Beware When Dating a Widower
Will He Ever Be Ready to Get Married?
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four children together. But he still won't tie
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By Tom Blake
May 18, 2004
You meet a widower who's interested in dating you.
Should you be cautious?
Judy of Hacienda Heights, Calif., a widow,
thinks so. "Dating will not heal wounds; time will. A
widower needs family and friends if he is still in
that place of hurt and depression.
"I've met some wonderful men online, but the healing
factor kept me from getting involved. They weren't
mentally available, therefore unable to put the energy
into a relationship. Alone time is healthy, too," said
Any person who has suffered a loss needs time to heal
and should avoid dating too soon.
From St. Paul, Minn., a woman e-mailed, "I've
been on the dating scene for three years and have
found most men haven't healed from the loss of their
partner, aren't ready for dating, and are trying to
find the same lady as their partner."
Phyl of Anaheim Hills, Calif., wrote,
"Before saying 'hello' to someone new, you have to say
'goodbye' to that person who has been your best
friend, companion and lover for many years."
From Sharon, Mass., Ellen said, "Dating before
you're ready isn't fair to you or the person you date.
I've been seeing a widower who is still madly in love
with his wife. She died two years ago and he can't let
me in. I have to start looking for another close
A widow of four years, Shell, 47, of Dover,
Ohio, e-mailed. "I've been dating a 52-year-old
widower of only one year. In the bedroom there is a
giant picture of he and his wife on their wedding day.
Plus, on her side of the bed, the nightstand is like
this little shrine that has been set up."
Shell enjoys the widower but is concerned because he
wants her to move in. She says she's not jealous but
adds, "I don't want to live with a ghost."
After dating a widower for two years, Lauren
of Rosyln, N.Y., shared, "He wanted everything in the
beginning, was moving very fast, and then it all fell
apart as he went back to grieving her. I shall stay
away from a widower if it has been under four years
since the passing of his loved one."
These women aren't being critical of widowers as
people. They are simply stating that attempting to
date one too soon after his loss isn't wise.
Some widowers begin dating within months after losing
their spouses, but not Rick, 67, of Modesto,
Calif. Rick was married 32 years. He believes the
quality of the marriage determines the depth of the
hurt. "My wife and I were best friends and did
everything together. We had a plan and now my life has
taken a 180-degree turn.
"People grieve in their own time and way. After 10
months, I still spend Saturdays on a bench at the
cemetery and can't stop crying. I'll never get over
this, just maybe through it.
"A couple of women have called and asked me out. I
wouldn't feel comfortable," said Rick.
Bottom line: Women should proceed with caution when
becoming involved with a widower. If he hasn’t healed,
there likely will be trouble down the road.
Tom Blake is a syndicated columnist in Southern
California and the author of
Finding Love After 50: How to Begin. Where to Go. What
to Do (Tooter's, 2003). To receive his free weekly
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