Widow not interested in diving back into the dating pool
Adapted from a recent online discussion.
I’m a widow in my 50s; my husband died nearly two years ago. I have found that after the first year, people seem to be focused on me “getting back out there.” After 30-plus years of marriage, I’m trying to get used to living and viewing my life on my own. I have no interest in dating and absolutely none in going out to try to meet men or signing up for matchmaking apps. Zero, at least for now.
People don’t seem to believe me although I express myself very clearly. I have a close friend who is recently divorced. She’s ready to dive right into the dating pool, and more power to her. But I’m very tired of telling her we’re not going out together to try to meet men.
How do I get her and others to hear me and stop being so damned delighted at the idea of me doing something I’ve told them I have no interest in doing?
— Not Currently Interested
With the “and others,” I suggest asking versus talking: “I’ve said I’m not interested. Is there some reason you’ve chosen not to take me at my word?”
As for your close friend, she wants a wing-person — right? You have a couple of choices in that case. You can go out with her as wing-person only, with no interest in meeting men yourself — or you can respond to her overtly: “You’re the one who wants to mingle, I’m not. Call me for anything but that.” Or just an adapted version of the question: “I’m weary of this dance. What will it take for you to accept I’m not going out to meet men?”
Re: Not Currently Interested:
Agreed, her friend wants a wing-woman! I’ve been divorced for 10 years now, and am turning 50 this year. I dated on and off and am not currently interested. I’ve taken the low-stakes route with my girlfriends who want to mingle. If the place they want to go is interesting or I just want to see them too, I’ll go. If not, or I just don’t feel like socializing, I decline. It’s kind of fun to watch the mating game in real life, and I’ve met some interesting folks along the way, had some fun evenings out.
It has been my experience that men are far less aggressive in real life than they are on dating apps and at the date-app first meeting. I’ll come right out and say, “I’m not interested in dating or a relationship right now.”
Dating again after you’ve been in a long-term relationship can be very daunting. I imagine she’s just looking for someone to go through it with. Which, of course, doesn’t mean you have to start dating again, too, she just might appreciate a single female friend to get involved in new activities with, go bar-hopping with, or whatever else it is people do to meet people. Even if you aren’t looking to start dating, joining her will probably help you in your self-discovery, too.
Thank you, both of you.
If the friend mistakes this for an invitation to up the pressure, then she can go back to opting out.