I wonder what he’d say about my tragic forays into the dating world.
I bet he’d smile and have a good joke ready to help me feel better about it all.
But the other option — to leave Shawn behind forever — is not something I’m going to choose. A few days after setting up my online profiles, I decided to take them down. I wasn’t quite sure why I felt this way, only that I was pretty sure I couldn’t communicate the wholeness of my experience in just a few sentences and a handful of photos.
I cried as I deleted the last profile, though I didn’t know if it was from relief or something else. “I know he’s out in the universe cheering me on,” I said to a friend later that night. Before we started dating, Shawn was my friend, and he used to offer me dating advice.
I spent hours trying to figure out what to put in the forms online. First of all, a new date needs to know my status, which is likely to mean that I end up telling a stranger about the worst thing that’s ever happened to me within a few hours of meeting him. “I believe in God,” the man said, “but not a God that intervenes here on Earth.” “I agree,” I said, “because otherwise, why the fuck is my husband dead?
But as I thought about whether to actually make my profile live, the bigger question remained unanswered. Even if I manage to communicate that I am a widow before the first date, a load of baggage remains. ” Not surprisingly, it had the effect of stopping all conversation. This type of behavior — speaking before I could really think about my response — is something I found is common for many widows.
Where were all the other young widows and widowers? Those men usually posed as “widowed military men” and sent me message after message until I blocked them.
How could I be honest about who I was and what I wanted but also attract the kind of guy I’d actually want to know? Recently, I met a handsome stranger and we got to talking about religion and spirituality.
We did not choose to end our relationship because it wasn’t working out.
I guess that encapsulates why it is so difficult to date a widow, especially a young one like me whose loss is so new. Though I see his continuing presence in my life as a beautiful morning mist that surrounds me with love, I worry that my potential dates will see it as a murky haze that makes real communication impossible.