I know three women who are currently dating widowers--the guys we refer to in our book as The Gold Standard. These men never left their wives for a younger babe, have stuck out the ups and downs of a long marriage, and when their wives needed them most, they balanced the roles of working, caretaking and parenting. What’s not to like?
However, being cautious and protective of my friend, Gold Standard guy or not, I was really worried when Suzanne handed her heart to her new love after just a date or two. I was surprised to see her hard edges melting away right in front of me, and worried sick that this guy just wanted a fling after nursing his wife throughout a two-year terminal illness. But, it turns out that he was ready to move on and he’s bananas about Suzanne and just as eager to share his future with her as she is ready to share her life with him. They’re even discussing the best locations for retirement!
A guy friend, who is a widower himself, says there are definite red flags to watch out for before falling head over heels for a widower. These signs could indicate that he’s not ready to move on yet and is (probably not consciously) using the woman he’s with now to fill the void he’s feeling.
Here are the Watch Out signs:
He hides you from his family and friends.
You remind him of his late wife.
He compares you to his late wife.
He hasn’t removed the visible shrines to his late wife.
He can’t/won’t tell you that he loves you.
He refuses to talk about his grief.
My widower friend reminded me that no one of these signs is a deal-breaker by itself, but each and all of the signs should make you aware that he may not be as ready as you are for a relationship.