Getting back into the dating pool is hard after a tough breakup or a divorce. So you can only imagine how difficult it might be after the loss of a spouse.
However, starting a healthy, new relationship is possible, and many surviving spouses find happiness after their loss.
But what are the signs that it’s time to get out there? What are the signs a widow is ready to date again? Read on, and you’ll find out.
14 Signs A Widow Is Ready To Date Again
Here is how a widow who is ready for a new relationship will act:
1. The big cleansing
Let’s get one thing straight: this woman spent years with her deceased husband. They shared their lives together, and it’s perfectly natural for her to be surrounded by memories of him.
After all, it would be theoretically impossible to throw out everything that reminded her of him. And even if it were possible, this is something you shouldn’t even think of asking her to do.
However, before she starts a new, serious relationship, there is one thing she must do: the big cleansing. It’s time for her to decide which memories she wants to keep and which she is ready to let go of.
I mean, no man would feel comfortable being with a woman who, let’s say, still sleeps in her husband’s pajamas every night. You wouldn’t feel like she is ready to move on if his voice is still on her answering machine.
This is the kind of stuff I’m referring to. Of course, the big cleansing doesn’t include throwing away all of this man’s photos or getting rid of every trace he ever existed – that would be cruel.
2. Embracing her single life
One of the most overlooked signs a widow is ready to date is the fact that she’s embraced single life. What does this mean?
Well, jumping from one relationship to another is never healthy, even if we’re talking about a breakup or a divorce. Therefore, you can only imagine how unhealthy it is to enter the world of dating right after your significant other passes away.
In this case, the surviving spouse should spend some time by herself. I’m no Judge Judy, so I’m not here to tell you exactly how long this phase should last.
The bottom line is that, as a widow, she has to learn how to live on her own before she starts dating again. Yes, her single life will bring many new, unique challenges, but she has to overcome them by herself.
This is the only way you’ll know she’s not looking for a new partner who will, in a way, replace her deceased spouse. This woman needs to learn how to function without a partner in this world, and only when this happens will she be ready for a new chapter in her life and for a new love.
3. Letting go
There are different stages and types of grief. And after the loss of a spouse, a widow has to go through all of them before engaging in a new relationship.
I mean, it’s impossible to move on unless you master the art of letting go first. I’m not saying that she should forget her husband’s birthdays or their anniversaries – but, after some time, she should stop living for those dates.
No, nobody expects her to stop mourning in the blink of an eye. In fact, that wouldn’t be healthy either.
However, this woman needs time to process her loss, face the grief, and finally, accept that she lost a loved one and that he is never coming back. Yes, she can rely on friends, family members, or even support groups while doing this.
Nevertheless, it’s never acceptable for her new partner to be a shoulder to cry on. That’s the whole point: a widow isn’t ready to date again if she hasn’t let go of the memories, the pain, all the could-have-beens and should-have-beens…
4. Getting back into the dating pool
Many relationship experts will tell you pretty much the same thing: if you’re the surviving spouse, the first date you go on after the loss of a loved one won’t be the start of a new, serious relationship. And it shouldn’t be.
One of the signs a widow is ready to date is the fact that she’s been back in the dating pool for some time. Only when she goes through different stages of dating will she be ready for the wonderful relationship she deserves.
The safest way to begin is on social media and on online dating sites (in fact, specialized widower and widow dating sites exist). Of course, she should only see it as a starting point without allowing it to become a comfort zone she’s too scared to step out of.
After some time, she’s ready to go out with someone new face-to-face for the first time. Yes, every widow will probably have her share of good and not-so-good dates, but that is what getting back out there is all about.
Only then will she have the chance to think about her standards, figure out what she wants, and decide what she will never settle for.
5. Getting her life back on track
One of the hardest things to do after the loss of a loved one is to go back to your daily routine. Of course, this goes for widows dealing with the death of a spouse as well.
At first, when a surviving spouse is going through the grieving process, everything and everyone is focused on her feelings and emotional ups and downs. She is surrounded by people who take care of her, and she is allowed to process her feelings how she wants.
But after a while, whether she likes it or not, she has to go back to her everyday responsibilities. She has to go to work and continue taking care of her kids. And that’s the hardest part – having to move on with her life without her loved one by her side.
Yes, this is quite difficult. She’s now on her own, and it’s her job to get her life back on track. However, it is necessary and non-negotiable.
And only when she succeeds in doing so is a widow ready to date again.
6. Reinventing herself
For the longest time, this woman has been someone’s wife. And in many cases, she abandoned all of her other roles, especially if she was a housewife. Now that her husband is gone, she is left completely lost in this cruel world.
