Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The set-up

A work colleague tried to set me up with a date last week.

I went along on the outing to find that she seemed to think that because I am a widow over 40 that I'd settle for going out with just anyone.

Rather than go into the details of just how painstaking this date was, I will just say that I survived it with both my sanity and dignity intact.
In my head, I like to remember it as "character building".  In my stomach I tend to remember it more as a queasy, you've-got-to-be-kidding-me feeling.
I am not averse to dating, but I have always known  that I do not want to date just for the sake of not being alone.
 But I have come to realise that some other people don't like the idea of me being alone.

I can understand this to some extent: of course I was much happier as a married woman and would choose that happy married life over this one in a heart beat.
 But this workmate failed to realise that there is no way I could learn to live on tripe after dining on caviar.... (possibly not the right metaphor to use here, but this post is due soon and I can't think of a better one).

What has annoyed me more than anything, is the assumption that I am so sad and desperate that I will date anyone with a pulse.

So I want to know something from you guys now .... as a widow/widower, have you been set up with someone you had absolutely nothing in common with just because a friend hated seeing you alone?

Please share.  I may laugh but I promise it will be WITH you and not AT you......


  1. Funny that you wrote of this topic today, I am supposed to go out with friends for dinner, who are setting me up with someone, I have no desire for this "date", but do not have the heart to say no. They have been kind to me, and are only trying to help, but my heart is not in it. Even trying to figure out what to wear has been an issue, everything reminds me of past outings I went on with my husband. I am ready to bow out and the first course hasn't even been served. I feel so stupid, it's only a meal, but it's also another reminder of what has been missing in my life, companionship. I wish you could laugh at me, maybe it would help me to stop the tears.

  2. Amanda, I loved your post card! I laughed my head off. I have been on match, eharmony, chemistry, hired a matchmaker, and joined MANY MEETUP GROUPS and unlike some very lucky people who actually found good men doing these things, I have had no luck at all after 2 years finding anyone, and really I am not being that picky,but like you I will not date to just date. I must actually find the person interesting, not necessarily that good looking, tried winking at some bald, slightly over weight men. Nothing, I am unfortunately losing faith. I am fairly attractive although slightly over weight. I think like you I am not desperate so I will wait.

  3. Amanda, great post! I could have written the response from Anon#2. My life exactly! I have met many men from on-line dating sources, but not the right man. I don't care about looks, just bring on the personality. After two years, I am beginning to think another great relationship like I had with my husband is just not in the cards. I would much rather sit home alone with my cat and a bottle of wine, than go out with someone I am not really interested in.

    Hang in there everyone and don't settle!!!

  4. I had a few set-ups by friends that made me question the friendship.

    The way I ultimately found success was when I learned to not try to repeat what I'd already had.

    Sure there was no way I was going for tripe, but it was inconceivable to think I was going to mirror anyone. I had evolved so much that what interested me before, no longer did. I had to find someone for the me now, rather than the me back then.

  5. My preferences in order would be:

    1. To be with my late husband to whom I was happily married
    2. To be alone and enjoy my children and grandchildren
    3. To have a companion who is fun and light-hearted
    4. To be dead
    5. To date just anyone

  6. I don't normally comment but this particular post caught my attention and I couldn't help but chuckle. I am in that place where I know I don't want to get involved with anyone seriously but, I am lonely. It would be nice to be able to go out and talk and laugh over dinner or drinks. I would just like to feel normal again. I love being with my girlfriends but tired of being the third wheel. So I too have joined a couple of Meet-Up Groups in hopes of finding someone interesting and I am embarrassed to say that I even went so far as to put my profile out there on a match site..one that is supposed to be for the over 50 and over crowd. Let me begin by saying, I'm no super model by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm no slouch either. Well, let me tell you how frightening it is to be almost 50 and wanting to date someone along the same age range as you are...these men look as old as my grandfather, who is still living by the way!! I am trying not to be too picky and for all I know they are saying the same about me when they see my picture but it is just too depressing for words. I would just like to see a few guys that have combed hair, teeth and wear something other than t-shirts and cargo shorts. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be here in this place at my age. I just don't think it is worth the trouble.

    1. You made me laugh I was thinking the Same thing

  7. Love your reply crayon wrangler...

    i have changed, but in some ways I have changed BACK, if that makes sense. I have always been a great reader and not a TV fan but my husband was the opposite. I adapted, but now when I look online I look for readers. I put in my profile that I HATE football...may limit the men but it's the truth, and when my husband was alive I lived with the entire Direct TV football package. It was ok, I loved him, and it gave me time to go do other things, but I'm not inviting that back into my life.

    I will not settle and I am not looking for a clone, but I do want another relationship and it's been hard. There's not a lot of ways to meet people other than on line and that is such a crapshoot! I find men in my age range are mostly divorced and bitter and want women 20 years younger (I always wonder what they'll talk about, but then I realize that talking isn't on their agenda!). I have had a ton of dates, but no matches...very frustrating.

    I am working on my life now, and working toward making it ok for me. I have great friends and am involved in lots of different activities...life is fine. Not what planned, but fine. I keep hoping that 'll just meet someone, live, doing something I like to do. But I have definitely faced the reality that I may be alone the rest of my life, and that has to be ok.


