Close this search box.

5 Things to Look Out for When Dating a Widower

Detangle Love’s Insight:


Dealing with losing a loved one is tough. And if you happen to be dating a widower, you must have lots of compassion and patience. But that can only go so far before you realize you might be wasting your time. Some widowers aren’t ready to begin a new relationship, even if they say they are. It’s up to you to spot the telltale signs to protect your own emotional well-being.

Are you dating a widower?

If you’re looking for a mate in your senior life, a widower can be an ideal choice! After all, they’ve already made a commitment in their lifetime that lasted, and they didn’t end the marriage by choice.

Statistically speaking, most widowers tend to have enjoyed married life and often marry again within a couple of years. On the other hand, widows can take up to five years to be willing to find love again.

But whichever way you look at it, you can’t rush into anything with dating a widower because you need to be sure they’re READY for love again. Grieving is a process that takes time to heal.

So how do you know if the widower you met or are already dating is truly ready for new love? Let’s identify the 5 red flags that usually indicate the widower isn’t ready for a serious relationship.

If they exhibit any of these tell-tale signs, it’s more than likely that they’re not ready to open their heart to you just yet.

Photo by 4 PM production at Shutterstock

They Won’t Tell Their Family About You

Have you been dating a widower for a couple of months, and you feel as though everything is going well? He talks about his late wife, but nothing too extreme. There’s only one small thing that’s bothering you. He hasn’t told the rest of his family about you.

Even though all his kids are in high school or maybe even older, he seems reluctant to tell them he’s dating someone new. If he’s hiding you from his children, being his little “secret” is not a positive sign.

It may just be a big fat red flag that he’s not ready to be in another relationship. You definitely need to have a talk with him if you’ve been seeing each other for more than six months.

Or you might just need to face that you aren’t a big part of his life. Perhaps you can handle this and wait, but we wouldn’t advise waiting too long!

They’re Still In The Grieving Process

Grief affects everyone in many ways, and it’s not always easy to tell if someone is still grieving and how badly it affects them. But, if you’re dating a widower, it’s essential to be aware that they might still be suffering, which could significantly impact your relationship.

Look for signs like them being constantly withdrawn, not wanting to talk about their late partner, or appearing distant and emotionally unreachable. This is one of the biggest red flags when dating a widower.

It’s a sign that they’re not ready for a new relationship, even if they think they might be.

Photo by Ground Picture at Shutterstock

You Remind Them Of Their Late Spouse

For a relationship with a widower to be able to grow and thrive, one has to love the new person for who they are, not who they want them to be.

When widowers begin dating again, their frame of reference for what makes a compatible partner is based on the personality, looks, and interests of the late spouse. They think finding someone who looks and acts similarly will heal what hurts them.

Now don’t get us wrong. If you have similar looks or personality traits to the late spouse isn’t exactly a red flag. But you should be troubled if the person tries to change you and mold your relationship into an imitation of the one they had with their late partner.

Luckily, this is an easy sign to identify. The 4 most common things to be aware of are:

  1. They constantly compare the two of you: This is done through subtle hints about how well their late partner did things and how much better they were.
  2. They frequently point out physical characteristics that you and the spouse share.
  3. They want you to dress in their late partner’s clothes or behave like them in public or in the bedroom.
  4. They continuously take you to the same places where they and their lost loved one ate or vacationed while declining to try new things with you.

They Disappear For Long Periods Of Time

If you’re dating a widower and they suddenly disappear for days or even weeks at a time, it’s definitely a red flag you shouldn’t ignore. It could simply indicate that they’re having a hard time dealing with their grief and need some time alone to process what they’re feeling.

But it could also be a tell-tale sign that they’re not ready to enter a new relationship. Whatever the case may be, you shouldn’t have to carry all this weight or pass it off as a normal thing because they need to deal with their grief.

You’re in this relationship as well, and you deserve to be treated with respect.

Their Late Spouse’s Photos Are Still All Over Their Home

When dating a widower, you would obviously expect some evidence of their late partner in their home. A few picture frames, especially with the family, make total sense. But when the person you’re dating has made a shrine in their house, you can’t compete with that.

You don’t want to rush into anything, taking each step in the relationship one at a time. But if you can’t bring furniture or decorations when you move in and the person demands you leave everything as their spouse had it, alarm bells should go off in your head.

We’re not saying you should be demanding. On the other hand, you can’t keep quiet either. Standing up for your needs is vital in any healthy relationship. Be sure to speak with the widower you’re dating and address your concerns and needs.

Don’t move in if they don’t want you to touch any decor that belonged to their deceased spouse. It’s a surefire sign that they’re not ready to let the person go.

Photo by Jacob Lund at Shutterstock

…But How Can You Tell If A Widower Is Serious About You?

When dating a widower, taking things slow and giving them the time they need to grieve and heal is essential. But you can still look for all the same signs that they’re serious about you as you would when dating anyone else. A few key things to look for include the following:

They introduce you to their family and friends
They’re open and honest about the way they feel
They make the effort to spend time around you
They welcome you into their plans
They’re understanding and patient
They take things slow with you
They make the effort to get to know the small things about you

If you’re dating someone who is a widower and they check all these boxes, they’re probably serious about you. Evidently, they’re the only ones who can decide if they’re ready to enter a new relationship. But if they exhibit all the signs we mentioned, it’s a good hint that they are.

Dating a widower can be tough at times. So we recommend you go into it with your eyes open and have honest communication with the person. In the end, it can be a new adventure! Amazon has a very useful read on the subject. Check it out HERE!

We hope this article has helped you figure things out if you’re dating someone who is a widower. Be sure to leave us a comment to share your thoughts with our readers.

We also recommend reading: Online Senior Dating: Avoid These 12 Mistakes at All Costs!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




How can you know if you’re dealing with a serial cheater? In the dance of love, the cornerstones of a happy relationship are still good-old trust and mutual respect.[..]
If you’re looking to meet the love of your life, I have something to tell you: these are important relationship deal-breakers for men! It’s simple to fall in love,[..]
First-date fiasco – have you ever been to one? If you meet someone special and are excited about seeing them for the first time, you’re probably a bit scared[..]
Your partner will never commit? Read on and find out all about it! You and your partner get along incredibly well, but there is something that doesn’t feel right.[..]
What’s the first thing you think about when you hear the word “affair”? Having a sexual relationship with someone other than one’s official partner, right? That would be the[..]
Does She Have Any Secrets? Are you in love? That’s great! But can you say for sure that you know her well enough? Even if men are generally the[..]