Well, one of the signs a widow is ready to date is that she has managed to reinvent herself.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that this woman has to necessarily change the essence of her being to become more attractive to men. A real man will love her for who she really is – that’s undebatable.
I’m just trying to say that she has to remember who she was before her marriage. She has to find out more about her likes and dislikes. What does she want to do with her life? What does she want to be when she grows up?
Most importantly, this is when she has to start working on herself. It’s the perfect time to put effort into becoming the best possible version of herself.
Basically, this woman has to become happy on her own without expecting a new partner to bring happiness into her world.
7. Enough time has passed
One thing is for sure: everyone heals and moves on at their own pace. However, a widow is most definitely not ready to date anyone right after her husband passes away. I’m talking about a time frame of a couple of weeks and even months.
No, I’m not here to judge those who get involved in something new during this time. Nevertheless, starting a new relationship just after the death of a spouse is not healthy.
In fact, this will probably only be a rebound relationship. A widow uses this new romance as a way to escape from her grief and as a coping mechanism. She is definitely not ready to start a new chapter in her life at this point.
8. She doesn’t talk about her late spouse all the time
Let’s face it: what man wants to go out with a widow who talks about her deceased husband all the time?
I’m not saying that she shouldn’t talk about him or about all the memories they shared together. However, a first date is not the place for this. These topics are for support groups or family gatherings.
So, if you go out with a widow who spends the entire evening talking about her loss and her previous marriage, one thing is for sure: this woman is not ready to date again.
The worst part is that she is probably doing it without even being aware of it. This woman, sadly, feels the uncontrollable urge to mention her husband all the time.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that she doesn’t like you – it’s just a sign that she needs more time to move on. And that’s perfectly fine.
9. She’s accepted that he’s gone
Accepting the loss of a loved one is probably one of the hardest things a human being must face. But it is the final stage of grief.
And only when a widow reaches this stage is she ready to get back out there and start a new relationship.
For a long time, this woman was angry at God, the Universe, or her husband himself for everything she had to go through. She thought of all the things she could have or should have done differently to prevent him from dying.
Afterward, she kept looking for reasons why this happened. Why did her husband have to go so early?
But now, she’s accepted her fate. Of course, she is still sad about it, but she knows it was meant to be.
She is grateful because she had such an amazing man by her side, but she knows that he’s not coming back.
10. She sees a future with a new man
One of the signs a widow is ready to date again is her picture of the future. There doesn’t have to be a specific man in her life just yet; what matters is that she is able to imagine herself with someone. Trust me, this is a sign of massive progress.
This woman feels that she is ready to let her guard down and allow herself to fall in love with someone new. She’s thinking about getting married again, or at least what it would be like to move in with a new man sometime soon.
When she pictures her future, she doesn’t see herself dying alone. Instead, she imagines herself growing old with her partner and living as part of a team.
If a widow with this kind of mindset reenters the world of dating, she has a great chance of being happy again. Of course, she is not here to push anything – she is just open to new possibilities. And that is more than enough.
11. Ready for physical intimacy
What happens when a widow is eager to go on dates, send texts, and make phone calls on a regular basis, spend time with a man and let him into her life, but refuses to be intimate with him in any way possible?
Don’t get me wrong – it’s one thing if this woman needs time to engage in anything sexual. After all, you have to understand that she’s slept with the same man for years, and it’s perfectly natural that she can’t get used to another body in the first couple of dates.
But what if she is not interested in any form of intimacy, even after some time? She is not looking for a romantic partner. What this woman needs is a friend.
On the other hand, a widow who is ready to date will gladly hold hands with you, kiss you, cuddle, and eventually sleep with you. She won’t do it because you expect it from her – she will have the same desire for intimacy you have.
12. Her words match her actions
Someone who wants you will put effort into pursuing you. It all comes down to this one sentence. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a man, a woman, a widow, a divorce, or about someone who is single.
I’m not saying that she will be needy, that she will make the first move, or that she will chase you. However, her words and actions will show that she’s interested in you.
This woman will text you, make an effort to see you face-to-face, and she will try hard to make you part of her life. She will try hard to get to know you better and, finally, make you happy. She will invest her time and energy into this partnership.
Yes, this might take a little longer, keeping in mind everything she’s been through. However, sooner or later, she’ll get there.
13. She’s gotten rid of the guilt
One of the bulletproof signs a widow is ready to date again is the fact that she is no longer wracked with guilt. This woman doesn’t feel like she is betraying her husband or the children she has with him.
She doesn’t think she’s doing anything wrong. She is aware that by moving on, she is not erasing the memory of her deceased spouse.
Sadly, many widows struggle with these thoughts. Even though their husbands passed away, they feel as if they are cheating on them every time they even think of letting another man close.
