When I chose to create my first online dating profile, I was visiting a graveyard. I was visiting my husband’s grave nine months after he died, and I was thinking about how much time I had left. I pleaded to no one in particular, “Please tell me it’s acceptable to find someone.”
My search for the top online dating sites for widows and widowers yielded disappointing results. I found sites like “Our Time” and “Silver Singles” with a quick search, but I was more than a decade too young for both of them. “Just Widower Dating” and “The Widow Dating Club,” the other two whose names made me believe they may be promising, both had cover photographs of couples who appeared to be at least 20 years older than me.
When the first photo we came up on one widow dating website was of a man plainly older than my father, my friends and I both laughed. I didn’t want to date a 70-year-old man, but unfortunately my options were restricted if I wanted to date other people who had experienced a loss similar to mine. What happened to the rest of the young widows and widowers? Perhaps there weren’t that many of us.
I looked at some of the most well-known dating sites. Yes, I could say on my profile that I was a widow. Would that, however, deter men? Worse, could it attract strange males, like as those who pretended to be widowers and stalked my Facebook page? Those individuals pretended to be “widowed military men” and bombarded me with messages until I blocked them. How could I be open and honest about who I was and what I wanted while still attracting the type of man I wanted to meet?
I struggled for hours to figure out what to put in the online forms. But the bigger question remained unresolved while I considered whether or not to make my profile public.
My hubby passed away. I didn’t know what to say to my date.
I recently met a charming stranger with whom I struck up a conversation on religion and spirituality. “I believe in God, but not a God who intervenes here on Earth,” the man explained.
“I agree,” I responded, “because why the fuck is my spouse dead otherwise?”
It had the unintended consequence of halting all talk. Obviously, it did. This type of conduct, speaking before I could fully consider my response, is prevalent among widows, according to my research. We’ve lost our ability to make small talk or say anything other than what’s on our minds in numerous ways. Most of us have gone through things that our classmates will not have to go through for decades, which means we don’t have the patience to play games. You get exactly what you see. That means you’ll get a 39-year-old widow with three small children in my case. What’s the best way to post that on a profile?
It’s not simply the profiles that are difficult to master. Almost every widow I know has a bizarre anecdote about how a stranger reacted when she revealed her marital status. While cutting her son’s hair, one of my friends was hit on by her late husband’s friend, a barber. Another found love in a mourning group, only to discover that the man was brutally insulting and that the only thing they had in common was the great bad luck that had led them there. Another went on numerous dates with a “nice” gentleman who was later discovered to have been caught and imprisoned for a decade for collecting child pornography. She warned me, “That will scare you into never dating again.”