Suggestions for Widowers who think they are ready for sex

Larry Lynn GVOH MayorAfterTalk now has an internet radio component at While preparing for a recording session this week, I did a lot of research on what to advise recent widowers who want to begin dating. I’d been through this myself, and have helped several friends ‘get launched’ back into the world of male-female relationships. What I found surprised me. Very little said by men about this basic life experience, but a lot said by women about men. I’ll summarize some of it here, along with some suggestions for widowers who think they are ready.

The main theme of women’s complaints was that widowers were still living with their deceased wives. Talk of the wife dominated discussions. The wife, in most cases, was wonderful, and everything about ‘their’ life together was perfect. There are two possible conclusions we can draw from this. First, these women are meeting only those men who had good marriages; the rest don’t date. A second possible conclusion is that widowers remember selectively, filtering out the fights, quibbles, inconveniences, and annoyances. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It may even be healthy. It may also set a counterproductively high bar for future relationships. The women know this.

One woman told about her first and last visit to her widower boyfriend’s condo. She had expected a few pictures of the happy couple, and a few mementos, but when she found the wife’s bathrobe still hanging in the bathroom, she broke off the relationship.

Most women complain that when on dates, men talk too much about their late wives. Here’s an interesting quote that sums it up well:

“These widowers feel a need to bond their late spouses with their present loves. I have to wonder why they feel it is necessary, in their minds, for the late wife and present love to be friends. To what end do these means serve? Why would a man expect his new love to gleefully embrace this odd emotional “ménage a trios”, and what women of self-worth and esteem would settle for it without argument?”

The first thing widowers have to do is decide that they are ready to date with the intnetion of establishing a relationship with another woman. I suggest a personal inventory. Ask yourself some of these qurstions:

  1. Are there things about myself that I always wanted to change but couldn’t in the context of my past marriage?
  2. For example. do I want to travel? Retire? Spend more/less time with the children? Dine out more/less?  Get season tickets for the Met Opera or the NY Knicks? [The answers to these will help you figure out who to date. For example, if her career is going full steam and you want to retire, she may not be the one for you. Did you pick the Knicks? Are you willing to go to a few operas if she’ll go to a few games?]
  3. Do I want a ‘roommate,” or might I be happier living alone?
  4. Do I want to be married again until death do us part?
  5. Or do I just want a part-time companion, like a ‘friend with benefits?’
  6. Can I  compartmentalize my feelings for my late wife, and open my heart to another woman?

This may be the last time you get to re-invent yourself. It bears thinking it through before you take the plunge. 

Now it’s time for a makeover. Start with your environment. Try to imagine what a woman would see when she enters your home. Have you dealt with your wife’s clothing and personal effects? Have you replace the photos of the two of you? [You can relegate a few to a special place, like your office at home if you have one]. Does the place look too feminine? If you’re thinking about having sex with this new woman, will she find the bedroom welcoming, or will she find a shrine to your deceased wife? If you can afford it, get a decorator and turn your nest into a man cave.

Now let’s look at you? Still wearing your wedding ring, or have you moved it to a chain around your neck? It may be time to move it to the vault. You need to feel like a new person, so do it. Style your hair differently. Change your wardrobe. If you haven’t heard the term ‘manscaping,’ look it up.

Let’s talk about how you talk. When you talk to new women in your life, stick to the first person singular, like ‘I’ and ‘me.’ Drop the ‘we’ and ‘us’ and ‘our’ unless you are referring to the new woman. Develop a narrative about your life that is in the first person; what have you-you singular- done and seen and been? Think this through and rehearse. Let her ask about your deceased wife. Your answers should be honest and brief, folloed immediately by a question about her life. Never talk about your sex life with your wife. They don’t want to hear it, and they don’t want to tell you about their own. Also, it says to them they you have a big mouth when it comes to sex, and that turns them off.

That’s all I can write about today, except for one more suggestion. Join AfterTalk–it’s free, so you have nothing to lose. Use it to write to your deceased wife and tell her how much you love her, and that the best thing you can do to honor her memory is to find happiness again. She will understand, I promise you that.


5 thoughts on “Suggestions for Widowers who think they are ready for sex”

  1. My name is Kevin. I am a widower ( I don’t like this moniker) after 35 years of marriage. I don’t understand why “widowers” are not in the highest demand. We have proven our capacity for commitment, as well as tons of experience in child rearing, relationships, and the refinement of how to love a woman. If not, we would be in the divorced category. I fulfilled my marriage vows and am willing to love and be loved again.
    It seems by most articles I have read, that many men are in denial that their wonderful wife is gone and not coming back. So it’s hard for them to think of doing it again with a new leading lady and a few prop changes. I am not one of thes men.

    1. I am a very attractive widow involved with a widower who had me on a roller coaster of emotions until I couldn’t take it anymore. He was a recent widower (less than one year) when we first dated. This covid-19 certainly put a dent in our new relationship. I hope to find another widower who knows what he wants in life & still has good memories of his late wife but ready to move on.

  2. I am in a relationship with a widower. He found me on FB after 32 years. He’s 51, I am 64 and newly divorced. Marriage was doomed long before 45 years. Bravely I filed. During the six months, my widower aquaintance and I developed such a unique bond 983 miles away.
    We both fell in love. I visited a short time after, we did end my long term celibacy and I hadn’t felt more loved and like a real woman for years! I visited a couple months later, a glorious time. His friends adopted me.
    I decided to end my job I loved and good wages and terrific benefits, left my grown children and grandkids to move these many miles away. First few days it was unpacking my belongings, noticing photos in closets and the late wife’s personal effects he bought for her here and there. I said nothing. What brought my erie attention was that he wasn’t making any sexual advances. He cuddled, kissed, joked around. Safe stuff, I guess. But after two weeks, I cried my eyes out. I asked him if it was me, did I say or do anything wrong. All he said was that there were only so many hours in a day. WHAT? He had excuses. Well, he took me in the kitchen? Really? I had to stop him.
    After three more weeks, he was in the mood, not his usual display of passion like when I visited. Then one more time almost a month ago. I’ve educated myself with Abel Keogh books and trying to help him understand how I feel about this. I have no qualms when he remembered to post his love and loss on FB on her birthday and the date of her death. But He got really defensive when I brought up my feelings again. He will not give me an honest answer about why he doesn’t want to make love to me. What the hell! He claims he loves me but now I feel stupid! I don’t know what to do OR say anymore without him rolling of his eyes attitude. I don’t rock the boat much as it is. I don’t sleep much that’s for sure.

  3. I feel so sorry for you! You deserve better than this smuck.

    I’d consider swallowing any pride you have, divorce him and move back near to those whom REALLY love you!

    Gary in Toronto

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