daughters. “We met for lunch. I remember quaking in my shoes because I was convinced they wouldn’t like me. They were old enough to remember their mum, and no child takes kindly to another person in their sole remaining parent’s life,” Charlie remembers.
As it turned out, the two little girls cautiously warmed up to Charlie. A few months later, they all went on vacation together, and it was then that Charlie knew her partner was serious about the relationship. “We’ve been together three years now. We’re not thinking about marriage but we know the future belongs to us, together, all of us. I’ve stopped feeling insecure in the relationship,” she smiles.
How do you know if a widower loves you? Well, he’ll introduce you to people who are important to him. His children, his close friends and so on. The behavior of a widower in love is that of a man ready to move on and risk his heart. He’ll be eager to include you in all his life activities and connections. No halfway measures here.
4. He’s genuinely interested in your life
It’s easy for a widower to be completely wrapped up in himself. His grief, his loss, and if he has children and is raising them alone, he can be impervious to anything outside of his immediate responsibilities and orbit. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a widower being focused on himself and his kids, of course. This doesn’t mean you’re dating a narcissist.
But if you’re after a long-term, loving relationship or if you’re looking at marrying a widower and living in his house, you need to make sure he’s ready to invest in you, in all of the complex multitudes within you.
“I dated a widower who turned out to only want a nurse for his ailing mother,” says Miley. “I would understand if he wanted a partner to help him take care of her, but he didn’t want to do anything, yet expected me to be a caregiver within three months of us dating. He wasn’t interested in me as a person or as a partner.”
In any relationship, it’s important that you be recognized and accepted for who you are, for all that you are. If you’re dating a widower, you need to be extra cautious that he’s not expecting you to be just like his former partner, or merely someone who can raise his children or be the ideal daughter-in-law.
Watch the behavior of a widower if you’re with one. Does he ask about your day? Is he interested in your hobbies, your work, and what you want out of a relationship? Does he want to know you as a person, or is he only looking to see how neatly you’ll fit into his already orderly life?
5. His actions speak at least as loud as his words
Sounds pretty basic, doesn’t it? Of course, we all know that words, while very important, can simply be pretty, empty vessels devoid of true emotion. It’s the actions that really matter, the little things, the big things that they do. The times they go out of their way to make you happy and take care of you. That’s definitely one of the 5 signs a widower is serious about your relationship.
Related Reading: Does He Love Me? 10 Signs To Tell You That He Loves You
“I was in my 40s, and I’d been seeing a widower for a few months. He was in his 50s, and I did find him a little set in his ways, so I really wasn’t sure where things were headed. He was always telling me he genuinely wanted me in his life, but still, I was dithering,” says Jasmine.
And then, something happened that had her making up her mind almost immediately. “I had to go to the gynecologist and I hate going to the doctor alone. I was telling him that the day before that I was a little scared and I had what is called white-coat anxiety, which comes on whenever a doctor is about to examine you,” Jasmine remembers.
The next day, he was waiting outside her house to take her to the appointment. “I’m pretty certain he’d never accompanied anyone to a gynecologist. He really seemed like the sort who would cringe at the word ‘uterus’. But he drove me to my appointment, came into the doctor’s office and didn’t bat an eyelid. Afterward, he bought me an ice-cream because that’s what he always got for his son after a doctor’s visit. That’s when I knew,” says Jasmine.
How long does it take a widower to fall in love? Well, there’s no time limit as such for finding true love. In many cases, it might take longer than other relationships, because, again, there’s a deeper, more complex past that could keep coming back to haunt the present and your future together.
It’s prudent to remind yourself that if his grieving and the loss keeps overshadowing his feelings for you, this could turn into an exhausting relationship. In this case, even if he is falling in love with you, his past will keep intruding, to the point where he cannot acknowledge or accept his feelings and remains stuck in the past. End the relationship in this case – remember, no relationship is worth losing your peace of mind and dignity.
But hopefully, your widower is open to new love, ready to move on and loves you for exactly who you are. When a widower talks about his late wife, we hope it is with fondness, a little sadness and affection, but stays put in his past without making this a toxic relationship. Don’t rush his affections, physical or emotional, allow him his space to make peace with his past and grow together in love, while respecting each other’s memories and sharing your vision of the future.