Although the dating world is filled with ample relationship opportunities, some are more complicated than others. If your next potential dating partner is a widower with children, it's essential that you prepare for the task of dating him. Failing to do so can leave you feeling as if you'll never live up to his deceased wife's reputation. It can also end up hurting him more, if you're not comfortable discussing emotionally charged issues.
Put your own emotions into perspective. Understand that feeling some jealousy or apprehension about dating a widower is acceptable. Ignoring your feelings can cause more problems if the relationship progresses. Discussing your concerns with a trusted friend can help you identify potential issues. It can also help you formulate solutions, if you feel like the impending relationship is worth it.
Provide a comfortable atmosphere for discussion. This will help him open up to you about his deceased wife and their relationship. Avoid changing the subject when he brings her up, or placing his wife on a pedestal. Doing so will only leave you feeling incompetent and unworthy of his affection. Listening to him express his feelings about her can also reveal his readiness for a serious relationship.
Give him space to reminisce and grieve. Preventing him from acknowledging his pain will only stunt the natural grieving process. Take note of significant events such as his previous anniversary date and her birth and death dates. Realize that his children may need his extra support around these potentially devastating occasions. Lend your support without making anyone feel crowded.
Try not to compare yourself to his deceased wife. This behavior may end up destroying your chances at a successful relationship. Realize that all partnerships are different and that your bond is unique. While it may be beneficial to know about her good qualities, avoid trying to become a carbon copy of her.
Ease into a relationship with the children. This is especially true if his children still live at home with him. Losing a parent is difficult, so don't expect warm hugs on your first meeting with his children. Refrain from trying to replace their mother or trying to make them "forget" about her. It's not necessary to shower his children with gifts, as this can build resentment toward you because of these efforts.
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- It can be especially difficult to date a widower if you knew his wife prior to her death.
- Avoid moving too fast, as doing so could damage your chances at a constructive relationship.