About a month after husband #1 died, I put up pictures on two online dating sites. We'll call them OkeeDokee and HeyDate. I only put up pictures, no words, because I didn't know what words to put.
Do I put "widowed" or "single" as my status? Do I open with "I haven't done this in a long time, but I promise I'm pretty normal" .... or tell these strangers a little bit about my story...or just let them reach out and hope they appreciate me for my humor, wit, curiosity....and then once they decide they like me enough, drop this bomb on them?
I didn't know the answers so I just put a few pictures up. And browsed both sites to see what was out there.
At first, no pictures or profiles excited me at all. In fact, they sort of depressed me. I was married to an extremely bright, funny, motivated, manly doctor, and these men paled in comparison.
And then some time passed, and I became more bold.
And someone sent me a "flirt" on HeyDate. And he seemed cute enough. Very different looking than husband #1. Scott looked different in every one of his pictures, but in most of them he had facial hair, which husband #1 never had.
Scott had a slightly receding hairline, while husband #1 did not.
Still, Scott and I had some similarities, a few mutual friends, and he seemed cute enough. We exchanged messages on HeyDate for a week, when he gives me his number, to take it offline, as they say.
<<Is this a thing? Do people just give their numbers to strangers? Apparently>>
So after spending a day of looking at apartments in Chicago (the city I decided to move to, after being left alone in a city where I had no family), I texted him, deflated, that I hadn't really found anything that I thought would work for me.
And thus begun an 8 hour texting session, intertwined with at least three drinks, as I hit the town in Chicago. He tells me his dad is a doctor, with the same first initial of his last name as mine (and my late husband's). He tells me the second letter of his last name, and it's also the same. Now I'm getting nervous. I tell him I don't want to tell him my last name. He says this is questionable, but I tell him it's because I don't want him to Google me.
Not helping my case here, I know. I explain that when he googles me, husband #1's obituary comes up, and I thought that after knowing that, he might not want to talk to me anymore.
Turns out I was wrong. Weeks later, he is still talking to me. We talk about what's going on with work, and both of our impending moves to Chicago, and what types of places we might want to go to.
In one of our texts, he says "Quite frankly I know in my head it's silly to be getting involved with someone in your position, but I am excited by you. You are sexy, dynamic, strong, intelligent and quite interesting....I want to be with someone who excites me"
Scott started to excite me too. Even as he talked about writing his boring law articles and reading his boring research, I found myself hanging onto the elusive ellipses that indicated a new thought was coming.
Scott gave me the courage to add words to my profiles. So I wouldn't put "widowed" - it's a lot to handle, and might pull me out of searches because most men my age would only expect someone 50+ to have that box checked.
And I started browsing OkeeDokee and sent another lawyer a message about Curb Your Enthusiasm, since we're both fans.
And that's how Ryan and I started talking......