  8. Funny to read this today. I haven't been "set up" yet, but have quite a few people tell to give the "go" signal. Really!?! When I heard this (and who they were thinking of setting me up with). I reminded them, that they decided earlier on in life who they would want to be with/marry. I wasn't looking for just anyone with a heartbeat. I'm scared to dip my feet into the dating pool. But I don't want the fear to stop me. I do hope someone is out there.

  9. LOL ah of course. I haven't been "set up" but I always have female coworkers who are like "You're young (31), you need to go on a hot date!" I mean, this started upon my return from bereavement!

    Then I have the male coworkers who waited a couple of months and decided to start sniffing around "So...are you dating yet?" "No." "Ok." A few weeks later "So...are you dating yet?" "NO." lol.

    Thankfully my personal friends and family know not to ask me. They know how deep my love for Felix ran and still runs and that it will not be easy to move onto another love.

    Do I have a "friend"? Yes. I will admit it, I do. Only me and him and one other friend know of this. I am widowed, my heart is hurting like crazy...but I am a woman with needs, and I have a friend who totally understands that my heart is not open right now to anything but I can have some fun and enjoy someone's company. But that's it. I have no desire to meet someone for love right now. I am not ready for that commitment, I am not ready to delve back into something serious. People don't seem to understand this.

  10. I am 49 years old. I met my husband when I was fourteen, and he's been gone now for almost four years. He was a good husband and father, and my best friend...like most of the people who look at this website. I am shocked at how often people ask if I'm dating. It's annoying. I finally had to say to a divorced coworker who kept bringing it up that being a widow isn't like being divorced. I loved my husband, and I didn't want the relationship to end. I also have a young daughter (11 years old), and I don't really trust anyone else to parent her....I think it would be really difficult to bring another man into my life at this point. However, I also am tired of being the third wheel....I don't have that many friends anymore that I truly enjoy being around....especially former "couple" friends....I think it's interesting. If someone loses a child, do people encourage them to get a replacement?

  11. Susan - LOL I agree 100%
    Mariana - how did you even find your 'friend'?
    I have the opposite problem.....nobody will fix me up and nobody will ask me out because my husband was so well liked by EVERYONE that nobody dares to touch me (figuratively speaking). He was also well-known and very respected inour community, so I've been deemed untouchable by all. I'm so lonely.

    1. I am in a very similar situation. My husband was a public figure and loved by many. I've lost so many friends, I think because being with me reminds them that he is gone. At least that is why I think they're gone . . . . . I have tried 3 dating sites with no luck. It is a very time consuming process, and I devote some time everyday to searching, responding, etc. One a..hole responded that he won't date widows because he can't stand to be the 3rd person in anyone's life. Geeze this is harder than I thought it would be. Mariana appears to have found a good solution.

  12. I'm 53 and and 18 months into this journey. I've decided to start dating but I'm not having much luck. I signed up on eHarmony about a month ago. I've got almost 400 matches but not one soul has contacted me. It's a bit depressing! I guess the matches are getting slimmer because now they're matching me with guys who are 2-3 hours away.
    As one of the ladies said here, I'm no supermodel but I'm no slouch either. I've asked friends if they could recommend anyone, but no luck there either. I'm not desperate and I'm not willing to settle, so I'm trying to be patient while I work my way through this journey and, with any luck, I'll find someone. I've told friends that he's going to have to fall into my lap because I'm apparently not good at finding him. I actually met my husband in a bar (friends of friends scenario, not just a random pickup), but I sure don't want to do that again. I lucked out with him. I doubt that lightning would strike twice!

  13. i think it is important to "put it out there" that you are interested in meeting new people - for dinner, movies, walks with the dog - whatever. It is more important not to become isolated or stuck in the former "couple" village where you may now be the only single.

    I had the love of my life for over 35 years. I know he is irreplaceable. I am not trying to replace him at all. What we had is unique and i love every memory and moment.
    But like another entry above - I have emotional and physical needs ( and yes please don't tell me about vibrators! I am a feminist)
    i have a relationship know that is deeply intimate and sexual.
    I still have my own life.
    They have theirs.
    They understand where I am. We are great friends, we laugh and talk, sometimes i cry . I don't think about marriage or forever or tomorrow.
    I think about now and this person has helped me live when I wasn't sure I wanted to.
    So - take love . .. how it comes. Not anything, but the way it feels right.
    Life is too short to be in a bad relationship or to live alone solely because we can't replicate what we had.
    Good luck to all

  14. Its been a year and a half for me, my wife was my soulmate and I really have no interest in trying to replace her (not that I could) Though I am lonely and like everyone else have needs too, I think I just have to bide my time and try to get to know me again, since she died i really don't even know who i am anymore, or what I'm doing here!

    I haven't come across having anybody try to set me up yet, I think its maybe different for guys? and havent even really thought about how I might approach it, so thanks for the heads up :)

    but really i have no desire to try and find anybody else,(and maybe it shows?) I think i'd just be lowering my standards and at this point devaluing my incredible relationship with Shauna

    I have to agree with Susan although i think i might have to switch the order a little ;)