But a woman who is ready for a serious relationship has put an end to these dilemmas. She knows that her late husband would want her to be happy.
She knows that she can’t bring him back to life, no matter what she does. If she chooses a solitary life, she will only hurt herself and won’t bring any good to others.
She is not overwhelmed with guilt, and she knows that putting her happiness first isn’t selfish.
14. Introducing you to friends and family
A widow who has really moved on with her life will allow you to become part of her life in the real sense of these words. This means that she won’t keep your relationship a secret. After all, why would she? She is a single woman and has every right to date.
This includes introducing you to her friends and family members.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect her to do this until your relationship becomes serious, especially if she has little children. These things take time, but she will definitely put effort into you two getting there at some point.
But if she keeps hiding you as if you were her lover, even after you’ve reached certain milestones, it’s pretty clear: she’ll never give you the place you deserve in her life.
How Long Do Most Widows Wait To Date?
Everyone grieves at their own pace. This means that there is no pre-determined deadline for when a widow should start dating again. No one is allowed to accuse her of getting back into the dating pool too soon or waiting too long before starting a new relationship.
However, most widows wait a year or two before considering dating. This is when they usually need to go through all the stages of grief and the time needed to get their lives back on track.
But every widow will feel when she’s ready to date. She shouldn’t feel pressured by her surroundings to start or stop dating, and she shouldn’t do anything she’s not comfortable with. Here’s a piece of advice for all the widows out there: listen to nobody but your gut.
How Do You Know If A Widow Likes You?
If you’re not sure whether a widowed woman has romantic feelings for you, these signs might help you figure her out:
1. You make her laugh
This woman is grieving. She has spent countless nights crying herself to sleep. All of her sadness made her forget what it felt like to smile, let alone laugh.
But you were the one who managed to change that. After some time, you see happiness in her eyes. You brought positivity into her life. Your mere presence makes her smile.
Besides, she’s admitted it herself: she can’t remember when last she laughed so hard. And it’s all thanks to you.
2. She opens up
This woman had her heart broken in a way you probably can’t even imagine. So she had no other choice but to build high and thick walls around it to protect herself from getting hurt again.
However, she tears these walls down for you. She lets you in and opens up to you.
She talks to you about the trauma she’s been through. This woman is completely honest and doesn’t mind talking about the fears and demons that haunt her.
3. She sees a future with you
Another sign a widow likes you is the fact that she’s planning a future with you. I’m not only talking about moving in together or getting married.
She feels safe enough to plan a trip with you next summer. When she talks about the holidays, you’re included in her plans.
There is less and less “I” in her sentences and more and more “we.” She sees you as her person and her partner in crime.
4. She lets you into her life
If a widow likes you, she will allow you to become part of her life. She will find time for you, include you in her hobbies, and introduce you to her friends and family.
You will be more than a booty call or the man she calls when she’s lonely and has nothing better to do. You’ll be her plus one, and everyone will know she has a new partner.
She won’t hide you on her social media, nor will she be embarrassed to show you to the world.
Are Widows Hard To Date?
I won’t lie: dating a widow is more complicated than dating a single woman. Whether she likes it or not, she carries a lot of emotional baggage around. Besides, things are even more complicated if she has children.
However, this is definitely no reason to discriminate against these women who have been through a lot. If you like a widow and think you have a chance with her, you should definitely give it a go.
Just think of all the benefits this relationship might bring you. First of all, you’re dating a woman who knows how to love and be a partner. A woman who loved a man for the rest of his life, a loyal and faithful woman who will hopefully love you the same way.
What Are The Three Stages Of Widowhood?
The three stages of widowhood include denial/shock, grief, and, finally, healing.
In the first phase, the widow refuses to accept that her husband has passed away. Of course, on some level, she is aware of what has happened. However, deep down, she chases away the thought of his death and tries to live her life as if he’s still alive.
After that comes grief. Whether she likes it or not, she realizes that he’s gone, and she is slowly starting to accept that. During this phase, sadness overwhelms her, and she feels like she will never be able to move on with her life.
Luckily, the healing phase comes next. At this point, the widow finally comes to terms with her loss. She never forgets her husband, and she continues to cherish his memory. But, she also realizes she is alive and learns to appreciate that.
To Wrap Up:
Just because you’ve seen all the signs a widow is ready to date doesn’t mean that you should rush things.
She might be head over heels for you, but don’t forget that she’s been through a lot. The most important thing here is to take things slow – on her own terms.
Yes, that will require some patience. But hey, if you like her enough, it will be worth it.Whatever you do, please, don’t break her heart – she’s been hurt more than enough. Please, don’t start anything if you don’t think you can handle a woman like her! In that case, it’s better to give up right at the start instead of giving her false hope!