Woman Called 'Selfish' For Criticizing Widower Boyfriend Because He 'Won’t Say I'm His One & Only & Have His Whole Heart'

Her boyfriend may still be grieving his lost spouse.

woman dating a widower upset he won't say i'm his one and only kieferpix / Getty Images via Canva, Halfpoint / Shutterstock

Dating comes with all sorts of challenges, but dating someone whose spouse passed away is a whole other story. A woman on Reddit is struggling with this situation in her relationship. But the gripes she has have struck some as a little bit much.

The woman is dating a widower who 'won't say I'm his one and only,' and it's got her doubting the entire relationship.

Dating after the death of a spouse is a fraught situation right from the start, and as the dating coach in the video below discusses, dating a widower or widow can often mean having to navigate your partner's tendency to pull back when things start getting serious.


It seems like that might be the situation this woman on Reddit is in. She posted to a subReddit for people who date widowers asking for advice about her current relationship with a man who seems reluctant to jump full-force into their relationship.

She and her boyfriend are both 32 and they've been dating for two years. They've exchanged "I love yous" already, but, she said, "I say some things that a widower doesn’t say back."


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She's a 'verbal affirmations person' and needs to hear effusive declarations of love, but the widower she's dating won't do so even when she drops hints.

The woman wants her widower to say things like, "'You’re the only person who holds the key to my heart,' '[this] is the best relationship I’ve ever been in,' '[the] Universe brought us together. Our past was a detour,' 'only you hold that special place in my heart and no one else.'"

woman dating a widower upset he won't call her his one and onlyPhoto: Reddit


The woman added that she routinely says these things to "[prod] at times, albeit gently," but he doesn't take the bait. "I cherish him and he’s the only man I’ve felt so strongly for and I want him to experience similarly," she wrote. "I’m more of a verbal affirmations person, and I need him to feel the way I do and express it well."

She's doubly confused because "he has properly processed his grief when his [wife] died 4 years ago, and he had went through grief counseling." She also said he doesn't even bring up his departed wife "unless asked."

But she's worried that his wife has "take[n] that special place in his heart" and doesn't know how to gauge how he feels about her.

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Many felt like she was expecting too much, and those who've been in similar situations issues like this are just part of dating a widower.

Some on Reddit were put off just by the things she wanted her boyfriend to say alone. "I would never say that kind of cheesy stuff to anyone, and I'm not a widow," one person wrote. "If someone said that stuff to me I'd think they were off."

Others were put off by what they saw as a level of insecurity that bordered on crass. "She is jealous of a dead woman, and is so insecure she needs to be reassured he loved her more than the late wife," a Redditor wrote. "It's sad and icky." Some even accused her of being jealous of her boyfriend's dead wife.

But others were a bit more empathetic, especially those who have also been in relationships with widows or widowers. They responded that this woman's issue is just part of the territory of dating a widower. After all, they'd already found the love of their life, and they were taken from them by a tragic loss. It's not exactly hard to understand why they might play things a bit closer to the vest.

woman dating a widower upset he won't call her his one and onlyPhoto: Reddit


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As one Redditor who is also dating a widower eloquently put it, "I know my widower would never say things like that because while he does love me, she also is in his heart... I’m not sure I would believe him if he did say that because of his past relationship, which I respect."

Or, as a widower on TikTok put it, "Be patient... it's difficult to love two people at once."



Another person on Reddit pointed out that the things she wants her boyfriend to say "have meaning in regards to his [deceased wife]" too, so she might be expecting way too much from him. Another woman likewise urged her to try to "reach a place where hearing I love you is enough and trusting those words."


That seems like great advice — and OP might want to stop taking her cues from the greeting card aisle, too, just for good measure.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social media and human interest topics.