Dating a newly widowed man
A widower may have to choose between his new romantic interest and offspring who can't get past idealizing their mother.
It's not uncommon for widowers to measure a potential partner against a romanticized version of the woman they've lost.
On occasions when he makes no mention of his late wife, you and your widower have a great time together. Men who haven't quite reached the ready-to-date stage nevertheless manage to draw companions into their trajectory while they figure things out.
He loves the attention you lavish on him and he tries to reciprocate. Some women spend years orbiting a world of grief that is not their own.
He takes you to trendy restaurants and shows you off to his friends. Pure grief is not the only reason a widower won't commit.
After months of listening to him endlessly extol someone who is not you, it's tough to sustain the nurturing spirit that's said to be part of a woman's DNA. It can overwhelm a man who takes on a new relationship when he mistakenly believes he is emotionally ready.
Psychoanalyst Darian Leader calls this the Rebecca Syndrome, a reference to the Daphne du Maurier novel in which the heroine is terribly haunted by the ghost of her husband's late wife. Leader, the power of what has gone before will infuse even the most contented new partnerships. Social scientists have found that men look to reconnect because they want what they had before, what they're used to.
New York Times writer Elizabeth Olson notes just one man's unapologetic reason to want a new wife -- he's overwhelmed by household chores, and he can't find things around the house.
Many have had comfortable, long-term relationships and have gotten secure in their daily existence.
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