Widower Wednesday: Telling Women I'm a Widower

Widower Wednesday

From the inbox comes the following from a widower:

Hi Abel,

I’m a recent widower getting back into the dating scene. What’s the best way to present my widower status to prospective dates in dating profile. I’m old fashioned and operate under the assumption that one is single (never married) unless otherwise stated. I ask because the dating site I’m on doesn’t list relationship status so it’s up to me to present it. I feel obligated to have that out in the open so they don’t find out later.

What do I say so my profile doesn’t across as needy or sad but that I’m serious about moving on. Do I mention that she died from cancer? I have read all the articles on your website and want to let those who have an aversion to any possible baggage know early but I also don’t want to scare anyone away.



Hi C.,

What a great question!

First, I find it odd that your online dating site doesn't post a person’s relationship status? I haven’t been in the dating world for over a decade but it seems like the early online dating sites that I used at least made you post your marital status (single, divorced, widowed). Apparently things have changed since I tried them out.

As to your online profile, I would mention it, but not make a big deal about it. Just saying you're a widower isn't enough because most women are going to want to know how long you've been widowed, how your late wife died, and whether or not you’re ready to move on. I wouldn't make that the very first thing on your profile but put it somewhere in the first paragraph. Being widowed is part of who you are but not the only part. You have interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes just like anyone else. Those need to come out too.

So write a catchy sentence or two about yourself then adds something like this: “I lost my late wife of 10 years to breast cancer 6 months ago and am looking to start a new chapter in my life.” Play around with it so it best meets your unique circumstances. You can add another sentence or two after that or start a new paragraph after. But that should be enough to let someone know your status and at least help them decide if that’s something they want to consider.

Like I said earlier, I’ve been out of the online dating game for awhile. Ladies, how much widower information would you like to see in an online profile? Is that too much? Too little? Let me and C. know in the comments below.