Things can turn around in a day, I guess. But I also feel super guilty about why they turned around so much.
Long story short (even though I’m afraid to admit it): I joined a dating site just for the hell of it. I was very honest in it about being recently widowed and probably not being good relationship material for a long time and also said that I’m not looking for hookups or casual sex.
Surprisingly in spite of all that, I have gotten an overwhelming response. Mostly from men, although also some from women, too.
I’m actually very surprised that I am finding out that I am actually more attracted to men than women and by a pretty significant margin.
The site is one where you can answer as many questions about yourself as you want and it shows you what percentage you have in common with them.
I’ve had more than 100 people show interest in me in three days. A couple of them sent me notes, kind of like introductions. My favorite one so far is an Indian (Middle Eastern) guy who asked me a thought-provoking question about what I think will happen if abortion rights really are overturned.
I actually thought he was kinda cute and I also noticed that he’s on the shorter side for men (which J was, too.) I actually do seem to find shorter guys more attractive. Since I’m 5’1”—barely—a guy who’s 5’6 or 5’8 is still taller than me and that works.
I’ve also noticed that a lot of my positive attention is coming from guys with graduate degrees. I’m not really surprised by that. I think that because I want to have more in-depth conversations, that seems to select for more education.
On the one hand, it kind of confirms what I thought: that if I ever get married again, I probably won’t be as broke as J and I were. That’s just kind of a subtle gut feeling I’ve had for a while.
On the other hand, I know: whoa, slow down there. It seems like I’m moving on awfully fast, even to me. It’s only been a little more than four months since I lost J and I truly felt like he was a soulmate.
To be perfectly clear, I am not really ready to date yet. I imagine the general reaction is one of shock that I’m even putting myself out there like this. I know and I get it and I am heaping all the shame on myself already plenty enough.
But it’s also a really significant ego boost for me at a time when I really need that. Even exchanging a couple of innocent messages makes me feel more alive and almost social again.
And seeing that so many people find me attractive and interesting is really good for my self-esteem right now.
I realize that a lot of the patterns J and I got into were comfortable but weren’t necessarily true to who I am. I compromised myself a lot to keep J feeling safe and secure.
It’s like I’m rediscovering the “real me,” the one that’s been buried for 28 years. I don’t always know what I’m doing and sometimes it’s terrifying trying to figure it out on my own. But I also realize that the real me that’s in there somewhere is kind of a badass and I think I like her.