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Widower misses a vowel

By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50

From time to time, we write about the importance of healing for people who've suffered the loss of a mate before they bring someone new into their lives.


How long to wait? Everybody's situation is unique. What is best for one may not be appropriate for another.


After corresponding with a widower online, Linda met him in person five months ago. A relationship began. She soon discovered, dating a widower can be a challenge. Can a widower say the love word?


Both had been married for 24 years. Linda said, "I was divorced seven years ago after years of mental abuse. It took me the first five years to realize I could move on in my life and come to terms that I am a special person and deserve all life has to give me."


The widower was married one time. "He doesn't have photos of his wife out (deceased three years), but he speaks frequently about the life they had," Linda said.


Linda wonders if he has gotten past the grief and can move forward into a new relationship: "He has issues with saying the ‘Love’ word. He hasn't been able to tell me he loves me, and states he cannot tell me until he knows he really means it." 


This week, the widower gave Linda a birthday card. She said, "He signed my card 'Lov,' minus the e, and told me he is getting closer to the full word." 


She admits she has fallen for him, but doesn't know if his heart is there for her. 


"My gut tells me I need to give him a little more time. It is already going to hurt if he walks away, no more so a few months from now, so do you think more time will help him find that missing 'vowel' in the word love?"


Here's what I told Linda


"Follow your gut, your instinct. Yes, he needs more time, but he sounds like a really decent man who is being honest with you. Some widowers and lovers aren't honest; they just up and leave with no warning one day.


"He may be cautious for two reasons. Perhaps, he isn't sure that he wants a relationship with you, and he may still be grieving.


"Dating a widower can be risky, but not impossible. Don't pressure him. Show him you appreciate him without being syrupy. Stop fretting over the missing vowel. Exude more confidence. Relish the present joy he brings."


"And yet, protect your heart. How? That's up to you, but I'd get involved in an activity or hobby that doesn't involve him.


Linda answered, "I think your suggestion about having an outside, single interest will help me protect the hurt if he bolts and runs. I feel I have found one really special person and if I give him a little extra time, he will find that missing letter ‘e’ in love. 


Only time will tell.


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