In terms of dating: It’s a whole new world!

Woman to Woman

In terms of dating: It’s a whole new world!

online dating imageWidows are in a different league altogether than divorcees but all of us are in the same position as single women. Getting your feet wet “dating” and meeting people can be challenging on many levels and it would be nice to have that big sister to talk to and help answer some of the questions you have. That’s “why” this column. That’s “why” this Modern Widows Club. It’s important to have a support group of friends to talk through your trials and tribulations; women who understand the fears and personal negotiations you’re facing as you traverse this new single territory with even newer terminology and rules — it’s a whole new world, and it’s scary. These women understand because everyone starts someplace in the game of being single. It can be a bit exciting and also daunting to begin dating.

While in the nineties you may have whispered that you were looking online, but now with social media and online dating sites prevalent and accepted, it is the most popular way to match up. Aside from these avenues, the old fashion way of entrusting friends to set you up (that’s how I met my first date) as well as events, hobbies and watering holes work well too.

Then, there’s hanging with your gal pals who are also single. I spent some time with a group of forty-something girlfriends, all divorced, and truly enjoying their “singledom.” We went on some fun trips together, like Sundance film festival, as well as celebrated each other’s birthdays and made sure holidays were not spent alone. I looked at this brief period of time with these women as incredibly enlightening on some levels, educational and totally entertaining. Albeit, these ladies were a little bit on the wild side, they are all good mothers and women that did not relish being single but had certainly decided that if they were, they would enjoy their prospects. I was clueless and completely out of touch with this whole single scene. These women knew how to date and pickup men…of all ages, and I was grateful to witness them in action because I learned through their experience.

One night I ventured out with a couple of these girlfriends to the opening of a night club. I watched and listened to Kit as she seemed to know exactly how to work the room. Wherever she was guys were turning heads and flirting with her. The fact that she is beautiful was not the main attraction. She was open in a way I did not know how to be after twenty-five years of shutting other men (besides my husband) completely out. I asked her to teach me how she did it. She said, “Pick out a guy in the room that you’d like to meet and then follow me and do what I do.”

I looked around the area and from a distance I saw a man who I thought was very attractive and not too young within five years of my own age. There was a distinct presence about him. I pointed to him and she nodded and said, “Alright, let’s go meet him.”

She bounced down some stairs, crossing the room confidently with her head up, shoulders back and a big smile. I followed. She walked a little past him and his friend and then suddenly turned to him, thrusting out her hand with a big, “Hello, my name’s Kit, and this is my friend, Kris! How are you this evening?”

He looked at her frozen and didn’t say a word. With a bit of bewilderment and panic, his eyes searched for his friend, who was standing across from him. After an awkward moment his friend waved his hand in Kit’s direction and said, “Hi, this is Dave. He’s been in a motorcycle accident and he can’t speak or use his right hand. This is his first night out since his recovery.”

After we recovered from the awkward moment and made light conversation with them, we walked away and she said shaking her head, completely amused: “Figures that you had to pick the only guy in the room that is partially paralyzed and can’t speak! This could be more challenging than I anticipated.” We laughed.

I replied, “I guess he had that presence about him I tuned into.”

Truth is, we were probably the two most uncomfortable people in the room, and ironically, that’s likely what made me feel comfortable to point him out. Likeness attracts.

Honestly, after spring and summer of that year, I had a lot of fun with these gal pals and made some lasting friendships. However, I was done with that scene and it was time to move forward. As I said it was entertaining and it showed me an option but this singles scene of night clubs and partying wasn’t for me. It did teach me how to lean into a conversation with a man again. What I took away: I learned how to be less married and more available.

After hanging out with these girls a few lunches and evening dinners, I also learned a whole new dating vocabulary that included their term “re-gifting.” Yes, that’s right. If one met a man that wasn’t right for her, but possibly a good prospect for a friend, she “re-gifted” him. Gotta laugh at that!

online dating tips imageThe term that was the most shocking to me was “booty call.” Not the classiest of concepts, that’s for sure, but a good one to be aware of this day and age because it’s all about the hook-up: sex and with no strings attached. Surprisingly, there are equal number of women as men now looking for a “booty call.” Knowing that this is what you want or don’t want is extremely important as you go out to meet men either in person or online. Your clarity will protect you either way. I’ve never online dated, but I have had plenty of friends who meet people on various online dating sites.

My next column will be an interview with my friend Mary, who is a widow who met her “next” man and reeled him in online. All about online dating: Is it a or a match.bomb?

~ Kris Carlson