Friday, September 16, 2011

One down, an unknown number to go...

I went on my first date as a widow this week. 

I decided to give eHarmoy another try, and, it’s been…well, interesting.

I learned in my brief on-line dating stint in my twenties that you have to remember two things:  you have to have a thick skin, and you have to kiss a lot of frogs.

So Monday night was an on-line date.  We had talked on the phone before, and had agreed to go to coffee, at my insistence.  (I also remember that you should always keep the first date short so that a: it keeps them wanting more and b: you can get the hell out of there quickly if you need to, no waiting on food to arrive).  I hung up and immediately started crying, then soul searching.   My thought was, I can’t believe I’m doing this again.  I can’t believe this is my life. Then I immediately started trying to I decide if my tears were meaning that I wasn’t ready, and I realized that there have been men that I’ve been interested in “in real life” (not that I’ve met on-line) that haven’t asked me out, but if they had, I would be stoked, and so it wasn’t that at all.  Just the unknown.

The thing that’s different about this on-line dating experience and the last time is that now it’s ten years later and well, I’m a completely different person.  I often say that everything pre-widowhood feels like a different life altogether. 

On eHarmony you fill out a profile.  It’s sometimes hard to even know how to answer the questions.  “Who, besides your parents, has been the most influential in your life?”  Well, no one that I’m going to be dating wants to hear about my previous husband.  So that one’s hard to answer.  “What, besides your appearance, is the first thing people notice about you?”  Ummm, the fact that I have a service dog?  But isn’t this kind of like on-line shopping?  I’m likely to get “archived” for not liking camping.  So if I admit in my profile that I’m messed up enough to have a service dog, aint nobody gonna respond to me.

With this guy, I waited until the phase where we were talking on the phone to find out if me being a widow with a service dog was a deal breaker.  Remarkably, he was more concerned with his story than with mine.  Actually, when I think about the human condition and how self obsessed we all are, this shouldn’t be that remarkable.

I called no less than six girlfriends to tell them what time I was going and where.  “If you don’t hear from me by this evening, I want you to know where I was and come looking for me.”  That may be a bit extreme.

So I went.  And it was…Holy cow.  Awkward.  I felt like I came off as a spoiled-brat-daddy’s-girl.  One of the six girlfriends warned me to “Watch the internal dialogue.” Meaning that I have a tendency to keep the dialogue to myself and not say the things that I’m thinking out-loud.  So I really tried.  But I felt like I was working my butt off.  There were definitely points where there were…well, crickets.  There was just no chemistry.  I won’t say how he came off because I don’t “kiss and tell” so to speak (and believe me, there was no kissing). 

I won’t be seeing him again, but I feel so SO good to have the first one under my belt. 

You know, I guess the way I’ve been feeling lately is that my life seems like a movie.  And not one of those pathetic, sad, melodramatic kinds, but a fun movie.  One where it starts off with something sad happening but then things turn around for the heroine and there’s Katy Perry music and a costume montage.  I feel like I’ve turned a bit of a corner, and this date was just a funny scene added in there.  Things are looking up for me.


  1. Hi Noel,
    I love how candid you are about dating as a widow. I can't say I understand, but your honesty really made me smile. I am working with an author to help get her book out to those who grieve and wanted to know if you would be interested in reviewing it? It is called The Reason and is by Sally Grablick. It has a very similar approach to healing. If you interested please let me know Best wishes :)

  2. Hi, Noel,
    You don't know me, but I came across your blog and enjoyed it. I don't know very many other young widows (read: I don't know any at all in real life, but I've recently discovered the blogs of a few, so I feel less alone.)

    I've filled out the e-harmony thing, too... and I leave the most influential person question blank.... I'm really interested to know how you approach it, cause my way is apparently a big fail. (I wish nice rack was an option under "best life skills.")

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I enjoy your blog. Check mine out sometime, if you want.

  3. @Renee,

    First of all, I'm so sorry for your loss. And I'm sorry that you've been alone in this. It took awhile for me to "meet" young widows, too, in fact, it took about a year, and then I only know one in real life and two that are out of town. Strange, isn't it?

    As to the e-harmony's how I answered it...I basically said "For the REAL answer we'll have to have a whole conversation. For THIS answer, I'll say my sister..." and then finished the sister answer. I felt that it acknowledged truth but allowed me to seem not-so-serious.

    Thanks for the props on my blog! I'm gonna cruise over and check yours out, too.