Dating is dead blog
Snapshots tucked in binders on a bookcase in her bedroom. Though she never met her, Lara lives with the presence of this woman, Charlotte, who died by suicide in 2011.And she’s been trying to, as she explains, “make room” for her ever since she fell in love with Dave, the husband that Charlotte left behind.“He commented that what he had been through had shaped him,” Lara explains.“It gave him a greater appreciation for people, for relationships, for life in general.” “We just clicked,” she adds.“It felt like we were long lost friends.” After a few months, their friendship evolved into a romance.She met Dave’s three children, who were all under 7, and became close to them very quickly. “There seemed to be this need by everyone around them to constantly check in and ask, ‘Are you still sad? Oh, that’s awful.’ And this would be on days when they were happy and doing great.His profile listed him as widower and a father, but Lara was looking for friendship and nothing more—she’d been divorced for a couple of years and had recently been through a brutal breakup.When they first met, Dave had been widowed for less than a year, but he had a strikingly positive outlook, she says.
“Otherwise, when grieving happens, I don’t exist.” Lara shares her thoughts and frustrations in an online support group for women like her—the wives and girlfriends of widowers, or WOWs and GOWs as they call themselves.Another woman married a widower who insisted on trying to relive his favorite memories with his late wife by taking her to the same restaurants they loved, dancing with her at the same nightspots and planning the same beach vacations.(She didn’t discover the eerie parallels until she was deep into the relationship.) Another new wife revealed that her widower husband sobbed through their entire wedding night, wrought with guilt that he was betraying the woman he spoke those same vows to first.“They think their lives are broken and they have this need to go out and fix it,” Keogh says of the recent widowers he’s met or heard stories about.
“In their minds, fixing it means starting to date again.
The WOWs and GOWs face many of the same complexities: unaccepting in-laws, social media drama, and a constant feeling that they’re being measured against the deified first wife (some call it the Rebecca Syndrome, after the Daphne du Maurier novel of that name).