Is my widower status scaring off dates?

Is my widower status scaring off dates?

I’ve recently signed up for a dating site. Should I just list single instead of widower? I have the distinct impression being a widower is somehow intimidating future dates. On more than one occasion I’ve gotten the distinct impression that it was specifically the fact that I was widowed chilled the conversation.

This was also kind of confirmed a couple of months back when a neighbor friend and I briefly started a dalliance. She seemed offended that I have my late wife’s favorite picture and urn on one of my shelves. I’m not sure if offended was the right word, but I was sure offended when she asked when I planned to take them down. Now, this example may be just this woman as she seemed to be put out by any attention not focused squarely on her, and thus it was very short lived.

I’m asking for help because I suck at this at the best of times, any thing that makes it easier is welcome. Opinions appreciated.

Oh, since it probably matters: 45y/o black male, I was married 13 years. I’m on a dating site because I work at home 80% of the time, so it this or the grocery store.

Yes. But likely not for the reason you think. I have been on the dating sites for a while, when I see “widower” 95% of the time those are scammers. At least IME. I see “widower” and I move on.

Your marital history will come out when you are dating someone. Single is appropriate.

ETA: Are you displaying your late wife’s photo and ashes as some sort of shrine? A woman might well think you aren’t ready to move on. Personally, I would not be worried that you still have those things, but it would be a topic for serious conversation.

In general I’ve heard that widowers are preferable to never-married men (past a certain age) as widower status means they’ve shown willingness to make a commitment and had enough going for them that a woman chose to marry them. A never-married 45 year old, for example, is more likely to be a confirmed bachelor, a mama’s boy, or emotionally immature.

Being a recent widower may send up a red flag due to the likelihood that one is not yet over his departed wife.

I thought only 70 year old women used the term widower.

“Single” can but doesn’t necessarily denote “Never Married.”

30-mumbledy-year-old widow, partnered for 14 years – no opinions to share, but I’ll be watching this thread avidly.

Oh, wait, I DO have an opinion! :slight_smile: Single is ***not ***the same as widow(er) and “on one of my shelves” is ***not ***the same as “shrine.”

ETA: for Laggard: widower is for men who’ve lost a spouse. Women, no matter what age, wouldn’t use that term to describe themselves.

It wouldn’t bother me at all.
Neither would the picture and the urn.

Unless the picture/urn is in the bedroom.
It can be a mood killer to be getting it on with your lover and seeing their ex, children, or parents smiling at you.

It would be a problem if she was all you talked about or if you were making comparisons between us.

I am just speaking as my experience on dating sites. The “widowers” who contacted me were all obvious scammers. As a result, if I see that on a profile, I don’t bother reading any further. End game.

“Single” on a dating site to me says “Available.”

And as to the shrine comment, I was trying to get the OP to ascertain if he had them very prominently displayed in a way that a new GF would think was shrine-like.

Agreed. That’s why I compared “widower” to “never-married” without getting into “single.” When I’ve heard women talking about meeting older unattached men, they’ve been concerned as to why they’re singe, with widowers seeming less likely to be problematic than divorced or never-married men. I wasn’t aware that the term “widower” might be used by scammers on dating sites.

HEY!!! I’m right here! But three for three, good on you. :slight_smile:

No, I have a display case with shelves on which those things are included with a lot of family photos, trophys, awards and that sort of thing.

I want to here more about the scam thing.

Wow are people that crass, that’s not whats happening. Honestly if I looked more like Denzel Washington I would assume they just were just chioosing me by my pic and were turned off by later finding out I’m a widower.

I was the same age as the OP when I re-entered dating society with the same status. The problem as I found it was its anomality. Their concept of an “ex” is someone who’s alive and, more times than not, they’re pissed-off at. Your ex is no longer alive and, if she were, you’d still be fond of her. That’s a rival that can’t bear competition.

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the people who’ll pity you and try to re-brighten your life. That was even worse: being used as someone’s Florence Nightingale play set. Eventually they’ll dump you with “you’re still not over her yet.” Of course they see you that way: in their eyes you were never more than that poor guy with the dead wife, and your widower status was always the “get out of jail free” card they use so that failed relationships can never be their fault. Avoid these vampires.

Basically, you’re looking for someone special enough that that doesn’t matter, but so is the fat person, the bald guy, the person in the wheelchair, etc. And anyway, in a few years, the number of widows in your dating pool will increase. So, I’m saying “it gets better.”

Mind you, I am in looking in the 45 - 55 year old range. Typically, it’s a guy who is a “widower” and has a child, though not always. When they contact, it’s obvious that English is not the first language, but there’s always a reason. Born in Germany but moved to the US as a teenager. Generally they have a job that requires them to travel. They want to immediately move communication offsite, usually Yahoo Internet Messaging. Push immediately for committment.

As a woman, if you contact me I assume there is going to be a lot to learn about each other. Mark “Single.” Then if you actually go on a date with someone, when you start talking about your past, mention then that you are a widower. Don’t talk too long about it. Your date will ask what she wants to know. And FWIW, I think a woman who is threatened by your late wife is bringing way too much drama with her. I would not have a problem with you keeping some things. I would wonder what was wrong with you if you didn’t always have a place for her in your heart.

Honestly, if you looked more like Denzel Washington we wouldn’t have this thread at all. But you don’t, so we do. :smiley:

I think you should probably just list single. Gently mention it after talking to a woman- if it bothers her it’s on her, there’s nothing you can do it about it. But you were right to be offended by the woman asking when you’d take down your wife’s picture. I get that it could be intimidating, not being the only woman, in a sense, but, well, that’s part of life.

That completely depends. A living person has no real hope of competing with a dead one because our memories of our spouses are not the spouses themselves. Many people idealize their dead spouses just like many people demonize their exes.

I didn’t do dating sites after I was widowed, but I would have expected potential partners to be understandably nervous about how I would relate to a real person rather than the sort of vague fantasy memory I would have of my spouse. Because my current husband and I started out as friends, we had talked about my first husband and he had gotten a fuller picture of all of the ups and downs of my first marriage. I think that allowed him to be comfortable knowing he wasn’t up against some sort of super human perfect husband.

Whether it’s intended or not, “Widow(er)” in a profile says “Married to a dead person, but I’m lonely so, maybe you’ll do.”

As for the urn & photo, hey, nobody has the right to tell you to get over someone and purge them from your life. But, well, why would you keep that stuff around on display? Until you present a convincing argument to the contrary, it screams “I would rather be with her.” That stuff is a shadow in the room, always reminding the newcomer they are only there because their predecessor died. That they are a replacement.

I suspect that in this day and age it’s much less common than in, say, our grandparents’ age to be a relatively young person with a dead spouse, and it seems pretty “heavy” to potential partners.

It seems to me, then, that you want the word “Widower” as your status. If you change it to ‘single,’ then you’re inviting in all the more women who will (be creeped out by? feel in competition with? just dislike in a vague way) your wife’s memory.

Unless you want to move your wife’s picture and urn someplace secret in order to placate those women. But that strikes me as backward.